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Just some quick background, I've been screen printing for 4 years. Started out with a wooden press I built. Then a silver press. And 1 week ago I received my M&R SideWinder 6/6 with airlocks.

Right off the bat, I start registering a 5 color job.. Very close lines, very high detail, and more than half the colors have either a border or touch another color perfectly flush which makes it hard to adjust. I've spent more than 6 hours trying to register and I'm just having trouble!

First off I didn't know that micro reg doesn't have forward-backward movement down the platen.. Why? I really hate trying to move both the knobs the same way trying to get it to move perfectly higher or lower.

This is my first time having micro on my own press. What should I do? 6 hours is too long for adjusting and I'm still not done!

I might need to invent a 4 axis micro....

Don't get me wrong, I love the new press all in all but I can't figure out how to efficiently micro adjust!
 

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We use a Vastex VRS. m&R has the tri-loc. It holds the screen while you tighen the air or manual clamps. When the clamps hit, they tend to nudge the screen, so securing it while doing the clamping helps. Our anatol has air, with a manual clamp that you tighten before hitting the air.
Could be loose screens as well.

We also ck the art work targets if we have major ag. Occasionally the printer will put the film thru skewed just a little.

I feel your pain.
 

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Try putting the screen down with your finger between the platen and the screen--now nudge one side up, the screen will twist your finger against the platen--not nudge the other up until it feels like it's straight--with a little practice it will be. It will also likely help if you turn the micros until you just barely feel resistance before you unlock the screen, and back them off a hair before you lock it again--although if you're on a new press, you won't have a whole lot of 'slop'.
 

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I feel you on the "forward and back" idea.

Positioning the art on screens as closely as possible helps to minimize how much micro adjusting you have to do on press.

Makie sure your platens are all the same height and same horizontal plane and individually leveled. All the platens should be the same distance from center press. Your off contact/print head heights should be calibrated and zeroed and screens paralleled to platens. And make sure all assembly bolts/connections are snugly tight and all adjustment knobs are also.

And of course tight, flat quality screens.

After all that, play around with the micros by making BIG movements to get a feel for how the screen moves around as you turn the adjustments same direction, different directions and different amounts. It may take a while to get it down but it's worth the practice.

You can print some registration marks on a piece of paper and also on a piece of film. Tack the paper onto a platen. Load a BLANK screen onto your press. Cut out the film marks, line them up with the marks on the paper and tape them to the blank screen.

Start twistin' and turnin'.
 

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Was your sidewinder new or used? I asked cause I bought a used and the glide plates for the micros were broke and covered in sray mist. I disassembled put new glide plates lubed up with litheoum grease and adjusted the pre-tension nuts so that there was very little lash. I had micros before so I knew something was wrong just took me a year before looking it over. I went from setting up jobs in 30-90 min to about 15 max.

You should never have a screen move. Make sure you don't have a leak in a airlock or you micros are tight. In the 2-2.5 years I have had mine I have never had a screen move although I don't have side clamps or airlocks. Wish I did.
 

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The metal wheels is what holds registration. They can be adjusted. I would put a screen in with center marks and center to platen then go to station 1 and adjust so that it is centered and tight registration. You can skip the centering part but the way I do my setups with everything starting from a center line makes it easier for me
 
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