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so much depends on it.. there are so many factors that go into a good print. Its a "feel thing" sometimes.. Sweatshirts.. sometimes there is no way u can just single stroke.. Mesh count, squeege's, inks, art, all play a role.. some prints u can pull stroke, some u can push. IF you are having to double stroke on 1 and 2 color jobs that u dont use a flash and are using 110 or 156 mesh, you may wanna adjust your technique. you should be able to hit every print single stroke on those meshes. A really good manual printer can print 72 shirts one color full front in under 15 minutes.. That is pressin it though..
 

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haha. i didnt answer your question though.. I would say for me to get to that point of pounding out shirts like that i was on a press all day every day for 2 years.. Actually sooner but after 2 years i could get a one color job taped up, registered, and printed (box of 72) in under a half hour... But to do that all the time was nuts.. Just cause i could do it doesnt mean i always did do it
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Thanks for the info. I've been practicing about every day for a month. I'm not a very artistic person. I can't even come close to drawing a straight line or anything.

I've gotten very good at making the screens, and I'm only using a halogen light and a piece of glass (Lawson Quest).

Printing is another story. I'm getting to where I can sorta do it with a 110 mesh. Today I made a screen with two small images on it. With the small images I can better maintain the same angle, pressure, and speed. So they came out much better than the other stuff I've been trying. I could get some to come out maybe 95% perfect with one stroke.

With a larger image, it goes from good to bad from the right to left and from the top (closest to me) to the bottom. So I think I'm having trouble maintain consistent pressure

With black on a 110 mesh, the black turns out super shiny. I made an image I'm trying to in black on a 196 and 230 to try it. But I'm hopeless with those mesh counts. Even with a bunch of clean up strokes about 1/3rd of the ink will still be in the mesh. I'm burning the image to a 156 right now, to try that.

haha. i didnt answer your question though.. I would say for me to get to that point of pounding out shirts like that i was on a press all day every day for 2 years.. Actually sooner but after 2 years i could get a one color job taped up, registered, and printed (box of 72) in under a half hour... But to do that all the time was nuts.. Just cause i could do it doesnt mean i always did do it
 

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dont sweat it my friend.. you are right where you are supposed to be. What you are going through is exactly why so many of us are able to help.. we went through it to.. It is what you are doing right now that is going to make you understand why some designs use higher mesh and why some designs need certain inks and different squeege's and a whole bunch of other things.. We can ask all the questions we want and we can get the answers but it is what u are doing and going through that will make u understand ;)
 

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Printing is another story. I'm getting to where I can sorta do it with a 110 mesh. Today I made a screen with two small images on it. With the small images I can better maintain the same angle, pressure, and speed. So they came out much better than the other stuff I've been trying. I could get some to come out maybe 95% perfect with one stroke.

With a larger image, it goes from good to bad from the right to left and from the top (closest to me) to the bottom. So I think I'm having trouble maintain consistent pressure

With black on a 110 mesh, the black turns out super shiny. I made an image I'm trying to in black on a 196 and 230 to try it. But I'm hopeless with those mesh counts. Even with a bunch of clean up strokes about 1/3rd of the ink will still be in the mesh. I'm burning the image to a 156 right now, to try that.
Thinkin back to my early days.. u may want to try a couple of things because you shouldnt be struggling that much.. first you may wanna hold your squeeges with your hands closer to the sides of the squeege rather than towards the middle.. Also bend your wrists up a little so your 4 fingers in the front move down closer to the blade.. Another thing.. If the palletes you print on are a bit too high, you may not be getting the full leverage i guess the word would be, to be able to give nice smooth strokes with enough pressure to cover on 1 hit.. see if you can lower the press or make a little platform to stand on that an additional 4-6 inches higher could really do the trick.. Also.. Are you using hard squeeges? the real hard ones i wouldnt use.. the softer the better for coverage (generally)
 

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i havent, and i doubt i ever will learn to print with just one stroke. most prints i do just come out better with two or in some cases three strokes. but it will all depend how good your screens are. i know you say your good at making screens. but you would be surprised how long it takes to learn how to make great screens. it will all depend on your screen, which i think is still the most important part of the whole process,
how you clean them
how you coat them
how you burn them
what film you use
what you use to output your film
what mesh size you use
what type of mesh you use
how tight they are streched
how big the image to screen size ratio is
add im sure others will say more.
i guess what im trying to say is you will never stop learning. every job is different so all this factors have to be considered. back to the question even when i think i have a great screen, for some reason i still like to print at least a double stroke for most of my work. the only time i dont is when im working with halftones, but even then sometimes i do. just have to be careful about dot gain
 

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yeah.. i think i may have given some misleading words of wisdom..i was trained right from the get go for mass production... shops that produced 10,000 prints per day minimum running 3,4,5, even 6 automatics.. So that was always where my thinking was.. time is money.. and every 20 minutes a press wasnt running, that was close to 300 shirts not printed.. Those kinds of shops are few and far between.. In reality, the most important things are the quality of the product you give to your customers.. I would not suggest to anyone to "rush the process" I definitely wouldnt get caught up in single stroke/double stroke.. or more... As long as the prints look good and you feel good about the job you are doing.. You are on the right track
 

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Discussion Starter #9
What I'm doing is coating the screen both sides. Then let dry. Then I coat the print side a second time. All with the rounded side of the coater. I get a really well defined "ink well" and sharp edges.

What is the general rule of image to screen size ratio. Most of the images I've tried are around 10"-11" wide by 6" to 7" tall. All on 23x20 screens.

i havent, and i doubt i ever will learn to print with just one stroke. most prints i do just come out better with two or in some cases three strokes. but it will all depend how good your screens are. i know you say your good at making screens. but you would be surprised how long it takes to learn how to make great screens. it will all depend on your screen, which i think is still the most important part of the whole process,
how you clean them
how you coat them
how you burn them
what film you use
what you use to output your film
what mesh size you use
what type of mesh you use
how tight they are streched
how big the image to screen size ratio is
add im sure others will say more.
i guess what im trying to say is you will never stop learning. every job is different so all this factors have to be considered. back to the question even when i think i have a great screen, for some reason i still like to print at least a double stroke for most of my work. the only time i dont is when im working with halftones, but even then sometimes i do. just have to be careful about dot gain
 

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Discussion Starter #10
I've seen two mentions of using a spray bottle to spray a mist of the mist and the smooth the fabric in the same direction that the squeegee is going to go.

I just tried that on some prints and it seems to work. Using a 110 mesh I just made some of my best one stroke prints ever.

Kyle,
 
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