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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
SO I'm a bright eyed newbie here in screen-printing land and I've just had my first dose of reality by reading these forums... thanks a lot!

So far I've read almost all the threads that have popped onto the main pages for the last few weeks and now I'm over whelmed. SOP I figured I'd do what most newbie’s do, and ask a whole bunch of already answered questions, in an attempt to consolidate information into one thread, so as not to be as overwhelmed. ( can you ever just be whelmed?)

I'm going to make these questions narrow to my specific situation, but feel free to elaborate or go off subject. First, though, I'm going to give you some quick info on my situation.

I have purchased a beginners kit from rayonet, just the tabletop single color hobbyist kit. I am planning to print some real simple white on black T's, mostly text but some with pictures. I am currently only looking to print original designs, and I am using my printer for mostly, prototyping and test marketing. I am printing out of an apartment for now, and am looking into renting a house with a garage to do my printing in. I am using a heat gun for curing a plastisol ink.

Now onto the questions:

1) what is a good method for using a heat gun to cure/dry T's? Are there any better methods that cost less than 100$ for now?

2) What is the best white ink for simple white on black T shirts? Is plastisol better than water biased for what I am doing?

3) what is the best way to wash screens if you don't have a power washer? Is there a good way? Or should I bite the bullet and buy one?

4) Does using a dehumidifier really save a lot of time when drying emulsion onto screens?

5) Where can I buy Black T's for less than 2$ for under a hundred at a time? The cheapest I found was 2.50 up to XL for Gilidian 50/50.

6) Does anybody have a Screen Printing/Online Store business plan they are willing to share? please, pretty please

7) How long did it take you to recoup your startup costs?

8) Who are the most trusted suppliers and who should I stay away from?

9) How many shirts would an order have to be before you considered outsourcing it to someone with an auto printer?

10) Which brand or Black T do you use and why?

Thanks a lot to anybody that replies!

 

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Welcome to the world of screen printing.

Most of your answers can be found using the search feature on this board. Those topics have been discussed many times.
 

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1) what is a good method for using a heat gun to cure/dry T's? Are there any better methods that cost less than 100$ for now?
- Heat gun is your cheapest way to cure. Spend some money ($50 to $80) on an infrared thermometer gun so that you can watch the temperature of your ink as you cure, so you know it's getting hot enough.

2) What is the best white ink for simple white on black T shirts? Is plastisol better than water biased for what I am doing?
-There are a ton of plastisol inks out there and you can find recommendations by searching. I don't use plastisol, just waterbased. Matsui has the best WB white ink I've used, in their 301 series, and when possible I use white-pigmented discharge made by Matsui.

3) what is the best way to wash screens if you don't have a power washer? Is there a good way? Or should I bite the bullet and buy one?
-wash off the ink or to reclaim? If you're using a utility sink you can get a small spray hose designed for screen printing which you can use to wash off ink and even reclaim after you spray the screen with an emulsion remover and scrub scrub scrub. I got my little hose from performance screen in New Jersey a couple of years ago for about $30.

4) Does using a dehumidifier really save a lot of time when drying emulsion onto screens?
-Yes but they are expensive and not necessary. I bought one recently and need to modify my drying cabinet to hold it. You can just put a fan on your screens when you dry them (but be careful as the fan may pick up dirt/dust/whatever and blow into your wet emulsion)

5) Where can I buy Black T's for less than 2$ for under a hundred at a time? The cheapest I found was 2.50 up to XL for Gilidian 50/50.
-Under $2 in non-gross sizes will be tricky. I get my blanks from Alpha Shirt.

6) Does anybody have a Screen Printing/Online Store business plan they are willing to share? please, pretty please
-You should write your own. Figure out what exactly you want to do, research to figure out how to do it, then write your own so you can get all your thoughts together then out on paper. I wrote a 13 page business plan when I decided to do this for a living. I did research for a while then spent a weekend writing it.

7) How long did it take you to recoup your startup costs?
-I'm still in debt...

8) Who are the most trusted suppliers and who should I stay away from?
-I love the guys at Westix and I've bought all my equipment from them, and I get my inks and most of my supplies from them. The people at Ryan Screen Supply are good folks too.

9) How many shirts would an order have to be before you considered outsourcing it to someone with an auto printer?
-Depending on the complexity, 500 or 1000 pieces or more. If I got an order of 500 1-color prints, I'd do them myself. If it were an order of 1000 3color back 1color front shirts, I'd look to outsource it.

10) Which brand or Black T do you use and why?
-I like Gildan a lot because it's affordable and good quality and it discharges well.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thank you for replying!


2) What is the best white ink for simple white on black T shirts? Is plastisol better than water biased for what I am doing?
-There are a ton of plastisol inks out there and you can find recommendations by searching. I don't use plastisol, just waterbased. Matsui has the best WB white ink I've used, in their 301 series, and when possible I use white-pigmented discharge made by Matsui.
How does the WB white look on black T's? does it seem faded, does it last?

4) Does using a dehumidifier really save a lot of time when drying emulsion onto screens?
-Yes but they are expensive and not necessary. I bought one recently and need to modify my drying cabinet to hold it. You can just put a fan on your screens when you dry them (but be careful as the fan may pick up dirt/dust/whatever and blow into your wet emulsion)
About how much time do you save? I'm currently using my small bathroom as my "darkroom" and my GF get annoyed with the yellow lightbulbs and me reminding her to keep the door shut and the black cloth covering the door. If it could change my time from 6-7 hourd down to 1-2 it might be worth it.

7) How long did it take you to recoup your startup costs?
-I'm still in debt...
May I ask how long you have been at it? Also do you make sure you pay yourself first? I'm sort of looking for an amount of time that it takes, not counting the amount of money I pay myself, to make back the initial investment. Or better yet, for how long until the business can pay it's own bills.


Thanks Again!

Mike
 

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Thank you for replying!




How does the WB white look on black T's? does it seem faded, does it last?



About how much time do you save? I'm currently using my small bathroom as my "darkroom" and my GF get annoyed with the yellow lightbulbs and me reminding her to keep the door shut and the black cloth covering the door. If it could change my time from 6-7 hourd down to 1-2 it might be worth it.



May I ask how long you have been at it? Also do you make sure you pay yourself first? I'm sort of looking for an amount of time that it takes, not counting the amount of money I pay myself, to make back the initial investment. Or better yet, for how long until the business can pay it's own bills.


Thanks Again!

Mike
Dry the emulsion with a hair dryer. It usually takes me 10 minutes or less. Keep the dryer moving and only dry from one side, so you know it is dry all the way through. As long as the emulsion doesnt get above ~100degF, its fine.
 
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