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Looking to buy.... Need advice

1224 Views 7 Replies 8 Participants Last post by  cyclesurgeon
I'm looking to try my hand at screen printing. I'm not sure if this is going to get past a hobby so I don't want to spend a ton of money up front but I don't want to buy crap either. Does anybody have recommendations on what type of press to buy?
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Brett, it would depend on how much money you felt comfortable spending. If just doing this as a hobby, printing mainly 1 or 2 color designs... any of the small presses would probably do the job. Usually the more money a press costs, the more exact work it will do; ie holding registration, micro adjustments, ect. My suggestion may would be to spend your first money by going and taking a screen printing class. A couple days $ 500-$ 1000 would be well spent getting your arms aroung the whole process, all the equipment it takes to make the positive, expose the screen, print the shirts, cure the ink, clean the screens afterwards. Good luck which ever way you go. If still wanting to buy a press, compare the heft of the heads (the clamps that hold the screens) beefier is better, check for micro adjustments and adjustments for off contact, check the beefiness of the clamps on the pallets, check for sloppiness in the pallet arms... if the screen physically stays in place when in the down position and the pallet doesn't move you should be able to make quality prints. As far as names.... M & R should be good, Work Horse 8/8 is our old stand by press, Vastex 8/8 looks decent.
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They are plenty of hobby kits out there to buy. people also have great tutorial dvds out there will the whole process laid out there for you. Alot of ppl search through youtube and some may have it broken down into parts that show the entire process.
Ryonets silver press is a good start. You can buy a kit. I recommend bypassing the heat gun and get a flash. If you buy a kit from ryonet the include DVD's with them. You can also find them used there was a kit on eBay last month never used the emulsion would have been bad for under $300 with a heat gun though. At least check out the process and then look for something. There are a lot of steps so make sure you want to do this. Ryonet has tons of their videos of YouTube
Second what sben763 said - check out Ryonet's starter kits but stay away from the heat gun. With the flash if it doesn't work out you'll have an easier time reselling it compared to what you could do with a heat gun.
I was essentially in your shoes a while back and I followed the advice everyone here so far has offered you. I first watched countless hours of video on YouTube from ryonet, Catspit productions, and roger Jennings. Then I took a class from ryonet and montage. After that I knew I was hooked and spent my money on a Riley Hopkins 6/4. Exposure unit, washout booth, epson 1400 Blackmaxx, flash dryer and conveyor dryer plus soooooo much ink. I'm having fun. Everyone has given you sound advice.
If it helps any- I just started, and so far I'm right around $1500 in supplies. I am trying to get by as cheaply as I can while I figure out if it is just a hobby, or something to make some money at.
If you really want to approach carefully you can make a very nice press with excellent registration for less than $50 (not counting your valuable time). If you want you can send me a message and I'll provide free plans and link to video. I'm a hobby kind of guy and love building my own stuff.

Oh and definitely watch, read, and ask a bunch before you drop a ton of money. Then relax and take your time and watch read and ask again :)
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