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Quick Screen Printing Setup Starts with Your Screens

Ever line up a multi-color job on the press only to find the last image burned an inch too low? If yes, keep reading. It’s a simple process to burn screens so that the image falls in the same place on each. Here’s a quick and easy guide to accomplishing the task.

  1. On your exposure unit glass, apply a piece of masking tape (or any color tape) to mark the bottom of where you will place each screen.

  2. On the left or right side, use your color tape to mark the side where each screen will be placed. Each screen will now have two points of reference for placement on the glass.

  3. Tape your first film to the glass where you want it to be exposed on your first screen. Tape this first film to the glass on each of the top corners only.

  4. Expose and remove the screen to the washout sink.

  5. With the first film positive still on the glass, place the second film positive on top of the first so that the art is lined up.

  6. Tape this second film positive at the two bottom corners.

  7. Holding this second film positive so that it does not move from its position, remove the tape from the already exposed film on the glass and slide this film from underneath, leaving the ready-to-expose film in the proper position on the glass.

  8. Line up your next screen against the two tape points of reference, and expose.

  9. Repeat with each film and screen, taping in the opposite position, top or bottom, until all the films in the job have been exposed.

By following this simple exposure procedure, you will never again face the frustration of reburning one or more of your screens because of poor artwork placement.

Terry Combs is a 30+ year veteran of the screen printing industry. He is an industry teacher and consultant through the website TerryCombs.com, offering hands on and online classes. And, he is the owner of the screen printing supply company, GarmentDecoratingSupply.com.​
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