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I have all the silk screening equipment I need except for a conveyor dryer. I haven't really started printing, but I plan on taking on custom orders and doing a decent amount of business once I get rolling. I have $5000 to invest in my business and they only things I can think about buying are maybe some blank shirts and some inks and a conveyor dryer.

Should I buy a conveyor dryer right now, is it that handy? I am thinking I might be able to find a used one for $1500, how much would you expect to pay for one?

How would you invest a couple thousand in your custom printing business if you already had the equipment? Thanks everyone.
 

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I'll leave the equipment purchasing advice to those with more experience (and sense :) - if it was me I'd just rush out and buy a lot of equipment, not necessarily a good idea).

Don't neglect advertising though. There's no point buying all the equipment, only to find that you're ready to roll and no-one knows you exist.
 

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Hello,
my advice to you with your $500,000 is becareful about purchasing just any equipment.If i were you, i would start small and grow big.Just resist the urge to start big.Again this is a mind of someone who has never held $500,000
before.Good luck and hope you make it big
 

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You may not want to buy blanks just yet either. That money could be spent other places, and when a customer places an order, you can buy the blanks for their order at that time.
 

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Ha Ha, I wish I had $500,000...I wouldn't be too concerned about a conveyor dryer cost with that much cash. I am thinking the conveyor dryer is necessary, would you guys agree? If my math is right, it would take my production from about 10-20 shirts an hour to about 40-60 an hour...depending on how many colors and all. If I buy a conveyor dryer, I would still have about 2-3 thousand left for various advertising expenses and for some basic color inks. What do you guys think?
 

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I agree. Two to three thousand dollars still goes a long way in terms of blanks, ink, a small amount of careful advertising, etc. and as you say a dryer increases throughput.

I believe you're planning on doing custom printing to make your bread and butter money at first until the clothing label takes off, so if you're doing production jobs for other people all the more reason you need a dryer.

They also cure the garment more evenly, which means you're less likely to have problems with improperly cured prints not wearing correctly.

The biggest thing I'd research first is whether or not $2000 gets you a dryer that's actually worth owning. I don't think it would here, but that kind of equipment seems to be cheaper in the US. Research your brand though.

I'm the kind of person who likes to invest in assets though, whereas some people would advise you to scrape by on the bare minimum needed to make money. I think professional businesses need professional equipment, but you'd be better off seeking better advice before going ahead.

(unless you feel you've already thought the decision through to your satisfaction and just need someone to say go for it... in which case... go for it!)
 

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Ayres Clothing said:
I have all the silk screening equipment I need except for a conveyor dryer. I haven't really started printing, but I plan on taking on custom orders and doing a decent amount of business once I get rolling. I have $5000 to invest in my business and they only things I can think about buying are maybe some blank shirts and some inks and a conveyor dryer.

Should I buy a conveyor dryer right now, is it that handy? I am thinking I might be able to find a used one for $1500, how much would you expect to pay for one?

How would you invest a couple thousand in your custom printing business if you already had the equipment? Thanks everyone.
I would suggest hanging on to it... If you are taking orders and not just printing for your self you will need money to keep it operating..... at any given moment I may have 4 or 500 tied up in supply orders...as well as a thousand or two tied up in blank orders and or finished Jobs waiting to be picked up.... Even by collecting a deposit on orders you will still end up with money out of your pocket in the orders..... a nice cash reserve or war chest will prevent you from waiting that extra day or two before ordering because your waiting for their credit card money to hit your account or their check to clear... Or as happened to me recently where ups totally lost an order of blanks and I had to reorder them out of my pocket to meet the deadline...couldnt be waiting for the ever so slow wheels to turn in getting ups to pay for it.... Anyway just One mans opinion....... And Good Luck with your new venture.... Chuck
 

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When I started, I was in my garage with a 4-color manual on a folding table. To cure my shirts I used a heat press. It was slow but all I had was time and little money. When business picked up I first bought a flash dryer to partially cure between colors. From there I bought a very small used conveyor dryer at an auction. It looked like a pizza oven. Very small, but still faster than my heat press. When things got even busier, I bought a full size extra wide conveyor and put 6-color presses on either side.

However, as I added on my overhead increased also. A few years ago I sold all my printing equipment and scaled down to me and a couple of artists and a sales person. I now contract all my printing out. I make less per shirt, but in thr long run I actually make more because I have virtually no overhead.

I kept my transfer equipment as I use it for small orders and proofing.

This has allowed me to concentrate on sales and less on production.

Just my two-cents.
 

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I've been screenprinting for a little over a year now. I still cure my prints with my flash dryer but my next purchase will be a conveyor dryer. I can screen and cure about 60 shirts per hour but with a conveyor I could really speed it up.

John
 

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I think it just depends on your volume. If you're doing the kind of printing that can justify a conveyor dryer go for it, but otherwise I'd spend it on advertising and supplies as others above have suggested.
 

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When using a flash dryer, do you use it right on the wooden platen? My sales rep guy told me that it warps the wood. I was gonna wait a few months before buy a dryer, is this wise????
 
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