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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Queen Creek, AZ
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    4,536
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    Homemade Coro One Color Screen Press

    Built a home-made one color press (using the loosest definition of the word) to screen print 18x24 bandit signs...

    $10 A simple 30x40 melamine base from Home Depot
    $22 A set of Jiffy Clamps
    $0 Some scrap Rowmark 1/8 spacers (to build up off contact)
    $0 Some more Rowmark to use as a guid to place the coro in same place every time
    $31 A 230 mesh 23x31 screen
    $30 Squeegee

    Total, about $100

    I am planning to use some transfer rite heavy duty tape on the pallet (sticky side up, then use masking tape to hold it to the pallet) to hold down the coros (we do this already when mounting a bunch with the big squeegee)

    I thought this would be a good way to do a couple of those bandit sign jobs we get calls on now & then... If it works out I have my eye on a Workhorse 4-1 with a vacuum pallet ($1500) or a used Lawson Mustang ($5K -$7K)

    The screen place here in Tempe sold me some "ColorFX" ink and some retarder... no idea if that is good or not. Tubelite is across town, O think thet carry Ulano & Nazdar

    Note...

    This is not for tshirts, just coro signs, maybe some poly coated cardboard.
    Attached Images Attached Images

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2003
    Location
    PENSACOLA FL.
    Posts
    8,688
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    CLEAN UP THAT WORKBENCH..........hehehehehehehe
    your getting smart, good one!!!!

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Location
    AMARILLO TX
    Posts
    1,254
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    Awesome set-up! Are these the types of clamps that hinge? If so where can I buy them? I have a cut and print machine so I would imagine that there is a film that would be easy to cut to produce negatives or positives. Is there an easy and economical way to expose the screens that results in a quality job?

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2003
    Location
    PENSACOLA FL.
    Posts
    8,688
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  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Queen Creek, AZ
    Posts
    4,536
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    google up "Jiffy Hinge" or "Jiffy Clamp". I got mine at Advanced Screen Technologies in Tempe AZ for $21.95.

    I read that some folks use cheap cut vinyl (like 651) to make a screen for short run stuff but that is for plastisol... no idea if the much more agressive solvents in coro ink will allow the vinyl to stick to the screen very long. I am planning to use Ulano QTX emulsion based soley on some online recommendations....not based on personal experience.

    Printing 18x24 transparencies may be the tough part... I wonder if there is a 24" roll of something that I can print using my Mutoh?? Or maybe a cleat 18x24 sheet of mylar and then mount cut vinyl to it to expose the screen. I can print 13x19 sheets on my Ricoh GX7000 but that is loaded up with sublimation ink... plus it is still too small!

    Next thing is to rig up something to hold it in the UP position so I can change out the coros in between pulls. Some kind of spring, kickstand, or counter weight.

    Yeah, OP... the bench is a mess! I'll get right on it!

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Location
    Midwest
    Posts
    3,796
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    You can use a mist coat of spray adhesive for "table tack" with coroplast.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Location
    Harrison, AR
    Posts
    162
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    We used to put cheap vinyl on glass to expose the screen. Just peel it off and do it again. Instead of printing positives.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Location
    Millbury, Massachusetts
    Posts
    621
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    3-M black vinyl on clear backer works great for positives

    Kick stand, a stick with a hole drilled thru and self tapping screw into frame will work till you can purchase a professional model.

    Hold down, 3-M's sandblast resist, used by memorial blasters. Spread on table, let set up, when ready print, when done wash off table with solvent.

    Ink, Nazdar universal 5900 series works great on many different medias.
    Get a Nazdar catalog has everything you need.
    Last edited by Signguyno1; 02-28-2010 at 09:36 PM. Reason: correct spelling

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Queen Creek, AZ
    Posts
    4,536
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    glass is a great idea! Thx! DUH!

    I also have a bunch of Acrylic....

    Thx for the tips, Signguy! Do you mean that the sandblast resist is sticky enough to hold the coros to the pallette?

