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Discussion Starter #1
Is there a difference of quality? I have like 4 wooden ones, but locally they sell the aluminum screens for a few bucks cheaper. So what's the difference, if any, and what do you use?
 

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Aluminium is normally lighter (which is generally neither here nor there), lasts longer (won't warp), easier to clean (non-porous, so ink is easier to wipe off), and costs a little more.

From my supplier aluminium is about 15-20% more expensive than cedar in standard sizes (i.e. the kind of thing you'd use for t-shirt printing), but cheaper in very large screens (not relevant for most people on these forums).

Personally I prefer aluminium - the price difference isn't significant (especially for such a re-useable piece of equipment) and they're more pleasant to work with.

I use both though - there's nothing wrong with wooden screens (assuming they're a high quality wood and well joined). Next time you need a screen I'd recommend you try aluminium and decide for yourself - it's at least worth trying.

Screens are very much a matter of use what you've got though - they're not worth replacing until they actually physically require it. Most of the screens I use are wood, because that's what's there, but the new screens I buy will be aluminium.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
thanks for the feedback, im sure the next ones I buy will be a higher mesh count for sure (230-ish rather than 110-ish), and also aluminum.
 

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Aluminum is the only way to go. If you have wood screens that aren't warped yet.....use them until they go bad. You'll eventually want a variety of mesh counts as you grow your business. The mesh count you use will be determined by the graphic you want to print.
 

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Well, they warp typically from shrinking and expanding because of water. They come in contact with water when you clean the screen.
 

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Storing them in a humidity controlled environment helps (especially if they're screens your saving with designs on).

But sooner or later, they'll need to be replaced, or rescreened.
 

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hey thanks guys, I was worried there for a minute. I'm not planning to reclaim my screens anytime soon and they're in a humidity controlled environment.

Now I know about the warp issue, though, so I may pick up some aluminum screens in the future, just to be safe. :)
 

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Discussion Starter #12
so far I've only been doing one color shirts, and i think two of my woodscreens are already warped, but they dont seem to affect the printing. they just aren't level when I lay it down flat. I'll be converting to aluminum as soon as i can anyway, so no worries. thanks for everyone's input.
 

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A little bit of warping may not have any real effect on a one colour print. If you're registering a multi-colour print, obviously it's potentially a much bigger deal. Also, they can eventually get extremely warped - to the point where they don't even lay flat enough to do a one colour print, because you can't get even ink coverage across the mesh. But as you've noticed, a little bit of warping doesn't necessarily mean you have to immediately discard the screen.
 
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