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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
As a small printer doing this on the side from my 60 hour a week full time job and with summer creeping in I am finding the humidifier not keeping up. Im using the suggested Essex one from Home Depot.

As I don't have the luxury of having the printer in a controled environment so I am considering building a plexiglass case with appropriate cut outs for the platen tray and buttons and connecting a flexible vent hose from the humidifier to the case. I can move the humidifiers sensor inside the case with some additional wiring easy enough.

I am wondering if anyone has done something similar or has some ideas towards this end.
 

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I've seen people build a type of green house around their printers. They would have the printers in large rooms or warehouses so doing this really helped them. You would just need to keep an eye on your humidity level. Try to keep it around 50% and not to much higher or lower. Also always make sure to use distilled water in your humidifier and not tap water.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks Billy.

Using distilled water in the humidifier is not an option. Im going through 13 gallons a day right now just to keep it at 45%. We are on well water up in the mountains so theres no chlorine or additives to the water. I clean the filter regularly because it does get a bit scaley. I am actually going to replace it in a few weeks.

And yes as the printer is next to my desk in the family/game room (large and open) its hard to keep a steady humidity level. High during the day and drops at night. I am hoping doing the "hood" will help with that. The humidifier has a sensor as well as I have a separate humidity gauge so once i put the hood on I should be able keep it pretty steady.
 

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Thanks Billy.

Using distilled water in the humidifier is not an option. Im going through 13 gallons a day right now just to keep it at 45%. We are on well water up in the mountains so theres no chlorine or additives to the water. I clean the filter regularly because it does get a bit scaley. I am actually going to replace it in a few weeks.

And yes as the printer is next to my desk in the family/game room (large and open) its hard to keep a steady humidity level. High during the day and drops at night. I am hoping doing the "hood" will help with that. The humidifier has a sensor as well as I have a separate humidity gauge so once i put the hood on I should be able keep it pretty steady.
I have a similar situation in my house. My business is home based and I have a loft on the 3rd floor of my house that I use as my office/studio. I only have 3 walls in that room and it opens out to the rest of the house so running a humidifier can be a pain for me. I only run it when I'm printing and when I am not printing I don't run the humidifier but keep my printer flushed of any ink and let it sit with cleaning cartridges. I also don't use my printer full time, since I do many other things for work, so I have to keep it clean to make sure I don't get any clogs.
 

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As a small printer doing this on the side from my 60 hour a week full time job and with summer creeping in I am finding the humidifier not keeping up. Im using the suggested Essex one from Home Depot.

As I don't have the luxury of having the printer in a controled environment so I am considering building a plexiglass case with appropriate cut outs for the platen tray and buttons and connecting a flexible vent hose from the humidifier to the case. I can move the humidifiers sensor inside the case with some additional wiring easy enough.

I am wondering if anyone has done something similar or has some ideas towards this end.


Here is what one of our Veloci-Jet customers used. They bought a greenhouse kit from Harbor Freight (relatively inexpensive - about $300 to $600) and put the printer in there with a humidifier.

_
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
No laughing at my ******* construction.

I was originally going to use all 1/4" plexiglass, but at $160 for a 4x8 sheet I changed my mind. Used 3/8" particle board for the sides and 1/8" plexi top.
I removed the right side cover for the printer to make it easier access with the box in place. There are still some modifications to do but for now it keeps the humidity contained.

I can load shirts easy enough just going to take some getting use to.

The Essex humidifier had the sensor about 6" out the back which I always though was retarded. cut and spliced the sensor and added about 3' to it so it could be inside the box. it is currently on the front of the ink tray. I also have a second humidity and temperature sensor in the box so I can use both to make sure one isn't way off.

I may eventually paint the box and cut some access doors in it or attach pulley's and rope to the ceiling to lift for better access but for now this works for me, and makes the wife happier that she can open a couple windows on the other side of the house with fear of causing major humidity fluctuation in the print area.

Can't wait to build the office.

So far its working good. The humidifier runs way less than it did trying to keep the whole room at 50%.
 

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Move your printer away from that window!!!!! or buy a drape.
and that PC beside it is doing you no favours.

Both of those produce DRY heat and more than you think !
Cooler room will humidify easier.
NO windows, PC In another room or far away from printer.
Put a couple plants in there. and water the soil, Little things you do will make that 5% difference that your printer will love and show you on day 1.

Also your set would have air Blowing/wind directly around your printer.
Moist wind is still not good.
Cool humid air in the room with no heat source aka PC , no sunlight etc..
That humidifier Beside your printer should be fine.
We actually have one beside ours for the drier winter months when we drop below 35% we have trouble, but once above 38% no more trouble , even if it sits untouched for few days. Once in a while if sitting a while, we'll drop a little water in the capping station, sits 4-5 days. keeps heads moist. Experiment with some tricks.
That window is killer though..lol. wow.
 

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Hi this is my first post. We have a 2000 square foot warehouse where our dtg printer is located. We went on amazon and paid $350 for an 8x10 green house I don't know the brand but it zips down either side for the opening. We have our humidifier and our heat press inside "the bubble" and we have had great success for over a year and 3000+ shirts. We use regular water from the tap and keep the humidity above 50%. I am out of town but will post photos when I can.
 

