Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Screen printing Operation

I picked up some Speedball screen printing hinges (about $17 for a set) and made a screen printing station. Luckily I had some scrap wood in the shed was was able to cut a piece of wood down to size with a saw, drill some guide holes for the screws, and put in the hinges--all in about 20 mins max worth of labor, including sweeping up the sawdust. The box of hinges doesn't include screws but that's probably a good thing because you'll need the right size screws depending on the thickness of your wood base. I used a piece of 3/4" plywood and so used fat, squatty screws that will hopefully be beefy enough to hold up to lots of use. This contraption was essential when I was screen printing shirts on Friday night at our elementary school's art show. I used a piece of 3/8" Sintra to place in between the layers of the shirt for added stability and so the ink didn't accidentally seep onto the back of the shirt during the printing.

Here's a side view of a hinge.

I make the screen in a totally old school kind of way with screen filler and a paintbrush. One of these days I'll try the photo emulsion. One thing I will never again live without, ink retarder for fabrics. I was able to pump out 50 shirts without the screen clogging one bit! The ink took about 30 mins to dry vs. 10, so keep that in mind if you're going to try it.

And finally, a finished t-shirt.

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