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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi, I'm new to this forum and the Silk Screening industry. This past summer my room mate and I decided to jump into the silk screening business. We had about 10 minutes of experience from a youtube video when we started. From that I built a 1 color 1 station manual press and an exposure unit and we started Kuribo Silk Screening. Things are going really well for us, considering we had no start up capital or silk screening experience. However, we are looking to expand on our products.

I'm looking at getting some kind of manual printing press. However, I don't really know what to look for in a good multicolor/ multi-station press. We are looking at maybe a 4/6 color 2/4 station press, maybe a table top press. Can anyone one help me out on some specifics of models that are currently available? I'm also writing a research paper for an engineering class on the same subject, so technical data would be greatly appriciated.
 

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When looking for a manual press you really need to do a lot of research. There are several great Manual screen printing equipment manufacturers. A lot of the time your decision will come down to price but more often it's decided by your application. I would say the most important parts of a manual screen printing press would be micro registration, durability, expandability, warranty, and craftsmanship. The best way to gather all of the knowledge necessary to make a decision on your press is to attend a tradeshow. ISS and Printwear put on great shows as well as SGIA. I'm in the engineering department of Vastex International so I have a slightly biased opinion on this matter but would be happy to discuss our equipment with you if you so desire. I hope this helped and please don't hesitate to PM or E-mail me with any questions you have.
 

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Hey, great that you've built your own equipment, that's how a lot of people get started. When choosing a press to buy, you have to decide how far ahead you'd like to plan for. In the short term, you'll be fine with a relatively simple press, in the $1,000-$2,000 dollar range. But if you're looking a few years down the road, you'll probably want to spend $4,000 or more. Remember, the quality of the press will determine the quality of your work and the type of work you'll be able to do.

You almost definitely want a floor model press with at least four colors, six would be best. Here's a link to a good article with some information that will be helpful to you. A Glossary to Manual Presses

If you have any more technical questions, ask away. Good luck!
 

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Hi, I'm new to this forum and the Silk Screening industry. This past summer my room mate and I decided to jump into the silk screening business. We had about 10 minutes of experience from a youtube video when we started. From that I built a 1 color 1 station manual press and an exposure unit and we started Kuribo Silk Screening. Things are going really well for us, considering we had no start up capital or silk screening experience. However, we are looking to expand on our products.

I'm looking at getting some kind of manual printing press. However, I don't really know what to look for in a good multicolor/ multi-station press. We are looking at maybe a 4/6 color 2/4 station press, maybe a table top press. Can anyone one help me out on some specifics of models that are currently available? I'm also writing a research paper for an engineering class on the same subject, so technical data would be greatly appriciated.


How did you make out with selecting a manual?
 

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I still haven't found anything that suits my budget. I'm in Nova Scotia so the shipping would be crazy. I'm going to try and build one myself. I built my one color press and found a homemade press on here so I think I can make something usable.
 

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If you can't spring for a new, high-end manual press, spring for a good, used high-end manual press. It's not so important if you're doing one color jobs, but when you get to the point of trying to register multiple colors, going the half-a$$ed route is money thrown away. I know, because I've been there. Went from an old Hopkins International without micros to a new CAPS with crappy micros to a Vastex 6/4 with spring loaded micros that actually work, plus they have steel platens that don't warp. Other than the Vastex 2000HD line, Workhorse, Hopkins BWM, M&R or Antec Legend would be good choices. Avoid entry level presses wherever possible. None of these presses mentioned are cheap, but the ease of setup and use makes them quite cost-effective over a very short period of time. My only question with Riley Hopkins presses are the joystick registration system. It takes two hands to use, and while I've read comments by users who really like them after they got used to them, the standard XYZ micros on all other presses are easy to use. And in the case of the Vastex 2000 line and the Antec Legend, the printheads are spring loaded which promotes smooth, positive movement of the screen without any slop from looseness in the threads of the micros you aren't turning. I just think the Vastex is a little sturdier than the Antec, and a little less expensive, I believe.
 

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i have been in the business for about 10 years and my father has been doing it for a lot longer than that. when buying a new press do not just buy because it is cheap. to be honest in this business the more you spend the better your equipment will be. if i were you hand could spend a some money i would consider getting your hands on either a new or used M&R press. they are by far the best out there.
 

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I don't think many people are getting the point of this thread. I KNOW expensive presses are good. I want to know WHAT it is that makes them good. I've done a lot of research into presses and a lot of them boast about "3 inch brass center shafts" or "spring loaded this" and "preloaded that", but it really doesn't mean anything to me. I'm looking for specific information on presses. I won't be able to afford them, I can't afford anything over $2000 (even that is expensive) but in the future I will be, so I want to start learning about what to look for now. Thank you everyone for all the help so far, but please don't reply with "Get _______, its great!" with nothing saying what make it better than another product.

Cheers,
Nick
 

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In my view, an expensive press will do two things for you. Firstly, it'll make you complete jobs faster. Secondly, and to a lesser extent, it will make the jobs you print better.

An expensive press will feature microregistration, which makes lining up jobs of more than one color easier and faster. If you can afford it, getting a press with micro should be a top priority. Otherwise lining up multicolor jobs can be a nightmare. Having microregistration will speed up your shop a lot.

More expensive presses will also have features like "all-heads down" which means that each print head can be lowered independently of one another. That means that more than one person can print on the press at one time, letting you print much faster if you want to.

Keep in mind that on a manual press you're basically just repeating the same movement over and over. So by buying an expensive press that has gas springs or that is easier to turn you're going to make life a lot easier for yourself and be able to print faster and longer. How much is your time worth?

A more expensive press will keep off-contact settings better, will have stronger, flatter, more durable pallets, etc. That will increase the quality of the jobs you print. A good screen printer can get a good print off of any press, but there's no doubt that it's easier to do with higher quality equipment. More expensive equipment will have a long warranty, too.

So what should you look for now? A press with microregistration that looks like it's of reasonable quality. What should you look for later? A press with microregistration, expensive springs, quality pallets, a good warranty, and one that's built like a tank.

Any more questions just let me know.

Best regards,
Alex
 
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