Hi everyone! I'm relatively new to screenprinting, but have researched alot on it and have overcome alot of small problems. However there is still one major issue I can't sort out. My screens always look runny and splotchy when the emulsion sets and dries. I have an image here of my screen after drying so you can see. I use Diazo photo emulsion, a scoop coater, I degrease my screens, I use fans to help speed up the drying time but this always happens. Maybe I'm not degreasing enough? I haven't the slightest clue why my screens aren't turning out with a nice even coat like you see in all the instructional videos on youtube and stuff! haha
if anyone can help me to figure out what I am doing wrong, that would be perfect! Thank you so much.
Some degreasers are concentrated and aren't easy to rinse.
Note the scrub marks and strings of residue fisheyes
showing the up-direction of the screen during rinsing.
Experiment with a different degreaser, or dilute the one you have,
rinsing thoroughly with strong pressure.
I also would not rule out the wood frame.
Lumber varies alot, and this may be sap residue leached out by processing chemical steps.
If so, that problem would get progressively worse with each recycling.
You might consider testing with a sealed wood frame to reduce that potential contaminant.
yes DEFINITELY switch to roller frames. you can strtch your own screens, monitor tension.. sooooo much easier to remake a screen if it rips...
my screens used to look just like that until a few months ago!! make sure youre thoroughly washing the degreaser out.. but most importantly dust your screens off with your hand right before emulsioning them... makes a HUGE difference. often dust and hair will settle on your screen while it is drying.. especially if there are fans on the screens. this creates all the thin spots on your screen. just take your hand and rub it across the entirety of your screen front and back many times.. be sure to get all the corners... and i like to sort of.. wave it through the air to be sure ive removed all the dust. noticed a huge improvement in my screens after adding this to my screenmaking process.
I'd still keep the wood frames, they'll work fine for you for simple designs and 1-4 color work that doesn't have a lot of fine detail. I would definetly invest in a pressure washer, this will get rid of a lot of the problems you're having with your screens right now, and they save a lot of time when it comes time to reclaim your screens. Becareful how close you get to your screens when you're spraying with a pressure washer too, you can rip them with the pressure that comes from the wand. The screens really have to be rinsed off after you degrease them and I try to not let them dryout after degreasing them, rinse them out really well, you'll see it foam a little when rinsing out the screens after degreasing them, keep spraying till you don't see it foaming any more and make sure you spray on both sides of the screen, especially the inside of the frame. I spray it out on all 4 sides on the inside of the screen where some of the degreaser may have settled as it ran down the screen.
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