built this the other day, still very much a work in progress, did my first test prints, and they didn't come out as well as i hoped, but i know what adjustments i need to make. i will build another slightly bigger one for the next test. my idea is to try to set up a small mobile screen printing shop i can do out of my van, off the grid. this is a slow long term project, that i pretty sure i can do, just need to work out all the kinks.
I started as a diy screen printer long ago, not sure what to say now, i've printed for a living, but am starting out the diy way now, but once i get things worked out, my work will look pro.
here is one of the test prints. white ink on black vinyl. this is one of my old logos from when i used to print before. kinda okay in a punk rock way, but not good enough. the ink is clogging in the screen which is why it looks splotchy. i need to go to a lower screen mesh, also i didn't use a vacuum table to hold the vinyl in place which probably didn't help the print quality. but a vacuum table requires electricity and my profile pick shows my power set up, which is probably not good enough for alot of printing, but i could scale it up. a better option is to use a little adhesive to hold the vinyl down to the print board, no power needed.
going to a lower screen mesh is problematic for holding the small detail that is likely to be needed for a small print like a sticker. not sure if this ink / mesh combo will work, but i'm gonna try it anyway.
next print test will probably be in a couple of weeks when i pick up some more supplies, lower mesh screen, pallet tape, liquid pallet adhesive, and build a slightly bigger print table. probably around 10 x 13. also need a different block out, this ink broke down the block out after about 6 prints. also probably a 4" squeegee.
finally stayed sober long enough to put together my new printing table. still not ready for the next round of test prints, but after i get a couple more things i will do it, feeling positive.
full size of the table is 11 x 15. the screen size is 9 x 9. the picture is shown in a nice nature area, which is the kind of place i hope to be printing, drinking and listening to music in one day. 3 and 4 inch squeegees in the back.
i am kinda proud of the custom made retensionable screen. last time i started screen printing i tried to make my own screens and they came out like crap. this one is not pretty but it is just as good if not better than anything you could buy commercially, and it just the size i wanted it. 9 x 9 x .5 i could store alot of these little screens in a small space. i could use the same design to make just about any size screen i want, and it is retensionable, and i should be able to stretch new mesh on it when it wears out, making the frame reusable.
when i get a couple more things and am ready to make the screen image i will probably post a tutorial in this thread on making a block out screen stencil. just realized i forgot to put any beer in the picture.
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