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Newbie wanting more in-depth advice

1274 Views 13 Replies 6 Participants Last post by  Celtic
Hi guys! Absolute beginner here. My friend owns a few clothing labels and it's occurred to him that - in the long run - it would be more productive and cost friendly to print them himself, but my himself he means me. Seeing as I've had a strong interest and want to do it for a long time. We've invested in a starter kit from Dave Roper and it's a solid bit of equipement! I'm really excited to be involved in this.

However. There are certain things that tutorial videos can't really explain on a one-to-one basis.

Until things pick up we're doing it fairly ghetto. Bathroom is the washout room AND the dark room.

My initial questions are: how long should I leave the screen after it's been coated before exposing? I've got a fan on in the bathroom and it's fairly warm in there.

My last question (for now) is, setting up screens for different colour inks? What variables are there in this subject? Any other tips would be awesome. Thanks!
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You need to know your humidity (you can look it up online to get a rough idea for your area)

I have to use a dehumidifier in my room to even dry the screens in the summer - ie, they will never air dry, because the air is wet.

If your air is 40% or less, they should air dry within 24 hours (playing it safe) with a 1 & 1 coat.

I use the rounded edge of my scoop coater most the time and use nothing less than a 156 screen. 156 for white for the most part and 230 for almost everything else.

This gives nice light prints.
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I dry my screens in a closet with a small space heater, or if I'm not going to be there to keep an eye on it I just use a fan. They're usually dry within an hour. I'm not really sure what you mean by the last question. There's quite a few variables. The best thing to do is to give it a shot and then come back with more specific questions.
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Yeah I will do. I've ordered a humidifier and we'll be cleaning out a better area to stack the screens after they're coated. It eventually took about 3 hours to dry so it was okay

I also coated a screen last night and a bubbling has formed on the film side, on the right. I degreased it and left it to dry for 2 hours before I coated it in emulsion so any idea as to why it's done this?

Check the photo

Red Pink Maroon Sky Magenta
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My guesses:
1. Too much emulsion
2. The screen was still wet
3. The screen wasn't level when drying

Try to plan ahead and let the screen dry for 24 hours. A fan to help circulate the air would help too. I use a dehumidifier and fan when letting my screens dry overnight. However I am in NW Florida within 300 yards of the water.
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Thanks for he responses!

Due to it only building up on one side I think it's cause it was straight and perhaps too much emulsion combined. I guess there are certain things tutorial videos can't teach you without practice huh.

I'm going to go for a higher exposure time as well and hope that helps a tad.

Another question (I'm sorry, really am a newbie) when it comes to taping your positives onto the screen, what methods do you use to have it centred?
This is what I do, some may call it strange but it works for me:

1. I marked my pallet, all screens and all screen holders (heads) in the center.
2. When I print a positive, I also print one on white paper with a line down the very middle. (use a printer setting that uses very little ink)
3. I then put the paper on my pallet exactly where I'll want the print to be on the shirts.
4. I'll then place the positive on top of that so it's lined up exactly with two pieces of tape facing up.
5. Then I'll make sure the screen is centered on the holder and press it down so that the tape on the positive sticks to the screen.
6. Then I'll take the screen off and tape the rest of the sides down.

Initial marking of the screen, holder and pallet may take a while, but it's worth it. I'm sure there are better ways to do it, but my equipment is cheap and it works for me.
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Make sure you bought a DEhumidifier not humidifier.

I built a box for mine to sit in with the screens and the screens dry in less than an hour.

I use scotch tape on each corner for my positives. Look up pre-registration boards for easy positioning of the positive to the screen. Helps to get it very close and also straight. Then I have a vertical line on my platen with a horizontal line. My positives have an upper and lower registration mark, so I just line the screen reg marks up with the pallet line and I'm good to go.
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Youtube Catspit Productions on youtube. How to Screen Print T Shirts: Screenprinting, Silkscreen, Custom Screen Printed Shirts

The dude has made every video you will ever need to get started.
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Sweet! I'll be sure to do that. There are so many things that go into this process that I didn't know and aren't covered in tutorials. Or maybe they are, I just learn better putting things into practice or by one on one chat. So thanks!

I've don't some prints over the last couple days and they've come out real nice and I'm stoked on them. Working on a better way to coat and dry screens. I always seem to have a thick deposit on the sides and the top and it makes the emulsion bubble out a tad when I go to wash out. Any idea on how to fix this?
You're applying too much emulsion and that's why it's dripping.
Try using the sharp side, not the rounded side of your scoop coater and you want to apply enough pressure when you're dragging it up your screen to squeal. Check out Youtube to see some technique examples. Also, you may be overfilling your scoop coater too.
It all takes practice and experience.
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Also be dynamic when coating.

Change angles of both screen and scoop coater at the same time to suit what you see happening. If it looks like emulsion is flooding outside the scope coater, adjust things.

As you get to the top, make the screen more vertical and drop your scoop coater hand so the top angle between the screen and coater gets larger. Then you can do a more effective final "squeegee wipe" and get a clean break (like how a window washer would do with his squeegee).
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I get that this is a huge learning curve. My conditions aren't ideal. I applied more pressure, put less emulsion in the coater, bigger angle and this space has a better condition to dry in.

Why does it continue to do this to me haha

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You're still applying too much emulsion.
You want to apply some pressure, and like I mentioned before, you want to make that scoop coater squeal as you drag it up your screen.
Additionally, if you're coating a low mesh screen, they're more prone to this issue. But, once again, apply less emulsion.
Keep at it. You'll get it.
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