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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I've been doing a whole lot of screen printing live at venues. I usually just have a one-color press, a cabinet of screens, squeegees for each screen/color, a flash dryer and a bin with all my inks, goop scoops, etc.

It never ceases to amaze me how messy things can get, by the end of the night. I loathe having to clean everything up again.

Are there any tips/tricks people would like to pass on, on how to keep things neat and tidy? A lot of the messiness happens after the end of the night, where I have a dozen screens with plastisol ink and a dozen squeegees also covered with stuff.

* I was thinking of simply getting cardboard to cover up the top of the screens

* wrapping the squeegees in towels/paper/more cardboard for transport back to my studio.

* bought some polyurethane to coat my bare-wood squeegees, for easier wipe-down and cleanup.


Any tips on how to easily clean up plastisol from a used screen is also much appreciated. I usually just wipe the screen down as best I can and then use a plastisol cleaning solution - spray on the screen *after* wiping it down as best as possible and then wiping that all up and then down to the spray booth. I do not have a dip tank - or anything fancy like that - very small, very manual operation, but 5 minutes saved per washing a screen would be a life saver.
 

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I've helped in my supplier's booth at ISS and Printwear shows, so I know what you mean about keeping clean. I compare it to camping, you're in an unfamiliar place, with just enough stuff to get you by, so you have to learn to deal with what you've got.

It sounds like you already have a good idea on what to do. There really is no easy way to clean everything until you're back at your shop. The cardboard on the screens is a good idea. At shows, I've wrapped squeegees up in the shrink wrap we use to wrap boxes on to a pallet. It's probably a mess when it's time to clean, but it beats getting a big plop of ink on you at a place you can't clean up at.

For the screens, save up and get aluminum, easy clean up is one added benefit. Also, keep as little ink in the well as possible, you'd be surprised how far just a little ink can go. I some times print small runs with just what's already on the squeegee. Get some thick cardstock to scrape out what little remains in the screens and on the squeegees, once they're scraped out pretty good and the screen frames are clean, the likelyhood of a bigger mess is almost eliminated. Another shrink wrap trick we used on the screens was once they were scraped out was shrink wrap them together, face to back, face to back and so on. Again as long as the screen frames are clean, then ink messes are eliminated. Last thing, use an old windex bottle and keep ink degrader in it, I highly recomend easiway's plastisov 842. It has a citrus smell, so the fumes won't scare away the people you're printing in front of!

I've wanted to try and do a live print at festivals and such, but never have. I'd like to hear more about what you do and how does it go other than the mess!
 

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We do lots of on-site printing....up to 4 colors in a single design.....It's tough to keep it all clean.
At the end of the night we tape the squeegie to the screen...then slide the whole mess in a black trash bag and seal it shut.We prefer to tackle clean up back at out shop and the trash bags contain the mess easily....also at the end of a 14-16 hour day last thing you want to be doing is cleaning stuff.
We also use tons of rubber gloves during the day.My wife usually prints while I run the tables....she will use close to half a box of gloves in a day. We keep plenty of blue towels stationed around the area and cans of screen opener handy.
It's a messy job ofr sure...but when you count out 5,000-8,000 in cash at the end of the night....the mess ain't nothin.
 

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For squeegees, you can tape them down to the blade to about 1/2 inches from the blade corners.

For screens, you can try put an additional "layer" on the squeegee side. You can use coated magazine pages, wax papers, or what not and tape them over your regular screen tapes. Just leave the squeegee area clear.

After printing and scraping off excess inks, you can just remove the tapes or paper for proper disposal.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thanks for everyone's comments - you've been very helpful! I'm glad I was on the right track with things.

The next event I'm doing will be for a very DIY underground event - so I'd like to do a great job there, but not take all my time cleaning up, after wards. Hella!
 

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I transport things back and forth to a buddies scrren printing shop from my own shop all the time. Sometimes I need to give him a hand or vice versa. I agree with the black trash bag to hold an inked up screen. It work sout fine. I have begun to try and use less plastic bags. I noticed i use an awful lot of them and just throw them away.

I started taping 4-6 screen together and then taping card board to the outside. I dont know if im helping Mother Earth or not, but im trying.



I dont mean to hi-jack, but what kind of live/on-site screen printing venues are you guys doing? I saw the one post of a screen printing tradeshow, but im curious as to what kind of events and what not you guys work.

I do events that bring pre-printed stuff to and I enjoy the action that comes with it. Im curious as to what other types of things there are to get involved with.

thanks
 

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how many colors do you print mobile? I presume you print pre-burned screens. A little OT but can someone post or PM me a typical print that you do on events?
This is the T-shirt print we did on-site in 4 colors...We only do shirts for the event on site...one design...4 colors...all spot no process....spot allows the registration to be slightly off and the shirt still looks great...besides the selling point is the customer watches it be created.

Eagle Field Drags - Store
 

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So customers watching is a good selling point? My thoughts was that by watching only the print strokes customers may get the impression that printing is easy and think the price they will be paying is excessive.

BTW, what software did you use in the separation?

I'll be doing a search right after this post but if anyone knows any link/threads on on-site printing(various designs) can you please PM me or post the link?
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
So customers watching is a good selling point? My thoughts was that by watching only the print strokes customers may get the impression that printing is easy and think the price they will be paying is excessive.

You gotta do a little P.T. Barnum on them - make it a show!
 

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Reminds me of a tom cruise movie where, as bartender, he tosses the bottles around while mixing drinks. I can;t seem to find anything under "live printing" or "on-site" printing. Just want to have a little more peek on how things are done. Maybe someone can post or PM me what kind of showmanship is entailed. I hope it does not involve tossing the squeegee around:D
 
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