For years I've coated my screens once on the print side, once on the squeegee side with the dull side of the scoop coater.
I thought the method was dull for the first coats, thin for any additional coats on dry emulsion to thicken it up. I've read a few places lately though - including in andymac's book ("..sharp coating edge..." p.46) - that suggest using the sharp side when coating the first time, even if no coats on dry emulsion are planned.
So I'm wondering about that, and more generally: how do you all prefer to coat your screens, depending on the job?
The sharp side gives you a thinner stencil than 2mm round. I use either, depending on what the needs of the print are. For a thicker film of ink, especially when printing textiles or on dark paper, I always use the round edge. A thicker stencil will mean a much longer exposure as well.
If you are coating with really thick stencils, 90% of the stencil is substrate-side, and if you underexpose from the bottom, and the 10% on your squeegee side isn't cross-linked, the stencil isn't really attached to the mesh at all as the exposure hasn't encapsulated it, so your stencil will fail.
So did I just read some bad information somewhere? Is the dull side even meant for coating?
I'm thinking back to when I received the coater I use and there was a rubber protector on the sharp side only. Another one came with a protector that covers both sides at once and the trough, although it might be that way to keep the dust out rather than to protect the dull side.
If you are starting out, the sharp side is easier to use. We had a know it all in our shop one time, insisted the round side was the correct side, and his screens looked like an arial view of tsunami waves rolling in. shit on a stick. or in this case, the screen.
As you get into higher and higher mesh counts, you have to use the sharp side.
Wow. Those were the droids I was looking for, thanks for clearing it all up. I have been experimenting with stochastic dots, seeing how tiny I can go, and I think a thinner coat might help with this. Off to the sharp side.