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Location
    Nebraska
    Posts
    5,690
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    Looks like what we had back in the 1980's! The problem with this set up is the screen goes up at such a sharp angle all the ink runs to the end so fast. I works great if you are not planning to do alot. A screen needs to stay below 35 degree, that setup will go almost vertical. Plan on having ink leaks at the end with this. How do you expose and reclaim screens? Didn't see that in the $100 budjet.
    Last edited by Mosh; 02-28-2010 at 10:46 PM.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Location
    Massachusetts
    Posts
    277
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    For $95 more you could of bought one ready to go and saved your self the time.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Auburn, New York
    Posts
    707
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    Your gonna need solvent rest. tape to tape off the screen. You have to keep moving when you print these signs or the ink dries in the screen. I'd start off with a small order. Small enough so that if screening doesn't work you can cut them. Make sure you have extra blanks on hand. We used to print yard signs...the hell with that lol We digi print small orders and farm out larger ones. The big places sell them finished for less than what I can print them for. It's a pain in the ***, but give it a whirl.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Location
    Nebraska
    Posts
    5,690
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    Have the right equipment and they are big money makers. BUT, you have to have the right equipment, that homemade job is not it. We do loads of yard signs, in fact it is an election year and are already getting orders for that. High production times we put out 1,200 2 sided signs a day.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Queen Creek, AZ
    Posts
    4,536
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    For $95 more you could of bought one ready to go and saved your self the time.
    Didn't see one anywhere already made. Besides, it was a fun Sunday project to make and I now have enough materials (well, melamine & such) to make 2 more.

    Mosh,

    I never meant that I was ready to go for $100...
    I do not have:
    a washout booth,
    an exposure unit,
    a pressure washer,
    a drying rack,
    a screen rack,
    chemicals (degreaser, emulsion, screen reclaimer, etc...)

    However...

    I have access to a screenshop that will coat & expose my screens (or let me do it there) and also use their washout booth.

    I'll go buy whatever I need when I feel like I am comfortable doing it... but as of today I have never pulled a squeegee even once, so this is really a "proof of concept". If it works I'll buy the right stuff> I already have sublimation printer, Mutoh 1604 printer, vinyl plotter, heat press, 50w laser engraver, lots of gear!! I am not afraid to buy stuff if it is a process I can make money doing.

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Location
    Nebraska
    Posts
    5,690
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    Using that set-up (like I said we used one back 20 years ago like it) don't put alot of ink in the screen at one time. Just a tip from someone who had to clean up alot of ink leaks from doing so.

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    Montrose BC Canada
    Posts
    1,777
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    Mosh in action?.....lol...
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aPrNNE3ZBDw

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Location
    Nebraska
    Posts
    5,690
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    Talk about a homemade basement shop...I bet they have some people tied up in the next room, and one of the printers is names "Zeb".

    My "cans" don't go that SLOW!!!! Besides no way I would let any of my "employees" wear those funny face-mask things. That is like something gang-bangers wear!

  18. #18
    Join Date
    Nov 2003
    Location
    Dobson, N.C.
    Posts
    384
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    I use paper package sealing tape that has a water based adhesive to seal my screens to the frames for any solvent based inks, cheap and durable. Also some retarder thinner helps a bunch with the screen clogging problem.

  19. #19
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    Smithville, MS
    Posts
    114
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    Let me say that if you have never screenprinted anything, you picked a difficult substrate to start your printing career. Coro has ridges and static and the ink is very thin, as Mosh stated cannot get the screen at too great of an angle or ink will spill, tape and adhesvise will work for holding the coro down but vacuum not only holds the coro down but also helps in the distribution of the ink across the entire printed area. To use a screen you can cut vinyl, apply it to your screen on the coro side and then coat with a solvent resist emulsion, let dry, remove vinyl, tape and print. Nothing works as good as Nazdar Ink and use a lot of retarder. Be glad to help in anyway I can. For the money if you can find a Filbar press they print yard signs as good as any press in the world and are simple to use and maintain. Use 2 of them and can print 500 signs an hour on each. Make sure you have drying rack or adequate space to lay signs to dry. Good luck in your endeavor.

  20. #20
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Location
    Reading, PA
    Posts
    24,509
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    For your first attempt.... this is fine. We still do many of our jobs this way. We don't always use our vacumm table.

    For your kick stand.... just use a paint stirrer with a screw placed strategically in the side so you get the screen to go up about 45. Don't worry about your ink spilling out. Only put a small amount in to do 20 or so panels at a time and your ink will stay put. Besides, if others are using their ink to the point its spilling out... I would venture to say they are thinning it down to far. Ink for flat stock is gonna be the consistency of pancake batter and if you're moving along at a normal pace..... it won't have a chance to make a mess.

