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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Ok. Now that we've figured out how to set the time and temp, we're still having general heat press issues.

We started with the $299 press from ProWorld, along with some transfers from ProWorld, TheWildSide, and Thompson Transfers and couldn't press anything. ProWorld in particular went out and pressed one of our problematic transfers on that particular press and got it to work. Between talking to all three of them, we managed to make it sort of work on most transfers. We still had problems with most of the full color transfers, as well as any transfer that was large enough to need to be near the top of the platen (near the controls.)

We thought that maybe it was just a cheaper press and maybe it just wasn't capable. Now, we have a Vesta HP3804C. After a little bit of fighting with it, we've got it set up finally. We still have the same issues though.

The exact same designs that we could never get to press on our old press, won't press on the new one either. It seems to be almost any full color design. There are a few that work, but most don't.

The biggest thing that bothers me is this pressure adjustment knob. Both presses have the same style. How do you really know what is considered light/med/heavy pressure?

We've got the new press setup with the exact same specs as our old press, just because that's as close as we could get to making anything work. Pressure feels about the same between the two. I've used the "two hands to close" method, as well as I read someone say using a dollar bill while the press is closed and trying to pull it out, if you can't, it's heavy pressure.

My current settings for what does work is 385 F, 7 sec prepress, 7 sec press, warm peel, on what I think is heavy pressure.

I've probably wasted well over $100 in transfers trying to make it all work and it's really got me annoyed. Does anyone have any kind of idea about what I can do to make this work right? Is there some kind of guide out there that says if this happens, increase temp, here's the appropriate pressure settings, etc?

I'm just at my wits end here. Any and all help is GREATLY appreciated.
 

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The most obvious question would be, are you using the transfers on the correct material they were intended for? And are you following the application instructions verbatim?

Second get an infrared heat gun or preferably something like the Geo Knight digital pyrometer and surface probe kit to verify your press doesn't have any cold spots. Which isn't out the norm for those imports like
Vesta. Not bashing them as I started off on one and it definitely paid for itself after I graduated from the pressure and temp newbie heat pressing boot camp.

Pressure is one of those things you have to master for yourself. Once you do you'll be changing settings from tees to hoodies without even blinking or worrying. It'll come with time. It's a mountain most of us non Hotronix, Hix or Geo Knight with their fancy smancy pressure read out first time heat press buyers climbed and felt on top of the world when we got it figured out.

What I will tell you though is, if you do eventually get behind the wheel of one those big boy presses, you'll cherish your Yugo (Vesta) for just being there and getting you started.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
The manufacturer instructions on most of the ones we've been getting ask for 375-385. We've tried all ranges of time and temp, anywhere from 350 up to 400. Cold peel tended to make them worse, unless that's what it called for. Most of what we're having issues with is the warm peel directed stuff. We get quite a bit of warm peel with no issues though.

We did get an infared thermometer to measure, and found that the press was pretty consistent throughout. Maybe a total change of 10 degrees from lowest point to highest. As far as correct material...we're using 100% cotton on stock transfers. I haven't noticed where they specify what type of shirt to put it on. We're specifically using the Port and Company 6.1oz 100% cotton T-Shirt.

As of yet, we're still trying to master T-Shirts...haven't even tried to move into thicker materials yet.

Pressure wise...we get it to a point that starts to work, if we lower it any the design peels more, if we raise it anymore we almost can't close it. I've watched a TON of videos and I don't think most people are straining as much as we are to close their presses, but if we lower the pressure, it get's worse. I'm just completely at a loss as of yet.
 

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I also have the $299 press from ProWorld, this is process that I use.
After the press reaches the recommended pressure clamp the press down 5-10 seconds open, then repeat two more times, this helps heat up the bottom pad. Place shirt on the press and press about 5 seconds to remove any moisture from the material. I press the transfer according to their instructions, most of mine are about 7-10 seconds at 385 degrees, I peel off the backing while still warm, place a teflon sheet over the design and press a second time for about 7-10 seconds. The second pressing seems to really press the plastisol down into the material giving better grip a smoother finish and a softer feel

Cut some transfers in to small sections and keep notes of every thing you try until you find just the combination of heat, time and pressure.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Here's a couple pictures of what this new press is doing. I don't have any pictures of my results on the full color designs.

