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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello,

I am really new to the screen printing business. We purchased the assets of a local printer who was going out of business due to a divorce. With it we received 40+ wood screens (most 110 mesh). All equipment, screens, etc is no more than 2 years old.

Now that we are finally setup and getting ready to start, cleaning out the old screens/squeegees etc is top on the list.

After plenty of research here and elsewhere online, we purchased Franmar chemicals (Strip-e-doo, d-Haze, Bean-e-doo, green-e-way, and d-Grease).

The previous owner... apparently "cleanliness" was not a key element of his business plan... there is ink everywhere and the screens were just tossed in plastic garbage bags when done being used. From what I can tell, he used Ulano FX-88 emulsion and Wilflex inks.

I started cleaning a couple screens to see what happens at the local car wash. After washing off all the excess ink I could, we used the Bean-e-doo to remove the left over ink... scrubbing and rinsing. Then used the Strip-e-doo to remove the emulsion. After scrubbing and letting sit for 30 seconds (as recommended from Franmar), we washed them out. Surprisingly "most" came out.

There is still a slight "design imprint" where the screen was uncoated... I can still read it. I tried the d-Haze and d-Grease... that lightened it. I tried the Bean-e-doo and Strip-e-doo again. Same thing... but it still there.

Here are my main questions:
- Is this "image" going to be an issue?
- When normally cleaning a screen to reclaim it... should it be 100% clear/clean?
- One screen I tried has the same issue but in one section, near the top, there is pink/solids that won't come off. Could this be a "locked' portion of the screen as I have read on here?

I hate to "pitch" 40+ screens and then purchase new but don't want to have an issue before I even start. Plus, double and triple hitting screens with chemicals to clean them... I will go through ALOT... is the chemical cost worth it or better off buying new.

Thanks

Pete
Screen Prints Express
 

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That slight design image is called ghosting and its stained form the inkk. As long as there isnt any emulsion locked in the screen your good.

The thing that is most important is the tension of the screen itself. Do the frames looked warped? If any have low tension and or warped, its time to throw them out.

If I were you, I would just invest in some brand new screens. You will be glad you did
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I checked the screens (as best I could as I have pulled the painted mess out of bags) and they look good on no warpage and the screen seems pretty taught. I threw one away that was really bad. It's definately one of those "catch-22" on purchasing new or reclaiming these... because there are 40+. With that many, if I can get them to work out, then I can "hang-on" to a design for awhile without having to redo them if there is a reprint. Plus, the "advantage" of saving some $$ at first is important in this day and age. My "good investment" on a complete business setup was past over on "building" a print room. Hopefully it will all pay off in the long run.

Pete
 

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- Is this "image" going to be an issue?
Probably not. Take a look at the mesh with a loupe - it should give you a pretty good idea if it's a blockage, or just stained.

- When normally cleaning a screen to reclaim it... should it be 100% clear/clean?
If you get lucky, but not always.

- One screen I tried has the same issue but in one section, near the top, there is pink/solids that won't come off. Could this be a "locked' portion of the screen as I have read on here?
There's a good chance, yes. I have a bunch of ten year old screens I picked up as part of a larger equipment lot. Every now and again I reclaim one of them. Some of them come out perfectly, some of them are locked in. I think a lot of it probably comes down to how well they were exposed in the first place (after a while you can normally get a pretty good feel for which ones are going to reclaim well by looking at them).

I hate to "pitch" 40+ screens and then purchase new but don't want to have an issue before I even start. Plus, double and triple hitting screens with chemicals to clean them... I will go through ALOT... is the chemical cost worth it or better off buying new.
While you will probably want to use some of these to get you started in the short term, it's in your best interests to be moving on to new screens. You don't want to use wood frames for any longer than you have to.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks for the info. Just curious, from what you stated, Aluminum frames are better? Seems like most what is "out there" pushes wood frames.

Thanks again...

Pete
 

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Just curious, from what you stated, Aluminum frames are better?
Yup. They don't warp, and personally I think they also hold tension better.

Seems like most what is "out there" pushes wood frames.
From suppliers maybe (if you buy wood frames, you'll be replacing them more often...), but from printers, definitely not.

Wood frames are still (usually) ever so slightly cheaper, and people tend to be absurdly price conscious. So hobby stores stock only wood frames, and some pro suppliers too.

Aluminium is better though, except where you'd want to use steel ;)

You can use the wood frames until they're no good (warped, loose tension, ripped - whatever happens), but I'd recommend buying aluminium as you replace them.
 
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