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Went to Blick and picked up some QTX emulsion to try out tonight. My question is:

After I have applied my emulsion to my screens, how long do they have to sit before I can expose them?

Note-They will be concealed in a cardboard box to keep out of the light and not in the open with a fan or anything.
 

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It really depends. How is the humidity where you live? If it is high, there will be a lot of moisture in the air and it will take longer to dry.

To be safe, I would say let the screens dry over night. Putting them in a dark closet (free of dust) with a dehumidifier will also speed up the process.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
hmmm...ok. I don't wanna take any chances with a dusty closet so I'm gonna stick to my big cardboard box scenario.
But I'm guessing that..leaving it overnight to dry means- maybe I should wait 12 hours or so? Usually I have been letting it dry for about 24 hours just to e on the safe side but I was hoping somebody might say "You only have to wait five hours!" or something haha so I can jump on it!
Oh well...Thanks!
 

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I only have to let my screens sit for an hour at the most. They are dry and ready to go in as little as 30 minutes. I have them sitting in one of the rooms in my basement, pitch black in it
 

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hmmm...ok. I don't wanna take any chances with a dusty closet so I'm gonna stick to my big cardboard box scenario.
But I'm guessing that..leaving it overnight to dry means- maybe I should wait 12 hours or so? Usually I have been letting it dry for about 24 hours just to e on the safe side but I was hoping somebody might say "You only have to wait five hours!" or something haha so I can jump on it!
Oh well...Thanks!

You can use a hair blow dryer to fasten the drying time. :)
 

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You can touch the outer edges of the emulsion to check how long it will take before it dries. You can overcoat a little for this purpose if needed. The time really varies on the temperature and humidity. I thought it is hot here but having read how hot New Jersey is, and how Eli's screens dry in less than an hour in Texas, the time really varies.

As JSF posted, you can try a hair dryer to hasten the drying. You can also use an electric fan.
 

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It gets really humid this time of year in St. Louis. Here is our process for drying...
We use a light safe garage :D and wait until dark. After the emulsion is done, we set each screen facing down in a closet. The screens are spaced with caps from small bottles. We wait a good 12 hours to be safe and it works every time. The quickest time I've achieved in drying is 2 hours.
 

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or you can build a drying cabinet with a small space heater. keeps them in the dark, dust free and REALLY speeds up the process.
 

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Went to Blick and picked up some QTX emulsion to try out tonight. My question is:

After I have applied my emulsion to my screens, how long do they have to sit before I can expose them?

Note-They will be concealed in a cardboard box to keep out of the light and not in the open with a fan or anything.
I put one of those 16" fans next to the coated screens and they are dried within 1.5-2 hours in my garage in Florida. 90 degrees, 70%+ humidity. Ready to expose...
 

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I put one of those 16" fans next to the coated screens and they are dried within 1.5-2 hours in my garage in Florida. 90 degrees, 70%+ humidity. Ready to expose...
yep... Thats what I use... 2 hours is usually good... sometimes I like to let them sit over night...
 

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Discussion Starter #12
So- If I'm correct, y'all are saying it's better to live in a warm and humid area and yet keep the air flowing?

My house is pretty cool...california bay area weather...doesn't go above or below 65-70 degrees usually haha.
But I have no garage and I'm afraid my warehouse is a bit dusty to be putting my screens in a room with a fan blowing around.
 

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No...
Ideally you want low humidity around 30% and temperature of 78-90 degrees for fastest emulsion evaporation.
I to am in California and have to deal with high humidity in the winter and low in the summer and adjust the way I handle my screens to the season.
 

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We stick them in the (broke) drying cabinet in the dark room, leave the door on tht cabinet open, and put a fan pionting to the cabinet. So it is more of a rack instead of a cabinet. It takes about an hour to dry. I would suggest that you not stand them up, but have the face upside down so the emulsion drys evenly. Don't put the emulsion on too thick. Quick pass on both sides should do it. The "Louisiana" dark room is Hot as Hell and Humid too. The heat will expose the screens too, so I wouldn't coat too many screens until you need them.
 

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So- If I'm correct, y'all are saying it's better to live in a warm and humid area and yet keep the air flowing?

My house is pretty cool...california bay area weather...doesn't go above or below 65-70 degrees usually haha.
But I have no garage and I'm afraid my warehouse is a bit dusty to be putting my screens in a room with a fan blowing around.
With "doesn't go above or below 65-70 degrees usually" I'd rather live in California and just cover my screens with a fabric to keep the dust away:D. A hair dryer should speeds things up. By just using a hair dryer 30 minutes should be more than enough for single coated screens (both sides).
 

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Discussion Starter #17
hmmm...yep. I think I'll try out the hair dryer method. Especially since I'm trying to get down my timing process.
 

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Like everything else screen printing related, most things are over thought. If I can dry a screen in humid Fla with a fan in 2 hours, someone in a cool dry location can do it faster with said fan.

Don't make this harder than it needs to be.
Being cautious would be a better term. Sometimes, being busy with something else, things are also under thought.
 

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Yes, you can use heat but most emulsions degrade at heat over 90f. Air flow is the key to quick drying. You will run into reclaiming issues if you use the screens before they are completely dry thru and thru. Shouldnt take more than a couple hours unless it's raining outside or extremely humid.

Best of luck.
 

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Raining! Did someone say Raining.... I live in South Louisiana.... Raining is our specialty! And don't mention humidity.... Our drying room is HOT and HUMID. But seriously, we just run the fan towards the screens as they dry in the rack. about 1 - 2 hours and they are ready to roll....
 
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