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Okay! Finally got to making my first print tonight.:D I say finally because this has been one of those life long goals slash ambitions that I finally got around to, even though its only really been about two weeks since I started ordering supplies.
So I managed to figure out outputting halftones via photoshop and am printing positives with an epson 1400. Burning screens with a homemade (see interesting) setup with a 400w metal halide, screens are turning out really good. Great halftones yada yada. My photography darkroom experience comes into play with that success I imagine.
Out of excitement I decided to go ahead and try a single print on a pos old t shirt just because thats how i am, been messin with this stuff for the past few days and want to see something cool come out of it ya know, so I made my first print. It came out suprisingly decent (to me for the first one ever) but not near perfection as can be expected and leaves me with a few questions....
One, I printed black onto a royal blue tee, using plastisol (ryonet jet black, so probably IC700 I think?) and my ink deposit is not as thick as I had imagined. I did a flood stroke away from me then a "normal" one towards me. I think it could be due to one of the following maybe someone can help:
Either mesh size, currently using a 160, :confused:
Squeegee durometer (I got the 90 duro one because I like blue better than red, and thought it might work better for detailed work)(noob), :confused:
or technique. :confused:
I know that more practice is going to make the biggest difference but before i do that I'd like to know if Im just completely screwing up before I press on...:confused:

Also, I got a quart of screen wash and was amazed at how much of a PITA cleanup was, needless to say I'll never get excited enough to just do one print ever again. There has to be some secret to more successful easier cleanup, how are you at home cats doing it? At this rate I can clean two screens with a qt.....:confused:
 

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If you print in one direction Don't change directions. It can cause your print to turn out blurry looking.
I print by flooding towards me and pushing away. Then flood towards and push away again. Basically, flood print, flood print. Black is usually pretty thin and you don't need alot of pressure. I know alot of people who bend their squeegees, You don't need to print that hard.

For clean up: with screen in the press. I use Lawsons 305 Press wash
Place a pelon or rag on your platten,under the screen.
Use a card or a putty knife (dull metal or plastic) to remove most of the ink from the screen. You can re-use it.
Pull your tape. I see alot of people cleaning with the tape on. Here's the problem....Why clean something your going to throw away?
Wipe as much as you can get out with 2 paper towels.
Spray the screen 5-6 generous misting squirts and use a paper towel to smear the 305 into all the ink that is left on the screen. Basically what you are doing is letting the chemical "thin" out the the rest of the ink.
Then use a clean paper towel to wipe up the mess you just made, most of it should come up only leaving behind a little smear.
Then spray 3-4 more squirts and use another paper towel to clean it up.
Now use the pelon or rag (that is now soaked in cleaner) you had on the platten to remove any adhesive from your platten.(if you use spray adhesive)

I can usually clean a screen in about 3 minutes with about 5-6 paper towels and very little chemical. I get about 15 screens out of a quart with this method. But I buy it by the gallon to keep it on hand.
 

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Word. That sounds like a MUCH better method of cleaning. I see you are in warrenton, i'm in columbia. Small internets....
 

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Regarding the ink laydown, the 90 durometer squeegie might have had a bearing, but your mesh count is fine for printing black over anything. I use 156 or 195 mesh for almost every single color job, and 156 for white ink on darks with a print/flash/print.
How much off-contact did you have between the screen and the shirt? If it was a lot, you may have not pressed down hard enough on the squeegie to make good contact. Did the ink clear the screen after the print stroke? Sometimes you have to go back and print a dry stroke before lifting the screen to clear all the ink.
 

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I do not have a real press at the moment so my off contact was via 3 pennies taped at each corner of the screen, maybe way too much off contact. I think there was still ink in the screen after my print stroke, are you saying to follow the print stroke with another just without grabbing more ink?
 

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Yes. You've got to clear the ink from the screen. You may also find that when you're printing white ink, it's sometimes beneficial to add that dry stroke to help mat down the fibers before flashing the ink and printing a top print for brightness.
 
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