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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Curious to see and hear from other Shur-Loc users. I've just started transitioning over to them and am very happy. They work best for ME and the way my business works. I'm using the Shur-Loc 1.25's

My only "issue" is the issue of off contact. With so many statics in the shop, it'll be awhile before I transition all my designs to Shur-Locs.

I'm using the fabric protector strips which at first seemed like a great idea. Issue is in the clamp side of the screen, the protector strip...it's raising my off contact way too high. The off contact on my Vastex sits so high with the Shur-Loc that I can't lower the head enough. I can raise the platens, but don't think that'd be efficient with all the remaining statics. Looks like by removing that strip on the clamp side, the Shur-Loc will sit pretty much the same as a static off-contact wise.

So what are you guys doing? These are pretty much permanent screens that will be used for one design until it times to replace the panel and toss the old one. Is heavy duty tape to replace the protector strips on the underside a better option?
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
Well, I figured out one thing. The reason my off contact was so crazy on the two heads I have Shur-Locs on was because...I forgot to adjust it correctly. :eek: So much for remembering the basics.

The protector strips don't interfere with off contact after all.
 

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I'm glad these are working out for you. I've been looking at Ryonet's Solid-Loc system which looks like a rebranded ShurLoc. Glad to Know the system works as I don't want to get into newman rollers, but would like to get high tension screens on demand.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
If you call in your first order to Shur-Loc, you may be surprised at the first time buyer deal you can get, if you ask about it. It was substantially a better deal than the Solid-Loc. I don't buy much from Ryonet, but I was confused about the 21x24" frame dimension. Is it actually 1" wider? Forcing you into only buying panels from them?

Anyway, about my initial problems. I tend not to eat when I should, and rushed through setting off contact like a blathering idiot. Been awhile since I needed to make any big adjustments anyway. On the Vastex, I can usually just raise/lower the front to back plane of the tilt on the fly. In reality, there isn't much adjustment needed. You might have to drop the off contact down by qbout 1/16".

I got the 1.25 EZ frames, a bit lighter and a bit less space. Real happy with them, seem to holding steady at around the mid 30's to low 40's.

Of course, I only started with 6 frames and about 10 panels in case I ripped one. And the protector strips seem fine, but I'll probably start using tape to save a few $$$. The tension tool is the real killer to start into them at $200. But I swapped over 6 of my best sellers and now with the tension tool purchased, I'll pick up more frames, a few at a time as I go forward, and swap more over a bit at a time. Then, if a new design proves to be Shur-Loc worthy, it'll get transitioned over to a Shur-Loc and the old static will go towards the next new design, etc, till all of the old statics are just depleted. Until the statics are worn out, they'll be used up for testing new designs to see how they sell I guess. And experiments. Testing new emulsions, etc as well.

Stretching them is a piece of cake.

I have nothing against Newmans. Considered them as well. Shur-Locs aren't exactly cheap. For me though, anything that is a best seller and gets an SL screen is not going to be reclaimed. I'll just use the panel till it's time to trash it and make a new stencil. That and space, made the SL's the right choice for me. It's certainly nice to know that I won't have to redo a stencil in a few months. So of my best sellers were just getting crushed and losing tension pretty quickly. Especially during the Holidays, having a screen just go flat when I had tons of orders really sucked. So I had to stop production and make stencils. Now for those, they get a Shur-Loc main stencil, a static back up, and a few panels in the hole for emergency.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I've never really had reg problems with the Vastex regardless of what I've put on it. But I have a different business model. I do my own "line" of shirts, and find that most people who buy retail prefer simpler one or two color prints. Fine by me, I prefer that too.

I haven't really put them through the paces as far as consistent, tight reg holding, but imagine they would be great.

The biggest benefit I see already is so much LESS effort to get the ink to shear on top of the fabric, and easier to get softer and smoother prints. I was fighting that sometimes on some of my best sellers that had like 12 newtons :), it was a constant battle. I could cheat it well enough by raising the back of the screen, but now I don't need to. I can now keep the off contact a smidge lower. Screen is much easier to clear and just snaps back after the stroke. Before with some of these beat up statics, it was a constant battle. Now it's much more pleasurable.

I haven't done any real comparisons in ink usage, but I think I am already seeing less ink being used.

To answer your other question: YES, I think I'm in love with them. If you think it's time to make an upgrade somewhere in your shop, and are interested in the SL's I say it's a great idea. I think screens can be overlooked in their importance in the heat of the moment. At least I know I overlooked them.
 

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If you call in your first order to Shur-Loc, you may be surprised at the first time buyer deal you can get, if you ask about it. It was substantially a better deal than the Solid-Loc. I don't buy much from Ryonet, but I was confused about the 21x24" frame dimension. Is it actually 1" wider? Forcing you into only buying panels from them?

