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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello all. First post other than intro here. I am very new to screen printing. I am just about to purchase a Vastex v1000 6 color 1 station press. I have read and shopped around and think this is the one I should get. However, I spoke with the sales rep today and he informed me that doing dark shirts would take forever. He said I would have to wait forever for each color to flash and cool. I am very limited on space and want to be able to put a white base down before doing 4 color process. I've read you semi cure the base with flash, then let it cool and then do the 4 color process wet on wet. I will do single color prints too. I just wanted to start with something I could use and not be too limited. Does anyone have any thoughts on this press for a newbie? Has anyone used this press? Has anyone used a 6 color 1 station press before? If so, how did it work for you. I'm limited on space and this press is at the very top of my budget. Thanks in advance for any advice.
 

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Definitely go with at least a 2 station. The 1 station will take forever to do prints with a flash. Don't limit yourself right out of the gate, especially with a 6 color press. The 6 colors are extremely versatile and you'll be amazed at how much you can print and how few jobs you'll have to turn away. We have a 6/4 old Hopkins International, a 6/2 Silver Press, and a 1/1 press. We rarely run into something we can't print, and the 6/4 is a little over double the speed as the 6/2 as far as prints per hour with a flash.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks for the info Mad. Vastex doesn't make the v1000 in a 2 station and the next one up is way out of my budget. I'm also stretched for space. Sales guy was super helpful but also said it was almost an 8 foot stretch I'd have with the 4x6. I'm still leaning towards buying it. Not sure if i should just give up the 6 color and idea of doing 4 color process and maybe even sticking with a 4 color and being limited.
 

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I started with a 4/1 Silver Press, and I can confirm that flashing an underbase slows you down when all you have is onestation. The station itself builds up heat, so you have to twiddle your thumbs or fan it to keep it at a workable temperature.

That said, I did it, and that was far from the worst thing about that press :p

I now have a Vastex 2000 4/4, and it is a joy to spin those stations around :)

Like you, I was short on space, so the Silver 4/1 worked out well in that regard, as besides having just one station, the arms for the screens where shorter and at a steeper angle when raised, so I could push it up against a wall and still get the car in the garage (when I wasn't printing). Kiss that goodbye with the V2000 4/4. No more car in the garage. The radius of the V1000 is probably smaller, but still too much to share space with a car (for example).

I use opaque inks (not an option for cmyk process) and have never made a design with over 3 colors (most are ONE), so 4/4 works well for me. But 6 heads is the minimum for being competitive for "full color" art, so you shouldn't compromise on that if you intend to compete for those types of jobs.

All that said, many of us, as I did, start with what fits in our budget and our space, and we stick with it until our business outgrows it and forces new choices. The downside to that is that hobbyist presses have less robust controls and can be frustrating to use (especially on multi-color jobs). The upside is that if 6 months into this you never want to see another screen, you can sell your stuff on Craigslist to the next would-be printer without taking a huge hit.
 

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I completely agree with NoXid. We stared with the 1/1 and outgrew it after the second job. We mainly used the 6/2 Silver press from 2009 until Late July of last year. It was difficult on a lot of jobs, but in the end, I feel that it really helped us troubleshoot on the fly and has made us better printers. The biggest issue was registration between setting up the sim process jobs and holding it through the run. Our Hopkins International 6/4 is as old as dirt, but is fantastic to use with the micros and holds TIGHT registration. Trust me, you don't need the best equipment on the market to succeed. You just need a little knowledge in your back pocket and the drive to succeed. You'll be able figure out the limits on whatever you end up with and then push them a little further each day.

NoXid: I wish we had simple 2-3 color jobs! We typically have 4-6 on the front and 5-6 on the back.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thank you so much for the great advice both of you. I’m leaning more now to do this press and expand later as needed. I work a full time job but my wife says I have plenty of time afterwards and on weekends to make more money so I can sit around and twiddle my thumbs while things cool. I’ve been using JPSS for light shirts for a while but want something good for dark colors and to expand from where I’m at. Again really appreciate the input.
 

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A major problem you will have with a single station press is over heating of the platen. It will get so hot that you run the risk of waterbased and even plastisol inks part curing in the screen. You will waste a massive amount of time either waiting for the platen to cool or cleaning ink from your screen.


The more print stations the better because each spends less time under the flash.


Is the V1000 upgradeable? If it is then unless you can stretch your budget it is better to start with 4/2 and add the extra two colours later.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Yeah, seems the 1 station will be a problem then. I have a credit with Ryonet for $500 for the 4 color JR I returned. I could get their 6 color 4 station for $1775 after shipping and my credit with them. I would do it right now based on the comments here but it's 90 inches wide and I live in a 2 bedroom condo with no extra space. I might have to find some space to rent elsewhere for that one. Seems like the 6 color 4 station would adequately allow me to do a great deal more jobs. I've heard great things about the Riley Hopkins presses as well. On a side note, I printed my first shirt last night. I used textile PV on a 20x24 110 screen I exposed with a homemade LED UV exposure box. I used the Anthem free exposure calculator and got the thing to expose in 15 seconds and washed out in under 2 minutes. Used some cheap speedball white ink. I can't wait to finally get a press and do some real stuff. Getting excited.
 

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Hmmm, given that you have DIY abilities, you might consider building your own line table press. You would save a metric poop ton of money as well as have a lot of flexibility about the space it took up ... maybe even design it to fold up against a wall out of the way when not in use.

Search on here and you will threads about line table presses. They are very common outside of the USA. There are whole warehouses setup with row upon row of print stations.

Basically, a line table press is linear and has fixed stations with registration posts of some sort. You carry your screen by hand from station to station as you print a given color. Number of colors limited only by the number of screens you own. Number of stations limited by how many you want to build.

Best to watch a video of this workflow in process to get the gist of it. I still wonder sometimes if I should have done this rather than bought a press. I forget his user name, but there is an active member from South Africa who uses a line table press and has shown off some very nice multi-color work. Something to consider. YMMV :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Thanks much NoXid. I believe I have seen those on YouTube. Like factories with them all lined up. Want to say the video I saw was someplace in Asia. I'll definitely search the forum for those and look into it. Thank you for the info.
 
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