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Discussion Starter #1
I am looking for a heat press, also saving money for it. So where is the best place to look for heat presses, used or new, that work reasonably well, and what is the minimum I should expect to pay for one that produces sellable shirts?
 

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I am looking for a heat press, also saving money for it. So where is the best place to look for heat presses, used or new, that work reasonably well, and what is the minimum I should expect to pay for one that produces sellable shirts?
Mike,

Really depends on the process you'll be using and if your talking hobby or production, that said Pro World probably offers the best low cost entry level press at around $169 with an additional purchase.

You might want to check them out, they are a preferred vendor of TSF.

Here's a link..Iron-On Transfers, Heat Press Machines, T-Shirt Printing Supplies - Pro World

Hope this helps.
 

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They are actually called table top steam presses. Sorry for the error. Anyway a link to one is below.

Amazon.com: SteamFast SP-660 Table Top Steam Press: Kitchen & Dining

LOL...I get it now, some of the things you do want to watch out for in buying a press is the platen size ie 15x15, 16x20 etc which dictates the max size you can press, where the press was made which along with who you buy it from relates to the availability of replacement parts and a warranty.

There are many threads here on TSF about cheap presses and the triumphs and failures of them, it's normally recommended that you stay away from the Chinese eBay presses although some folks have had good luck with them.

One other option is a name brand press (Hix, Hotronix, Geo Knight) used from Craigs list.

Hope this helps.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
a guy suggested to me that a foreman grill with the plates removed, is nearly identical to a heat press, aside from the size. What do you think?
 

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Discussion Starter #9
I acquired the use of a heat press. I didn't measure it, and I don't have the manual. But it appears to be 15x15. I tried a mousepad, and two shirts, at 300 deg f. for 20 seconds each, but the papers, shirts, and pad, all burned, with the pad also melting. Either I used the wrong material, wrong paper, put it on too long, or too hot, or some combination of all of these. Anyone have advice? Shirts were all cotton, white. Paper was Avery transfer for light fabric, I had lying around. Mouse pad appeared to be felt over rubber.
 

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I acquired the use of a heat press. I didn't measure it, and I don't have the manual. But it appears to be 15x15. I tried a mousepad, and two shirts, at 300 deg f. for 20 seconds each, but the papers, shirts, and pad, all burned, with the pad also melting. Either I used the wrong material, wrong paper, put it on too long, or too hot, or some combination of all of these. Anyone have advice? Shirts were all cotton, white. Paper was Avery transfer for light fabric, I had lying around. Mouse pad appeared to be felt over rubber.
A couple things come to mind, first is that all transfers have settings for temp, pressure, and duration on a given substrate, what works for shirts won't necessarily work for a mouse pad. First thing to do is find out what the recommended settings are for the paper your using on each material, also check your heat press that it is at the temp you have it set at.(some heat presses have a pretty big swing tempwise from what it's set at) from your problem it really sounds like too much heat or pressure.

Hope this helps.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
If a paper says "highest setting of the iron " What temp would that be? Perhaps any paper that doesn't have a temp number listed, I should avoid. And what would be a good instrument to verify the digital readout of the temperature?
 

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If a paper says "highest setting of the iron " What temp would that be? Perhaps any paper that doesn't have a temp number listed, I should avoid. And what would be a good instrument to verify the digital readout of the temperature?
Mike the transfer paper your using is for "iron on" transfers using a normal household iron not a heat press, that could be the issue......and I think Carla gave you good info on your other questions.

Hope this helps.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
what do you think of this suggestion I heard from someone?
-remove the grill plates from a foreman grill, and use it as a heat press for shirts, etc...
 

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I acquired the use of a heat press. I didn't measure it, and I don't have the manual. But it appears to be 15x15.
Before you waste anymore products or damage your heat press.. get the surface probe meter so you know exactly how hot the surface is getting.

I would test it for a long duration of time.. 6-8 hours ..doing several tests within that time. Make a log of what temperature you have it at and what the actual temperature is..this is very vital that your heat press is registering the correct heat.

We have Digital Knight and its a workhorse..it keeps that same temperature for at least 12 hours a day 6-7 days a week. If you are going to be using a heat press for your business the heating element needs to be working at the same time you are working. Whether it be 2 hours or 8 hours..
 

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Discussion Starter #18 (Edited)
what next

So, I have a problem now. I lost access to that press, now the only thing I have available, is a george foreman grill with removable plates. Despite someone's stupid suggestion, I don't think that would work. I am not sure what to do next. I still don't have the money for a press. Any suggestions? Maybe contact a local screen printer for a free or low cost sample? Of course, I do have a handheld iron, but products made that way aren't really sellable, and if anyone bought one, it would likely end with me being known for trying to peddle shoddy merchandise.
 

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Re: what next

It's difficult to do this on no money because it is all equipment and materials based. What are you good at Michael? If you have keen artistic skills then how about a form of batik? Or there is a thing called t shirt spraying using stencils. You can get info on both of these things on the web. When it gets down to craft level it's all about how you do it. Or you can wait until you have the cash and then come back to it from a stronger position. I know it's difficult but once you get the shirts made you still have to sell them - which is not going to be easy unless you have your own little niche. To get an idea of how many people are doing T shirt printing have a look at the top left of the page at the amount of unread posts since you last visited.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
Re: what next

I will check out batik, and stencil spray. Maybe they can help me save for a press, shirts,advertising, and transfers
 
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