From Rust Temple
Welcome to the screenprinting shop info page! If you're a seasoned printer, go ahead and do your thing, being respectful of the layout of the space and keeping it clean for everyone. If you're new to the game, Anyiki's written up their best practices as suggestions or a base to jump off from and personalize. Feel free to disregard whatever, add alternatives to this page, etc. ! But there's only so much reading about something can do... if you have questions or want some demonstrations, check in with the undertaker in charge of monitoring the screenprinting shop. The more you print, the more you'll understand your own favorite flavor of printing set-up! But no matter your style, please prioritize moving your stuff and cleaning the printing area before cleaning your tools so others can go ahead with their projects in this tight space. Thank you!
for any questions about this info, or for additional info, ask the undertaker screenshop monitor, or feel free to e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org directly !
Check out the Screenprintingshop Tools to see what we got!
ANYIKI'S IDEAL PRINTING SET-UP
* paper, cloth, t-shirts, whatever you’re printing on
* space to print in
* spacer stick (to accommodate lifted space from hinges)
***this is to be taped to the screen bar opposite the hinges, on the bottom face, to match the space made by the hinges being attached to the table – so that you have equal spacing across the screen and thus use equal pressure to print wherever your image is)* transparency/duralar/mylar sheet (for registration)
* tape (to make tape hinge for duralar on table, and to attach spacer stick)
***to make the hinge:
1. lay down the duralar on the table so that it’s bottom edge sticks out from under the screen (see ideal set-up image) but so that the entire image burned into your screen fits onto the duralar
2. lay a thick piece of masking tape across the bottom edge of the duralar, a little bit narrower than the width of the duralar so that the edges are free, rub it in good!
3. flip the duralar over towards you, add another strip of masking tape on the other side matching the first strip so that a hinge is made and the edges are free, rub it in good!
4. flip the duralar back to its place on the table, and with a straight edge or something hard rub the hinge you’ve made so the duralar lies flat – this will improve consistency in registering your prints
* 3-4 wooden blocks (1-2 for screen corners, 1 for squeegee, 1 for inky spatula to rest on)
* squeegee of appropriate length (hold up squeegee blade to the widest part of your image – it should cover it and have at least half an inch extra space on each side)
ANYIKI'S BEST PRACTICES ORDER OF OPERATIONS FOR SET-UP
1. run a hand over the counter space I’m going to use to make sure it’s clean, dry and smooth
2. line up and secure one edge of the screen in the hinges
3. tape on the spacer stick to the opposite edge of the screen
4. eyeball, the screen’s dimensions, lift it up, and lay down the duralar for registration so it will cover the whole image printing area and stick out below the screen
5. make the tape hinge
6. lay out my blocks to the side of my screen – one or two for the screen’s corners to rest on opposite the hinges, one for my inky squeegee, and one a little out of the way for my inky spatula
7. place my ink container near the spatula but out of the way
8. make sure my stack of papers or t-shirts or whatever I’m printing on is nearby in a clean, quickly accessible but out of the way space
9. make sure there’s clean space nearby to quickly lay out wet prints
10. have a rag nearby to wipe inky fingers on so I don’t ink up my prints when laying out wet prints
11. have a small bucket of clean water and sponge with a dry rag or paper towels ready if your screen gets inky on the back and you need to carefully wash off bleed areas
ANYIKI'S BEST PRACTICES ORDER OF OPERATIONS FOR PRINTING
1. INK UP: with corner(s) opposite hinges supported off the table on blocks, open the ink, grab the spatula, and spoon out the ink bead below my burned image along the width of it with a half-inch or so extra on each side;
replace the ink nearby and out of the way, lay inky spatula out of the way on block
2. FIRST FLOOD: take squeegee holding in both hands;
line up edge below ink bead, holding with handle edge pointing at me at 45 degree angle;
push blade and ink bead up the screen with good even contact but not hard enough to push through – so the image is completely covered with ink thick enough to obscure it;
before lifting up the squeegee, above the image push down on the squeegee edge with slightly more pressure and rotate/slow-flick the handle to a 45 degree angle away from you to deposit the most amount of the ink bead at the top of the screen;
put the inky squeegee back on the squeegee block
*NOTE: now that you’ve inked up your image, you’ll want to always make sure the image is covered completely with ink so no parts of it dry up and block that part from printing!
