My recommendation is to burn using sunlight. If you are really looking for a cheap an effective way this works well. Also to cure you can use your oven at home, slow but works.
You don't need to have a high end exposure unit to produce good burns. I made my own expsure unit out of wood and a 500W halogen work lamp and it works great! The glass is necessary to have. It ensures proper contact between the film and the screen mesh. That way no light will bounce around underneath the film which could ruin the burn.One of my main concerns at the moment are a cost effective exposure unit. I was reading about using 500w halogen light, not sure if this would be the best option though. Would i simply set up the light shining down on the screen with the image on top, and some sort of black cloth or something underneath? and is the glass necessary to have.
Yes, you should have "Off Contact" between your screen and your substrate. I have a 4 color Silver Press and to ensure good off contact, I taped a quarter to the very edge of the platen and it has worked great!The other thing was about a pallet to transfer the ink on. I've been hearing/reading that the screen shouldn't be touching the shirt, so would it work well enough to use some sort of spacer between the frame and the table or whatever it may be underneath, with clamps to keep it in place?
Test it out! I used to double up on transparencies to ensure a dark enough image. Honestly though, purchasing a printer that will produce dark enough images with only one transparency will save you money in the long run.One other concern was about the printer. I have a generic HP photosmart all in one. I can't really afford anything new right now, so would it be ok to use for now? Im not sure if it would be better just to double up on over-head sheets, or if it would work on film positives.
Yes, you can re-use any excess ink or emulsion that may turn up.*Wanted to add as well, with the ink and also emulsion, can it be re-used later? like if i put on too much ink can i scoop it back up later, and same with the emulsion.