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I also work from a home studio, we have a 4 bed house and only use 2 of the rooms, my wife says we live in a sweat shop ...

The problem I have is that all the printers, I have a large format printer, a laser printer (always on), 2 inkjets (not always on) and my T-jet in the same room, along with my heat press ...

Im in the process of finishing a project where by i have bought an arc shaped shower cubical and im using it in the corner of the room to box off the heat press completely from the rest of the room, I have also bought a kitchen hood extractor. the plan is below the table the heat press in on is to knock a vent to allow cool fresh air in and have the hood above the press extract the gasses etc out ... although it also has a carbon filter for recirculate but im not sure if thats a good idea as in will the carbon scrub out any fumes... or am i better going for plan A and running a pipe up into the loft and out the edge of the roof ? ... I have had issues with my chest due to pressing in a room, i currently have installed a bathroom extractor above the press in the ceiling and if im doing mugs I tend to crack a window and wear a mask.

I use a wagner with a popup faketan tent in one of the bathrooms below an extractor.

Unfortunately the print room has a window but my plan with that is to get some reflective window tint as used on cars. Also the lighting in there is halogen type spots, so i will replace these for LED's.

The humidifier I use is a 5 litre one, and on full power on a warm day empties in about 5/6 hrs, the problem is keeping the temp down in the room, im thinking of placing a fan behind the humidifier as i use this trick in the bedroom, which does cool the air... I did consider looking at an aircon unit, but that takes the humidity out of the room ?

The one potential problem with an indoor greenhouse wouldnt it be quite warm within it ?

As with most small business's I would love to move into purpose built premises, but the cost would remove too much of the much needed profit.

Where I live in the northwest of England over the past year, due to the recession, now have around 10 new competitors, people who i assume have lost their jobs and used their payout money to set up as "printers". luckily so far most of them have bought vinyl cutters and use heat transfer images with the odd ones also buying embroidery machines, and not DTG as of yet. The problem is all or most of them have always (again I assume) worked for other people, and dont understand the concept of profit and ROI, opting to compete on price over quality, which will lead not only to putting themselves out of business but also people like myself. One competitor who may as well just given things away, is having an issue due to not insuring their business, penny pinching on one side whilst undercutting on the other ... they have had a fire and lost one of their embroidery machines which i think is leased so needs paying for around £20k ...

Any way off topic, but back on topic I may look at moving the whole operating into our converted garage, that doesnt have windows, but is currently a 6 seater cinema / my design and chill out room ... not sure if i can lose that lol
 

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As with most small business's I would love to move into purpose built premises, but the cost would remove too much of the much needed profit.

Where I live in the northwest of England over the past year, due to the recession, now have around 10 new competitors, people who i assume have lost their jobs and used their payout money to set up as "printers". luckily so far most of them have bought vinyl cutters and use heat transfer images with the odd ones also buying embroidery machines, and not DTG as of yet. The problem is all or most of them have always (again I assume) worked for other people, and dont understand the concept of profit and ROI, opting to compete on price over quality, which will lead not only to putting themselves out of business but also people like myself. One competitor who may as well just given things away, is having an issue due to not insuring their business, penny pinching on one side whilst undercutting on the other ... they have had a fire and lost one of their embroidery machines which i think is leased so needs paying for around £20k ...
That makes me chuckle! You rip on the ones that "don't understand the concept of profit and ROI, opting to compete on price over quality," but don't consider the costs involved in becoming a "real" business with a dedicated storefront or location. We have 3000 square feet of retail store housing a hundred thousand dollars worth of equipment and forty thousand dollars worth of display merchandise and we consider ourselves a "mom and pop shop" compared to the big boys, so to me your the same as the ones your ripping on. It's all relative!
 

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I have to agree with logos95
In support of your Wanting to do it right, and stay in business..
You have to be able to serve better than the guy/gal working for free out of there basement.
They will not last, even if they are successfully busy.. they will grow tired of working hard for peanuts and eventually catch on.. or quit.
I can Guarantee if you moved into a storefront, your sales would increase.
When you shop for your daily goods, do you prefer to drive to someone's house or to a store (or place of business).
If you open a store, you can legitimately charge more, and they WILL pay because YOU will be the easier place to shop.. rather than calling or emailing.. hey can I order site unseen and meet you after dinner?
They and you.. Just want to walk right into a store, browse-shop- no pressure.. etc.. They won't care you're $2.10 more on a shirt.
You invested in some good equipment, why under value your actual business. It is worth a lot more, than the nickels in rent you'll pay, You'll make your rent in day 1or2 of the 30 days per month you operate if you run it even half way decent. And have the ability to charge and earn more and actually Grow it.
Confidence my friend.. You can do it. All you have to loose is a little rent(and some sanity)lol.

ps.
We only have 2,000 sq feet of storefront, yet 180,000.00 in retail merchandise(maybe I do shop too much) and we now grew to provide wideformat-embroidery-laser-DTG-sporting goods-shoe section- From a small skate sharpening booth of 400 sq ft, just me alone.. 2.5 years ago.
Now just over 2,000 sq feet (Own the building) staff of 3- I've yet to place an advertisement.. All word of mouth, and we are the most expensive place in town(most times)
All on service and path of least resistance for the customer.. Crazy Nuts busy still growing, may even buy a second building next town over.. We get Avg $16 per DTG t shirt we sell in runs of 10-20.
ps.
My background was a Farmer for 15 years.. sold to start into this industry because it looked like fun from the outside.. I made the right decision.. I say go for it, plus you have this forum with so much help, I would never have gotten into this DTG Biz without T Shirt forums here to help.
 