3. REGISTRATION: lift the edge of the screen up;
remove the block(s), lay down the screen on to the duralar on the table;
pick up the squeegee and line it up with with the ink bead above your flooded image at that same 45 degree angle;
hold and push with even pressure across the squeegee and pull it down towards you to print the image onto the duralar;
repeat that flicking motion to deposit as much ink as possible on the screen;
replace inky squeegee on block;
carefully lift screen up a few inches and replace supporting blocks;
grab squeegee and re-flood the image, flick, and replace the squeegee;
lift the screen up off the blocks and check that the whole image printed onto the duralar – if it all printed, yay! if not, add a little ink with spatula directly to areas that did not print and pull through again, flick, and replace squeegee (be careful here – if you replace the screen onto the inky duralar before it’s dry you could get a ghost print on the back of your screen which could end up on your first print)
4. PRINTING: lift up flooded screen so that it’s high enough to flip over the duralar (I usually rest the corner of the screen on my head or shoulder to keep it up and so I can get a good overhead view of the duralar);
lift up a corner of the duralar and slip your paper/fabric under the printed image on it;
line up your paper or fabric so the image is where you’ll want it – this can take some wiggling, and make sure that the duralar is lying on your paper/fabric as flat as possible so it’ll be accurately lined up;
lift up the duralar completely and flip it over its bottom hinge so it’s dangling off the table and you’re left with your paper/fabric in its place;
carefully replace the screen so the paper/fabric doesn’t move;
pick up the squeegee and follow the line up-pull-flick-replace procedure;
carefully lift the screen and replace the blocks (sometimes the paper or fabric will stick to the bottom of the screen – peel this very gently off to not smudge either the print or the back of the screen, which can mess up your next print);
once your print is detached from your screen, before you move it to its drying area, reflood the screen while it’s propped up on the corner block(s) and replace the squeegee on its block;
then remove your print and see if it all came out according to plan! If not, try pulling through a few prints on scrap paper without reflooding the screen, then reflood it and see if that fixes any areas that weren’t printing. If you are getting excess blobs of ink bleeding in any area on the print, it might mean that you’re using too much pressure in that area, that there’s too much ink, or that the back of your screen is smudged – in any of these cases, you’ll want to use that clean water bucket and sponge to carefully wipe away any inky bleedy areas on the back side of your screen to save future prints, and dry the washed area with a rag or paper towel before continuing
5. PRINT TILL YOU CAN’T PRINT NO MORE!!!
ANYIKI'S BEST PRACTICES ORDER OF OPERATIONS FOR CLEAN-UP
(priorities – put my prints away in a safe place, pick up my things from the printing area so someone else can use it, then finish cleaning my screen and other things)
1. put all the prints on the drying racks so they’re safe and out of the way
2. with the screen edges propped up on the block(s), take the spatula and spoon up the leftover ink back into the ink container, close it up, wipe off any ink on the outside and put it away
3. put the spatula and squeegee into the bucket of water with sponge to clean
4. un-tape the spacer stick from the screen, throw tape away and put stick back
5. loosen the hinges on the screen, remove screen and bring it over into the sink – spray it down a little on the front and back to keep it wet so cleaning is easy
6. flip the duralar up onto the table and sponge it off with clean water, flip it back over to dry
7. pick up inky blocks, wipe off excess ink, and put them back
8. bring my bucket over to the sink area – **check the level of water in the bucket below the sink drain – empty it first if there’s water in it! Be sure there’s second and third empty buckets on hand ** – sponge ink off my squeegee and spatula in the sink, then sponge around and loosen extra ink on screen front and back, then spray screen, squeegee and spatula clean
9. bring clean screen over to screen drying rack, put wet screens below other screens that are drying – if there’s room, you can carefully move other dryer screens up in the rack to make more room
10. hang up clean squeegee and spatula to dry
11. check the duralar – if it’s not dry, flip it up onto the table and use a clean rag to wipe of excess water – then rip off and throw away tape hinge, roll up and secure clean duralar for next use
12. Check the table for ink blobs – wipe it down with clean sponge and rag dry
13. empty buckets from under washout sink into sink near bathroom
14. ogle your finished prints with joy!
ANYIKI'S INK TIPS
* the starting ink bead should be about two healthy toothpaste squeezes wide, and should run the width of your image plus a half-inch or so on both sides, but not much wider or else the ink starts to spread away from your image quick, and you’re left with little to print with but lots of mess on the sides
* start your ink bead at the bottom of the screen and flood upwards towards the top of the screen – this leaves you with the excess ink at the top, where you’ll want it to be when you print!
* if you notice your ink bead starts to wander from lifting up the screen, every couple of pulls grab your spatula and scoop up globs to replace them in the bead area
* start with a little ink (enough to fully coat your image), you can always add more but it’s a messy real pain in the ass to have too much ink globbing around
* ink mixing – for prints on light paper, start with ratio of 75% transparent base to 25% ink, and mix colors in bit by bit with a clean spatula – in truth you need very little ink to get color on light paper, so save it where you can ($$$); where you need to go full-ink is for printing opaque layers over ink layers, for printing opaquely on dark paper, and for printing on fabric – when you have a color that looks good, take a spatula or chip board, dip the edge, and pull with good pressure across a clean scrap paper to see what it will look like printed – add ink to get where you want it!