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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
We are fairly new(4 months) to screen printing and have done mostly one-color jobs so far. We have recently gotten a couple jobs for 2-color, and now one for 4-colors. We are having a HORRIBLE time getting things lined up so that there is no space between each color. Can anyone give us some advice on what to do to make this a little easier....please, or my husband just might have a heart attack:) Or, at the very least the neighbors are going to stay clear of us:D

Thanks for any tips, hints, etc.
Robin
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Okay, I must be newer than I thought because I have no idea what you guys are talking about :) We bought everything used and we were trained by the previous owners. He basically told us to print the separate colors and lay then down lined up and pretty much put tape on the film and lay the screen down, repeat for each screen. Let me tell you it's not working great....hubby is definitely having some temper tantrums!!!
 

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Okay, We bought everything used and we were trained by the previous owners. He basically told us to print the separate colors and lay then down lined up and pretty much put tape on the film and lay the screen down, repeat for each screen. Let me tell you it's not working great...
LMAO...and why did he sell his set up...? may i recommend youtube ..you will find alot of great video tutorials trust me they help..i have been screen printing a looong time. and this old dog learned some new tricks..LOL i mainly go on youtube for the photoshop help.
 

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As I had to teach myself how to screen print when our printer disappeared for a month (go figure ;)) I will give you a basic rundown of the easiest way I figured out how to do this.
When I print my separations, I put a registration mark at the top left and bottom right of my artwork. I'm attaching a screenshot of what my art looks like before I print the separations. Of course, I'm lucky to have a postscript printer for me that does the separations, but if you have the registration marks labeled as "Registration" they will print out on every film you print in the same spot. Then when I burn the screens, I measure from the top of the image (the center mark usually, which is the little upside down "T" at the top of the art) six inches down from the top of the screen, then center the image on screen by making sure the amount of space on each side of the film is the same. T-squares can become your best friends. If you burn each separation in the same exact spot on each screen, your life will become much easier.
Once my screens are prepared, I start with white if I have it, center the screen on the machine bumped up all the way to the top of the arm that holds the screen. Once the screen is centered, I lock it into place and do a test print, leaving that test print on the platen but flash drying it. I then set up the second screen, doing the same thing, centering on arm and flush with the top of the arm holder thingy (so I'm not THAT technical, lol!). If all the screens have the art burned in the same spot (measuring to make sure, not once but twice!) and the screens are centered and level on the machine, you should have a pretty close registration to start with. I usually start with the registration mark at the top left, line it up with the test print on the platen, and firmly hold it in place while lining the other one up at the bottom right. Slow, steady movements, nothing jerky. Once I have those lined up, I clamp the screen in place and test print. Now, if you are a hairline off, this is where it can get tricky. We use a rubber mallet, because our machine is old and the micro-knobs seem to not want to work. We bump the screen into place using the rubber mallet, AFTER we have it clamped into place. Just a tap on the top left of the screen will bump just the top part of the screen to the right. See what I'm saying. I KNOW this isn't the correct procedure, but it works for me. IT really is all about burning the screens straight and centered.

ALSO: Don't forget to tape off the registration marks on the bottom of the screen before you print!!
 

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As I had to teach myself how to screen print when our printer disappeared for a month (go figure ;)) I will give you a basic rundown of the easiest way I figured out how to do this.
When I print my separations, I put a registration mark at the top left and bottom right of my artwork. I'm attaching a screenshot of what my art looks like before I print the separations. Of course, I'm lucky to have a postscript printer for me that does the separations, but if you have the registration marks labeled as "Registration" they will print out on every film you print in the same spot. Then when I burn the screens, I measure from the top of the image (the center mark usually, which is the little upside down "T" at the top of the art) six inches down from the top of the screen, then center the image on screen by making sure the amount of space on each side of the film is the same. T-squares can become your best friends. If you burn each separation in the same exact spot on each screen, your life will become much easier.
Once my screens are prepared, I start with white if I have it, center the screen on the machine bumped up all the way to the top of the arm that holds the screen. Once the screen is centered, I lock it into place and do a test print, leaving that test print on the platen but flash drying it. I then set up the second screen, doing the same thing, centering on arm and flush with the top of the arm holder thingy (so I'm not THAT technical, lol!). If all the screens have the art burned in the same spot (measuring to make sure, not once but twice!) and the screens are centered and level on the machine, you should have a pretty close registration to start with. I usually start with the registration mark at the top left, line it up with the test print on the platen, and firmly hold it in place while lining the other one up at the bottom right. Slow, steady movements, nothing jerky. Once I have those lined up, I clamp the screen in place and test print. Now, if you are a hairline off, this is where it can get tricky. We use a rubber mallet, because our machine is old and the micro-knobs seem to not want to work. We bump the screen into place using the rubber mallet, AFTER we have it clamped into place. Just a tap on the top left of the screen will bump just the top part of the screen to the right. See what I'm saying. I KNOW this isn't the correct procedure, but it works for me. IT really is all about burning the screens straight and centered.

ALSO: Don't forget to tape off the registration marks on the bottom of the screen before you print!!

Ahhh Freehand~< good to see peopel aroudn still using it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Thanks so much for your explaination. I pretty much do what you're doing except for a couple of things. I don't print the registration marks (I was told no need). My hubby always does the lining up, and burning the screens and does try to keep it all lined up. Things are usually just a hairline off, but enough that we see, not sure about the general public. Being new we want everything to be perfect!

Thanks again.
 

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I prefer to use Center registration marks in the shape of cross hairs at the top and bottom of the design. You should always burn your screens with the separations centered in the same location from screen to screen. This will insure that your don't go out of range of your registration knobs or levers, whichever your press has.
A slight trap is a good idea when possible. The best way to minimize registration issues is to allow for them during the design phase. By this I mean stay away from really small outlines or sharp angles where several colors all meet in one place. There is nothing like several hours of unnecessary registration issues to motivate you to make your designs more screen-printing friendly.

http://www.highfivesportswear.net
Art
 

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Whats your off contact? The distance from the screen to garment. Check to see the its about the same fron top to bottom(two pennies) You will have to play with that to see what distance works best for your press and screen mesh.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Thanks everyone. We will give all of these things a look at today. One other question I have is how do I "trap"? I'm assuming it's within my CorelDraw, but I can't figure out what I need to do.

My hubby is the one that is fighting the registration on screens...hours, yes!!!! he's not a happy person right now. He has gotten to where he only wants to do 1-color...LOL

Thanks again
 

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Thanks everyone. We will give all of these things a look at today. One other question I have is how do I "trap"? I'm assuming it's within my CorelDraw, but I can't figure out what I need to do.

My hubby is the one that is fighting the registration on screens...hours, yes!!!! he's not a happy person right now. He has gotten to where he only wants to do 1-color...LOL

Thanks again
Here's a simple Corel Draw Macro/Plugin I like to use to choke my art work. It's free, simple and works. advancedtshirts.com - Plug-Ins and Macros
 

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Warped wood frames can be an issue too. First set I bought (and the last, too) had some warp to them, and I was trying to overprint red on a long horizontal line. I finally looked across the screen from the side and could see that the line was at an arc because of the warped frame.
 
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