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That makes me chuckle! You rip on the ones that "don't understand the concept of profit and ROI, opting to compete on price over quality," but don't consider the costs involved in becoming a "real" business with a dedicated storefront or location. We have 3000 square feet of retail store housing a hundred thousand dollars worth of equipment and forty thousand dollars worth of display merchandise and we consider ourselves a "mom and pop shop" compared to the big boys, so to me your the same as the ones your ripping on. It's all relative!
The town I live in there wouldntnt be much walk in business, all my work comes from the net my biggest market is the usa, canada, australia and some parts of europe ... im doing really well at the moment, but why pay for premises when I own a £380k 4 bed detached house with a lot more rooms i dont use ? not paying for the extra building and taxes associated with such, Im getting a quicker ROI ...

just to add locally they complain paying more than £10 a shirt as others are doing them for £5 ... internationally I charge £15 to £25 a shirt + p&p ... hence me not wanting a store front :)

my business garment work comes from me going out getting it, prior to this I was a new business development account manager for a large PLC dealing with SME up to Blue chip companies ... again ive not needed a store front ... maybe if i was in another location I would agree with you more ...
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
I have to agree with Saints. I live in a small town and walk in traffic would be non existent. I do plan on eventually building a shop (to make my wife happy when i get all my crap out of her house) but not until later and not until I have the time and money to warrant it. 90% of my business is dealing with graphic designers. I don't deal alot with end consumers. Any business dealings I have I go to the customers location, graphic designers included.

I have no plans on opening a retail location as I would be commuting 2 hours a day just to get to a populated area.

I don't consider a retail front a requirement for being a "real business". It's just a different business model. We are all entrepreneurs, big, small, some working from homes, some have the ability to jump in and start big others want to start small or can only start small. I know I for one currently have a 60 hour a week full time job, run a ranch, help run a graphic design and hosting company and do this. ALL have their own difficulties and learning curves to deal with. Lets be helpful and not critical of how each of us choose to start and run the business.

If you have advice or suggestions, great hand it out as I know I for one will accept it and drink it in. I have been running businesses for over 20 years and I know I for one learn something new every day (cliche, yes) and learn from every person I talk to.
 

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. 90% of my business is dealing with graphic designers.
.
We do more printing work for our own designs and for other graphic designers than retail printing for other people ... less hassle and more profit. We still do bespoke designs on request and the odd few party shirts etc.

We offer embroidery however I have a partnership with another business... (she also works from home 8 machines in her basement).

We dont turn retail work down, that said im not fighting over pennies locally when I have other work in :)

if I still lived on the coast in Bournemouth then I would pf course have a shop ... :)
 

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Using distilled water in the humidifier is not an option. Im going through 13 gallons a day right now just to keep it at 45%. We are on well water up in the mountains so theres no chlorine or additives to the water. I clean the filter regularly because it does get a bit scaley. I am actually going to replace it in a few weeks.
Hey Metalbone,
This is my first time replying on here but, I do know from experience of talking with/researching humidifier vendors that if you get an RO (reverse osmosis) filter system it makes mineral content in the water negligible. There are also water distillers but, if you are thinking of buying equipment like that you might as well buy an RO system.
 

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No laughing at my ******* construction.

I was originally going to use all 1/4" plexiglass, but at $160 for a 4x8 sheet I changed my mind. Used 3/8" particle board for the sides and 1/8" plexi top.
I removed the right side cover for the printer to make it easier access with the box in place. There are still some modifications to do but for now it keeps the humidity contained.

I can load shirts easy enough just going to take some getting use to.

The Essex humidifier had the sensor about 6" out the back which I always though was retarded. cut and spliced the sensor and added about 3' to it so it could be inside the box. it is currently on the front of the ink tray. I also have a second humidity and temperature sensor in the box so I can use both to make sure one isn't way off.

I may eventually paint the box and cut some access doors in it or attach pulley's and rope to the ceiling to lift for better access but for now this works for me, and makes the wife happier that she can open a couple windows on the other side of the house with fear of causing major humidity fluctuation in the print area.

Can't wait to build the office.

So far its working good. The humidifier runs way less than it did trying to keep the whole room at 50%.


MetalBone,
How has this hood been working for you the past couple months? Has the particle board been holding up ok with the high humidity? Have you had to put any lacquer on it to keep it from warping? I am getting a T-jet myself and think I'm going to build something similar. I don't have enough room for a green house either, and trying to conserve space so this seems like the best option. And thank you for sharing your pictures and experience. It's been extremely helpful! ;)
 
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