I'm just confused, if everyone presses these designs at this certain time and temp, then why is that even an issue that needs to be addressed? Seems like if mine is set to the same time/temp then only pressure would've the variable.

Again, thanks for all the help, hopefully I can get to the bottom of this.
 

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Here's a couple pictures of what this new press is doing. I don't have any pictures of my results on the full color designs.

I'm just confused, if everyone presses these designs at this certain time and temp, then why is that even an issue that needs to be addressed? Seems like if mine is set to the same time/temp then only pressure would've the variable.

Again, thanks for all the help, hopefully I can get to the bottom of this.
Seems like you are not getting the right temp to "seal" the ink onto the cotton.

As far as why is this happening, even though you use the same settings as everyone else, is because temp and time are not the only variables.

Pressure will be different from one press to another, even of both knobs are turned exactly the same. Same thing for the temp. The only thing that is equal is the time.

Also the fabric may not be equal, even though its 100% cotton. Plus the manufacturer can use a different types of chemicals to color the cotton, which can tweak the finished product.

Keep trying different settings, different materials or a different brand tee.

For those I would do --
Prepress lower platten for about 20 seconds.

Prepress shirt for about 5 seconds.

Press design for 10 - 12 seconds @ 385*

Best of luck!!

Sent from my HTC One X using T-Shirt Forums
 

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Had the exact same issue a few weeks ago. I tested, and had cold spots where it was not peeling correctly, bought the bullet and bought a Hotronix. Not saying that is your problem, because you have tested it, just letting you know that is the exact way my transfers looked, and the new press fixed it right up.
 

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The manufacturer instructions on most of the ones we've been getting ask for 375-385. We've tried all ranges of time and temp, anywhere from 350 up to 400. Cold peel tended to make them worse, unless that's what it called for. Most of what we're having issues with is the warm peel directed stuff. We get quite a bit of warm peel with no issues though. .
.
.

As of yet, we're still trying to master T-Shirts...haven't even tried to move into thicker materials yet.
Many of us have had the same frustrations that you are having, and unfortunately there's no simple solution. It's like solving a mathematical equation with 4 or 5 variables, all of which impact each other to varying extents.

My advice is to set your pressure medium to high (moderately hard to close and open), cut your designs into 3 or 4 pieces, then step through time, temperature, and peel time methodically. Record results precisely. Change only one variable at a time. After you think you have achieved success, wash the shirt several times and look for cracking, peeing, etc. I suppose you could live with that because the "distressed" look is so popular now.

Some observations in my experience:
- I like hot split designs the best - almost all have adhered well and the paper practically peels itself off.
- Warm peel, even from the same manufacturer, gives mixed results. Going up from 375 degrees to 390 and from 6-7 secs to 8-9 can work. On the other end, doing 360 degrees for 12-14 seconds has worked.
- I have done warm peels after waiting anywhere from 3 seconds to 8, so time this phase accurately because one second can matter. If you feel a lot of resistance during the peel, stop and then press another 3 seconds or so. Sometimes it works.
- Notice how much ink stays on the paper after you change a variable. That can often tell you if you are going in the right direction.
- Be aware that the temperature in your workshop (inside the house at 70 degrees vs. in the garage at 45 degrees) can have a big effect on temp, press, and peel times.
- Transfer manufacturers are not as precise as they would have you believe. On rare occasions, they have admitted to a bad batch of transfers or that the transfers have been sitting in the warehouse too long.
- Keep all of your reject shirts for test pressing. (obviously, don't press over ink! - find a clear area).
- Haste makes waste. When you are dealing with a really tough problem, walk away, calm down, then rework your strategy.

Hang in there, it will get better.
- Steve
 

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Increase time a few seconds at a time. Try a Teflon pillow to smooth out any high spots in your platen. You can also increase temp 5 degrees at a time up to 395F
 
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