Anyway, about my initial problems. I tend not to eat when I should, and rushed through setting off contact like a blathering idiot. Been awhile since I needed to make any big adjustments anyway. On the Vastex, I can usually just raise/lower the front to back plane of the tilt on the fly. In reality, there isn't much adjustment needed. You might have to drop the off contact down by qbout 1/16".

I got the 1.25 EZ frames, a bit lighter and a bit less space. Real happy with them, seem to holding steady at around the mid 30's to low 40's.

Of course, I only started with 6 frames and about 10 panels in case I ripped one. And the protector strips seem fine, but I'll probably start using tape to save a few $$$. The tension tool is the real killer to start into them at $200. But I swapped over 6 of my best sellers and now with the tension tool purchased, I'll pick up more frames, a few at a time as I go forward, and swap more over a bit at a time. Then, if a new design proves to be Shur-Loc worthy, it'll get transitioned over to a Shur-Loc and the old static will go towards the next new design, etc, till all of the old statics are just depleted. Until the statics are worn out, they'll be used up for testing new designs to see how they sell I guess. And experiments. Testing new emulsions, etc as well.

Stretching them is a piece of cake.

I have nothing against Newmans. Considered them as well. Shur-Locs aren't exactly cheap. For me though, anything that is a best seller and gets an SL screen is not going to be reclaimed. I'll just use the panel till it's time to trash it and make a new stencil. That and space, made the SL's the right choice for me. It's certainly nice to know that I won't have to redo a stencil in a few months. So of my best sellers were just getting crushed and losing tension pretty quickly. Especially during the Holidays, having a screen just go flat when I had tons of orders really sucked. So I had to stop production and make stencils. Now for those, they get a Shur-Loc main stencil, a static back up, and a few panels in the hole for emergency.
Shur-Loc makes the frames for Ryonet but thy only sell them specific sizes. Shur-loc keeps the 20x24 frame so they can sell them. I got into it by buying 4 frames that the prestretched for me and when the money comes in I will buy the tension bar.
 

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Mike: Did you go with Ryonet's frames or Shurloc? Also does anyone know if the uncommon frame sizes of the Ryonet system will still work with M&Rs Tri-Loc system?
 

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That is pretty sweet that they did that for you. do you know how many newtons the screens ended up at when you received them? I always worry about screens greatly dropping in tension during transit. Even if they did drop dramatically I would assume they would still be a higher tension than most statics.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
I did not know they would pre-stretch them. That's pretty cool, because you definitely need the tension tool. I got the cheaper one works fine.

I'll say this though in regards to purchasing straight from them vs Ryonet, I added up what I needed on both sites, I don't buy from Ryonet much like I said, but I do shop around. Calling into Shur-Loc saved me quite a bit of money vs ordering from Ryonet. The other concern I had was whether or not Ryonet would keep them in stock? I suppose if they bombed and they discontinued them you could always get Shur-Loc to make the panels in 21x24, but didn't want to mess with that.

I preferred going straight to the source anyway just made more sense to me. I had a couple questions after I got everything and set up the first frames, like if I needed to let the panels settle, etc and was able to call Shur-Loc and get my answers.

Couple key points that I liked was you don't necessarily need a tension meter, I borrowed one from my local Mom and Pop to compare SL's vs my statics. I'm looking for a meter now though. And apparently you can pull a panel off, hang it up and re-use it, by just popping it back on. Which I personally don't see myself doing, but I found it interesting. Not sure how that would work on tightly reg'd stuff, but they told me a lot of people do it for one color prints.

From all accounts I have read on the SL's and the retension bars available, if you buy them, don't get much use. Lots of people saying they will hold tension for a couple years. They end up tossing the panel long before they need a retension.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Shur-Loc makes the frames for Ryonet but thy only sell them specific sizes. Shur-loc keeps the 20x24 frame so they can sell them. I got into it by buying 4 frames that the prestretched for me and when the money comes in I will buy the tension bar.
Did you get the protector strips as well? I'm curious to see what others are using in the way of tape instead of the strips on the underside. The strips are cool enough and I guess they do their job, but my panels will be used until they are dead basically, no reclaiming, so a really heavy duty tape is fine by me as long as it protects and prevents tears. The money saved on the strips could be put towards more panels.
 

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These look interesting. On the tension bar is there multiple slots or is it a set tension. Months back I was sent a bunch of info and maybe I misunderstood but you have to replace the tension bar with a secondary bar to further the tension.

I might have them send me one prestreched to check out. I have used Newmans for the past 6 years. these seem like these maybe a great product for a lot of manual printers. I seen a thread on another forum were they used these on a auto with a 5000 shirt run. After reclaiming the screen was at 23N and was 30N when installed. I have always been all about the tension as I used statics the first year I probably bought 36 screens that year.