    You need more than 35 opening, in case you need to wipe the screen down or play with the underside if a problem arises.

    Look into 'Cut Green' from Ulano for making your screens.... it's a great product.

  21. #21
    Join Date
    Jun 2003
    Location
    Oakland
    Posts
    1,415
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    Quote Originally Posted by jiarby View Post
    I got mine at Advanced Screen Technologies in Tempe AZ ...
    Tom Bays?... Buy everything from him ...and pay more to do it!

    When I was doing screenprinting in AZ, I found him to be the the single best resource for all things screenprint. He's a tough guy to get to spend some time with --- because he's the hardest working vendor in the business! Heck, I used to swing by early morning to help him load out just to shoot the breeze about business, business practices, and creative techniques --- The guy is an encyclopedia of how to get stuff out the door and creative techniques to do it.

    I've NEVER met a vendor --- or most screenprinters --- that has as much knowledge of the industry as Tom --- but he won't tell you that.

    and oh yeah, back in the olden days, there was a water soluable stencil that could be hand/plotter cut and weeded for screen printing. I'm not sure if it's still around or economical though...

  22. #22
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Location
    Nebraska
    Posts
    5,690
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    You need more than 35 opening, in case you need to wipe the screen down or play with the underside if a problem arises
    The arms on our machine go back 8' so I can raise the screen up over my head and it still is only 35 degree angle.

  23. #23
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Location
    Reading, PA
    Posts
    24,509
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    I thought I was on your 'IGNORE' list moshputz ??

    Do you practice being a dolt ??



    He has a homemade jig and is doing just fine. He doesn't have a mechanically built highly engineered machine such as you have. He's starting in a new area of his business and needs pertinent information.... no crap about how you drink & shoot animals while working your combine doing signs on the side.............

  24. #24
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Location
    Chico, CA
    Posts
    13,345
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    at my old shop, the "exposure unit" was the sun - 2.5 minutes in the sun in summer, 5 in the winter...worked great

  25. #25
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    St. Pete., FL.
    Posts
    528
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    You did leave off a kick leg.

    You can use wood but you will find that a spring-loaded one will make work go so very much smoother

    http://www.awt-gpi.com/product72.htm

    That's not the type we use but the principle is the same.

    As far as burning a screen....use your plotter to cut rubylith. Hint, cut it as mirror so when you expose the screen so the actual ruby part of the film never touches the screen.

    Holding registration is as simple as spray gluing scrap pieces of coro at 3 points. No need to spray glue the palette. Coro is heavy enough to stay on the table assuming properly mixed inks and precise off-contact even at close to 100% coverage.

    Hope your buddy will allow access to his squeegee sharpener. Squeegee is an important tool. Take care of it, it will take care of you.

    You have to work quick with coro inks. So if you do not have a drying rack next to the press, have a helper and some clean, cleared away space to place the printed blanks.

  26. #26
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Location
    Irving Texas
    Posts
    962
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    Set up looks fine.
    Make sure your squeegee blade is sharp.
    Don't let the image get too close to your frame. 4'' min. between the image and the screen 6'' is better. As the squeegee moves across, the fabric moves slightly. As you get close to the frame the fabric moves at a different rates and can cause problems.

    And yes it does take some practice pulling the squeegee. Remember "confident" pressure. Don't kill it nor baby it.
    Don't go around saying the world owes you a living;
    the world owes you nothing;it was here first.
    Mark Twain

  27. #27
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Middleburg, Florida
    Posts
    1,915
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  28. #28
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Queen Creek, AZ
    Posts
    4,536
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    I didn't meet him, a woman helped me at the counter. Sounded like she knew apparel stuff pretty well but the sign stuff was new.

    Thx everyone for the tips!

  29. #29
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Location
    Edmonton, Alberta
    Posts
    573
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    ...nice functional set up ... (brings back memories - ie. ink under the fingernails, mostly) ... good on ya'

    JP

  30. #30
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Queen Creek, AZ
    Posts
    4,536
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    Hey Mr. Flemming...

    As soon as I make 5K on this contraption I'll call you about that AWT! That is exactly the kind (or a Lawson Mustang) or press I want for this! How much for freight to AZ? LOTS!

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