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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have a tiny apartment and am wondering whether it would be practical do set up a printing operation there. I want to do vinyl cutting with a heat press. Would heat pressing in my cramped living room heat up the whole apartment suana style? Is it a bad idea to do this sort of thing somewhere besides a garage? Am I missing something?
 

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I don't know what kind of heat press you have but you shouldn't have any problem pressing items in your apartment. If you can fit a microwave in your apartment, you can fit a heat press there, too. Heat shouldn't be an issue, either.
 

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One thing to keep in mind when looking at cramped conditions is the type of heat press - clam or swing-away style. The swing-away presses will take up more working space because you need room for the top platen to swing.

But in general they don't take up all too much space; depending on the size of the press, a large microwave is a pretty good comparison (but make sure you also have room in front of the press to work).
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Twinge said:
One thing to keep in mind when looking at cramped conditions is the type of heat press - clam or swing-away style. The swing-away presses will take up more working space because you need room for the top platen to swing.

But in general they don't take up all too much space; depending on the size of the press, a large microwave is a pretty good comparison (but make sure you also have room in front of the press to work).
I was hoping to get a swing away press because I'm a clutz and would prefer not to burn my face off or something, but maybe I'll have to get a clam with the small space.
 

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(this is speculation since I've hardly used either press, but... something to consider...)

It's possible that a swing-away would actually be better than a clam in a cramped work environment. Why? Because with a swing-away you need more space for the press to sit in, but you need less space to actually safely operate it. With a clam you'd want space around it to get some distance on it, so you are less likely to burn yourself on the element. A swing away, the element is swung away - so long as you have space to stand and space to move the element to, you're safe.

Just an idea to make that decision all the harder, but maybe I'm stretching ;)
 

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It's definitely not a stupid question: it's the kind of question everyone should ask before buying a piece of electrical equipment designed to heat up to 400 or so degrees and putting it in their living room, but few do.

From what I've read I believe them to be quite safe/reasonable, etc. but I am very much not experienced in this area and we'll need to see what others say on the matter though.

I just wanted to say though that personally I don't subscribe to the "the only stupid question is one that doesn't get asked" school of thought, and I don't think it's a stupid question.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
badalou said:
see my videos.
Hi, I did watch your videos. Very interesting. Can you comment on the fire hazard issue? It appeared that you had the press in a different room than your printer. Was that your garage? Also, what do you have the press set up on? Thanks.
 

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One thing I will add. Actually pressing either with vinyl, or plastisol; does give off some fumes. I live in a fairly large apartment, and had to move my press to my work, set up with a fan blowing away from the press out the door.

Some may think I'm being too cautious, but I think you should take measures to minimize the toxins we breath.

Check out this book: "Artist Beware"
http://www.epinions.com/content_228689219204

So in a smaller apartment, I would set your press up near a window, at the very least, and have a fan blowing out .
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
kentphoto said:
One thing I will add. Actually pressing either with vinyl, or plastisol; does give off some fumes. I live in a fairly large apartment, and had to move my press to my work, set up with a fan blowing away from the press out the door.

Some may think I'm being too cautious, but I think you should take measures to minimize the toxins we breath.

Check out this book: "Artist Beware"
http://www.epinions.com/content_228689219204

So in a smaller apartment, I would set your press up near a window, at the very least, and have a fan blowing out .
Eh, I was worried about this...

Between the lack of space, fire hazard and fumes, printing in my apartment looks unappealing, but I don't see any other options, so i guess I'll just have to take as many precautions as possible.
 

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make sure you check the electrical specs for your heat press. It may require a 20amp dedicated circuit which you may not have available. Most household plugs will be 15amp (USA). This shouldn't be a problem but you should at least know where the breaker box is for the times you trip the breaker because of too much load.

Also, your apt. manager may not like you running commercial equipment in your place.
 

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Speaking of fumes, I might as well also mention that heating up the teflon causes fumes which will be harmful (potentially deadly) to pet birds.

The only thing really resembling a fire hazard issue (vaguely) that I can think of is the occasional electrical problems associated with Geo Knight brand presses. Otherwise, just don't leave your press on when you're not using it and don't have lose fabric/paper right next to it and you should be fine.
 

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No it was all in the same room. Just different side. I bought these heavy duty shelves from Costco and I have my 15 x 15 mighty press on top of it. actually the shelves come so you can separate them instead of stacking them so I have 2 in my 10 x 10 office in my house. I think the issue of being a fire hazard is a sound one but keep in mind that these are professional heat presses and built under the Code. I would not buy one of those cheap press that look like they were made with a grill on ebay. And I turn it off when not in use. I would be glad to send pictures of my set up if you email me. Lou
 

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Twinge said:
Speaking of fumes, I might as well also mention that heating up the teflon causes fumes which will be harmful (potentially deadly) to pet birds.
Can you please explain this ?
How does a heat press Teflon sheet hurt the enviroment when heat is applied to it ?

Never heard of such a thing, but i'm willing to learn. :)
 

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I have one 3x6 folding table for the computer and 24" plotter and one for the 15x15 heatpress. Half the heatpress table I use to position the cad-cut vinyl designs on the shirts before pressing the other half is taken up by the press. A Stahls 15x15 heatpresss will come mounted on a 20" wide by 31" long half inch piece of plywood for stability. Since I break down this equipment quite often for events I use the folding tables...probably better for the press to have a more sturdy structure. I do heatpress vinyl and plastisol transfers in an upstairs bedroom....the press will heat that room up if doing a couple hour run. I really dont notice fumes so much but do have a cieling fun running all the time. To answer your initial question. Yes you can print in your apartment fairly easily and yes that press gets hot...probably going to be between 370-400 degrees when printing. Be carful and pay attention and you will do just fine. A simple way to understand the heat is to turn on high the large burner on your stove for a couple hours...is your kitchen hot?
 

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T-BOT said:
Can you please explain this ?
How does a heat press Teflon sheet hurt the enviroment when heat is applied to it ?

Never heard of such a thing, but i'm willing to learn. :)
Kent's got it mostly covered there. Birds are more suseptible to gases like that -- that's why they use canaries in mine shafts to test for gasses; the bird will die before the gasses build up enough to be deadly to humans, generally.

I don't know precisely how easily or often teflon breaks dow simply by heating it, but I've seen people mention it too often to write it off as a rarity. I don't think there's much danger to cats or dogs generally, but birds and teflon are not a good mix.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
binki said:
make sure you check the electrical specs for your heat press. It may require a 20amp dedicated circuit which you may not have available. Most household plugs will be 15amp (USA). This shouldn't be a problem but you should at least know where the breaker box is for the times you trip the breaker because of too much load.

Also, your apt. manager may not like you running commercial equipment in your place.
I'm curious...what sort of heat press would require 20amp? I was browsing here http://www.blankshirts.com/Resale/botmenu.asp?src=heatpress.asp and it seems every single one requires 15amp or less. Are we talking huge super duper mega presses that would require 20?
 
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