I don't know if I would ever switch but seems maybe a great product for those looking for higher tension. I would be interested to see the tensions at different temperatures. I stretch screens in the winter around 40N. When printing the temp can get 80 plus in the shop. I can go over and check that same screen and it will be 30N. If I restretch it to 40-50N and then let it cool back down to 60F if its a 272 or higher I can almost count on it to pop. If its a 166 the tension is about 10N higher then what was stretched to. After a few uses and re tensioning with the Newman mesh will stabilize and re tensioning is not needed. I have a few screens I haven't touched in 2 years that are at 40+ newtons.

I have an idea I have been toying with to make true retensionalbles user freindly an still be able to use panels.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Pretty much a set tension Sean. There's 2 slots/hooks on the bars that attach to the frame, but you're stretching it to the second slot/hook on the frame bar with the stretcher tool anyway. Only time you use the first slot is when you line up the panel into the bars into the first slot by hand to make sure everything is centered correctly. Or if the panel is really tight - I notice the 180 panels can be tough to get the last short side into the first slot by hand, then you can stretch to the first slot then onto the second.

You can buy/add on the retensionable bars which will let you retension the panel one or two more times if the tension drops too much. I don't know a ton about the retensionable add on bars though. I didn't see the need for them and my shop.

They're not cheap, but for a guy like me who doesn't really need to retension them, or have a ton of time to teach myself to stretch mesh on something like a Newman, they pay for themselves in time. And once you get the stretcher bar/tool, it's not so bad.

I also figure if a panel lasts the equivelant of 2,3,4 statics for a design, then in the end I actually come out ahead when you figure in the cost of the statics, emulsion, coating and drying and exposing time. Not to mention space. For my best sellers, I had to have AT LEAST one back up stencil ready to go and one or two blank statics in the hole for emergency. PLUS I'm getting way better prints with a bit less effort. Black hoodies come out just amazing now.

Once I get my own meter, I'll do more tests to see how they react over temp changes and the life of the stencil on some of the designs that sell the most.

Dunno if there's any advantage to them over Newmans if you are already quick at doing mesh to be honest. But with the SL's you can have a panel on and ready for production in a couple minutes.
 

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Just to throw my 2 cents in. We switched over from static screens to Shur-Loc and have been very pleased. The static screens we had just didn't keep tension very long. While we don't have any major issues with Ryonet, I didn't really like the odd sizes they carried and then when we found out Shur-loc is just a 15 min drive from our shop, it was a no-brainer to just go directly through them.
 

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I recommend buying them from Shurloc. Ryonet sells a size different then Shurloc. If they decide or Shurloc decides no longer do business together its possible that you could loose. Although being the company Shurloc is they would probably continue to take care of those customers.

I tested one of these frames. I had it shipped with screen. They do hold tension but I am use to 45N-50N on 128-205 mesh and 40N-45N for 272 mesh. I have a 137 and after 7-10 reclaimings its still at 25N. I think it was around 32-35N when it arrived
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
That's interesting because I have a few that I've "torture tested" by coating, exposing, printing, reclaiming, repeat numerous times and the tension hasn't dropped - other than the very small amount it dropped shortly after I stretched the panels onto the frame, and they settled in. Mine seem to be doing really well. I pretty much use 180's exclusively. I'm using the e-con panels.

The one thing I found was that switching to a higher tension screen doesn't mean magic right off the bat. The results are amazing in comparison to a static, especially on dark tees and hoodies - which is pretty much all I print. But, there are adjustments you need to make if you are used to statics with much lower tension. My off contact now is almost at zero, and I really had to adjust my stroke to a really soft one.

The results are incredible really, BUT I learned that "cheating" things when your static is not so great, taught me some bad habits that take some time to unlearn. Of course new designs still go on a static until they prove themselves "panel worthy" so I needed to learn to adjust for both types of screens on the press.

In the end, it all boils down to technique and experience I guess. But when you have the right tools, you can do some great stuff. My prints were already really nice and soft hand on statics. Once I figured out how to finesse the higher tensions, plastisol prints have virtually no hand at all. Pretty cool stuff, and always learning.

I also decided I don't like the fabric protector strips. They raise the shur-locs just enough off the platen to screw off contact things up if you still have statics in rotation. I just tape them now. As more and more of my designs become "best sellers" I'll move them over to shur-locs, but I will probably always have some statics in rotation.
 

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I use Shur-Loc on a regular basis for months now, we order our own mesh and send it to be stretched and tensioned then it comes to us and I assemble each frame by hand. We have probably almost 100 of these 24x36 frames and we love them and use them on a everyday basis. I spoke with the Shur-Loc people at the ISS Atlantic City convention and sadly they weren't much for interesting tips or advice. Anyway, our biggest issue is if something accidentally hits them, bumps them, or even slightly rubs them the wrong way they rip and usually are unusable and have to be replaced. I'm wondering if anyone has any ideas or opinions in their experience with these frames? We still use aluminum frames regularly as well but the Shur-Loc are probably the best screens we've ever used so far, just can't seem to find much information besides their website online to read up more.
 
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