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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I took me awhile to figure it out on my own, but I finally managed to use Ghostscript to print out a black and white halftone picture of my daughter, expose it on a 305 mesh screen and press a few pelluns.

I still have to play with the exposure time though. A little of the top of the pic over exposed, but 95% of the image came out fine.

I've only been working with screening for about a month now and have only made some 1 color and 2 color company shirts. I didn't think I would be able to make halftone images without expensive software like FastRIP. As soon as I found out about Ghostscript being a free download I've been obsessed about getting it to work right. I finally got the halftone to print to the transparency with decent density and angle last night, but I had to wait for the emulsion to dry before I could test it out.

Next step should be easy now that I have the angles and halftone printing down. CMYK process here I come!

Regisrtation should be fun. I only have a bottom of the line 4 color tabletop press from Silkscreening supplies.com. No Micro Registration. :( What do they say about hindsight being 20/20? ;)
 

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Sounds like you're doing great. I'm looking to buy a press and the whole setup and will be learning to screen from scratch. If you could go back and do it all over again, would you still buy the low end press without micro reg or would you spend twice as much to get a better press with micro? I've come to the conclusion that since I don't know for sure wether or not I'll be good at or even like screening tshirts, I'm reluctant to spend more than about 2 grand for a setup and that would be probably the same type of press that you have, tabletop, no micro reg. Knowing what you now know, would you go with the cheap setup again, just in case you didn't like it or would you just spend 4 grand to begin with since the learning curve is quick enough to warrant getting the easier to use micro reg press? Do you think your cheap press does quality work when perfect reg is not an issue?
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Knowing what I know now I would have gone with a combination of the 2. I would go for the cheapest press with micro registration I could find.

I was along the same mind set as you but I went even cheaper then that. This is actually my second press. My first press wasn't even a press at all. It was that Speedball kit you can get from just about any craft store like Michale's for about $80.

http://www.michaels.com/art/online/displayProductPage?productNum=fa0413

I liked messing around with it so I got a real press, or what I thought was a real press at the time. And compaired to what I was using it was.

I made a few multi-color shirts with it and even sold a few to friends. Then a friend who owns a law care business asked me to make some shirts for him. He wanted a shirt with a picture of a riding mower in front of a white picket fence on a red shirt. No problem. Simple white with a black trap.

It took me over an hour to get the fence black trap outline to line up with the white fence background. I used a lot of detail in the fence and a very fine trap.

Without micro registration you have to clean the screen so you can see threw it, loosen the clamps holding the screen and move the screen around by hand. Then tighten the clamps and hope it worked. 9 times out of 10 you moved it too far or it moved from side to side when you wanted to move it up and down. Even just tightening the clamps moved it a little. It got very frustrating. Now I have a super thick trap line and I lost a lot of detail on the image just so I would have more room to play with when registering.

So the short answer is Yes, I would have gone with mocro registration but I probably would have still gotten the cheapest one I could find that offered it. And yes, the press I purchased works great for just simple colors where no registrationd is required.

This is the press I'm using now:

http://www.silkscreeningsupplies.com/site/799934/product/lg4x1

I'm still not ready to go for the big guns yet, but I want to be able to do more. Plus I want to get a conveyor dryer. So now I'm looking to step up to this:

http://www.screenprintsupply.com/catalog/brown/ponyXprs.php

Which is both a press with micro reg and conveyor dryer in one. I'm looking at the 4 color (expandable to 6) 1 station which is only $3695 which is what you would pay for a dryer alone. I just didn't get any responses when I asked if it was any good. So I guess I'll find out soon enough.
 

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GET THE MICRO REGISTRATION. I printed on an OLD hopkins bought second hand for years and asome multi jobs would take half a day to get right . I got an Antec 5 years ago with a fair micro reg. system and i thought after the first couple of jobs that I was in ascreenprinting heaven. Also learning form expierence, Get a metal halide exposure system. it's a must for half tone and simulated process printing. It5 even helps on simple 1 and 2 color jobs as registration and edge definition is much better ove multi source fluorescent.
 

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So micro reg seems the way to go if you plan on being capable of multi color jobs without massive headaches. I'm so close to ordering a bare bones setup and was considering going with a 6c2s press without micro reg and now I'm thinking it might be a better value to spend more and get micro the first time. My next question is: What's the smallest number of stations one should get and for a single person startup, would one station suffice or is it worth the extra money to get 2 or even 4 stations to start out? And lastly, is it really worth spending extra in the beginning for six colors or is four good enough?
Also, are the exposure units that come with the press kits good enough for pro quality? I'm getting this equipment because I'm thinking I might really enjoy creating wearable art not to mention make some money and think there's room for another screen printer in my area and the only thing that's holding me back is not knowing the appropriate setup to buy for someone in my situation.
Oh yea, how much are those exposure units?
Thanks by the way for all the info, people!
 

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Get the 4 or 6 Station press and forget the so called "kits". I would look for used. E-bay has a lot of eqpt. If u go used have someone who is knowledgeable to look at the eqpt before you buy, make sure it has a good micro.reg. system.. If you say you have done half tones and plan to do alot of that kind of work get a metal halide exposure system, you will throw rocks at a multi tube fluorescent "light box". I found a complete system out of a big tee shirt plant (Huge 11 automatics running at one time) in nearby Fayetteville, NC for $500.00. I brought it to my shop,cleaned it up oiled the shutters and put a new bulb in it and have been cranking out screens happily ever since. I also saw a 10 KW Theimer on e-bay that never got a bid,opening bid was $0.99. If they repost it somebody better wake up. I have a 6 KW unit and it exposes screens in less than a minute.
 

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It's too voluminous, I can better answer specific questions.

When you reach a point that you can afford to be affiliated with a screenprinting assocaition, I recommend SGIA (Specialty Graphics and Imaging ASSOCIATION) in Fairfax, Va. It costs $300.00 per year and is the best $300.00 I have ever spent on screenprinting. They will answer your questions by e-mail or phone call ASAP. PLUS all kinds of resources on line.
 

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Also make sure that when buying a used screen-press, that you omake sure that the pallets are not warped! That can really drive you crazy, on multi-color jobs setting up off contact.

Also the clamps to tighten the shirt holding clamps when you got them lined up are in good working condition.

My two mistakes buying my press. Just so excited to get the mo fo. Then noticed all the little inconsistancies.
 

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Please do not be cheap when looking to buy screen printing equipment if you plan on being serious and/or making money off of it! You must have good equipment, you can always buy used. The time involved in improper techniques and improper equipment is not worth the few dollars saved. In a few jobs you can make the money to buy any 4 or 6 color decent manual press.
Think of how much money the equipment can make you in a year's time.
Spend now or pay later.
 

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These are 4 color 1 station all with micro

Riley hopkins 4-1 1595
Caps tabletop 4-1 1350
Vastex 1000 4-1 1,100
Odyssey 4-1 1,650

Riley
Hopkins is the best deal, the only
One that's
Stand alone and easily
Upgradeable to 4 station

You can get a flash and exposure and basic supplies for 500-600 extra..

If u opt
The vastex which is 1100 you can defenitely get a whole
Lot for u set 2k although I heard the vastex is not the best quality for that specific model
 
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