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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am getting into sublimation and would like your opinion on the mug heat presses you see on E-Bay. Many of them are digital with timers and heat settings. Is it ok to start with a lower cost press then move up when I can afford it?
Pat
 

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Hi Pat. Virtually of the presses on Ebay are of Chinese origin. Due to high freight charges, they are imported in container quantities and are sold on an 'as available' basis. Basically that means when the container is emptied another one is imported, but not necessarily of the same make or model.

The build quality can vary considerably between the items on offer, with sharp edges and badly aligned labels being the norm. Having said that, I use one myself, which I won via an auction format at a very good price. Even though it is well built, I know that if it goes wrong it will be a throwaway item, as it would be highly unlikely I'd be able to get replacement parts for it.

As a cheap option they are ok, but you have to appreciate the lifespan of the lesser made models could literally be as little as a few weeks. You have to balance out the low cost against the longetivity.

Hope this helps.
 

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Depending on how many mugs you are thinking of doing at a time, you might want to consider mug wraps with a small convection oven......

I have gotten better results with the wraps and actually got rid of my mug presses because of that.

Just a thought.

Margaret
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Depending on how many mugs you are thinking of doing at a time, you might want to consider mug wraps with a small convection oven......

I have gotten better results with the wraps and actually got rid of my mug presses because of that.

Just a thought.

Margaret
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Margaret I think I am going that way.
I just started with sub, after giving up on laser for mugs.
My mug press was from eBay, and the first 4 out of 6 sub mugs came out with a part of the image smeared in one (the same ) point. It seems the mug press heat unevenly.
the transfer paper was brownish in just one little part, enough turn the mugs unsellable.
The other two that came out ok, were mugs where there was not image in that part of it, where the press heated hotter.

Hope it helps.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Does it have to be a large convention oven like in my kitchen, or can I use the counter top ovens that can be bought at K-mart?
Pat
 

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I have a small one that sits on the counter.....I think it holds either 4 or 5 mugs at a time.....AND I found out the hard way when it comes to cooling the mugs.....DON'T DUNK THEM IN WATER.....They might crack......after "cooking" them in the oven, sit them on a heat resistant surface (a cooling rack is wonderful) and let them sit for about 4 minutes before trying to take the wrap off......CAREFUL HOTTTTTT..... carefully remove the wrap and the paper and let them sit and cool on their own....

I had a whole batch of mugs crack along the bottom of the mugs........I didn't know it happened, but the customer (a restaurant) found out when they put hot coffee in them and had them leak.

Please learn from my experience, so you don't have to worry about liability from the mug leak burning someone.

If you have more ??s, feel free to email me.

Margaret
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Purely out of curiosity Margaret, you were dunking them into very warm water I presume?

Cold water will often crack mugs as the temperature change is just far too quick.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Margaret can you post a picture of the oven you have? I think i'm getting the convention oven and toaster oven mixed up.
Pat
 

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I use Hamilton Beach oven. It's a counter top model. Holds 4 mugs, but I try to put only 2 at a time. Maybe 6 mugs will fit but it would be too crowded. I bought it in Bi-Mart. It's so cheap I forgot the price. But definitely less than $150. Or maybe even less than a hundred. And I use it to heat pizza too. I also have a Chinese made mug press but I prefer to use mug wraps and oven. And by the way, don't buy cheap mug wraps. Those around $15, don't buy them. Get Cactus or some other brands in the $25.00 price range
 

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Purely out of curiosity Margaret, you were dunking them into very warm water I presume?

Cold water will often crack mugs as the temperature change is just far too quick.
I was using water just below the boiling point...mug distributor gave me the heads up to just let them cool down on their own...was told by him that if you put water in them (no matter how hot) you run the chance of cracking the glaze and you might not even be able to see it until it is used.

Just a FYI

Margaret
 

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The reason that mugs are cooled rapidly is to prevent the image blurring. Ceramics retain the heat for a much greater period of time, than any other type of substrate. Whilst at those high temperatures, the ink is still in a semi gaseous state and can migrate to surrounding areas.

If the set up you are currently using allows the mugs to cool without any distortion of the image, then it is probably best to stick with it.
 

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I agree with Will. I have done many mugs with the wraps and cool every single one in warm water with no cracking at all. But if your method works for you then stay with it.
 

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Who's your supplier/distributor? I'm thinking of doing a some for our church, we do embroidery and I can't seem to get the needles through the mug. <GRIN>
 

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Since your press came from ebay where did you buy the mugs from? Some mugs are of such low quality that no matter what method you use you will not get good results. The best thing you can do is to buy high quality mugs which usually means do not buy them on ebay. You might get good ones and you might not. I gave away 2 cases bought that way simply because they were total garbage. The good news was I bought the whole setup , printer, press, and 3 cases of mugs for way less than the price of just the press because the seller just couldn't get a good mug. I'm glad they didn't try the third case from the same company they bought the press from.
 

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Terry brings up a useful point about the quality of mugs. Some of the cheaper mugs print up very well, but the quality can vary dramatically between suppliers.

If you do try out a new supplier, limit yourself to buying just one box of mugs, till you check out the print quality. Worst case scenario will then be, that all your friends and relatives will get a mug for Xmas.
 
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