so it only took a few years of research, trial and error (mostly error), and several different life directions but I finally screen-printed a poster. I'm doing the printing in an indoor climate controlled storage unit with 24hr access (I know the owner, he doesn't mind), using water-based ink is a big plus (no odor). There is a car wash right by these storage units that I'm using for washout. I transport the screens in black trash bags.
So I designed these posters for a local mountain bike race in Louisiana, to be given away as awards. I spray painted the paper Gold, Silver, and Copper (3 each) for the fastest lap and podium finishers, and the rest (25) were printed on white.
So... maybe others can learn from what I've done here (good and bad).
The prints are done on 12.5x19 french paper.
Speedball acrylic screenprinting ink.
23x36 aluminum screens.
ulano qtx emulsion.
18in. scoop coater.
The photos are kinda big, so I'll just post a link to all of them. MobileMe Gallery
here you'll see:
the film transparencies.
exposure (I picked up this Amergraph Advantage exposure unit off craigslist in TX for $250).
screens after washout.
photos of the print shop. (the print hanging on the back wall is by Rob Schwager)
an old rooster cooking apron, used for printing now.
'general lee orange' ink mixed.
and my ghetto registration system (the blue tape on the table was just to keep from printing on the table).
unfortunately, no beer photo cause I actually had to race the event the next day. But plenty of beer was drank later after LSU beat Alabama!
The main issues I had were with exposing and not using a vaccum table.
I did an exposure test with the Ulano film exposure test kit. The first screen (orange) area exposed fine, but the other screen was over-exposed (I had to expose it half the time of the first screen). Not sure why, I'll have to figure this out.
The other issues were keeping the paper down on the table. I used a 3m general adhesive spray, which was way too strong until after about 10 prints... then the tack-ness was just right. You can read about this whole issue in my other thread: http://www.gigposters.com/forums/scr...uum-table.html
The orange ink was laying down too thick, and as you can see from the stack of prints in was curling the paper up.
All in all it was a success. I learned a lot, and know what needs to be done now to make things go much smoother and faster. I need a vacuum table, and a drying rack.
I have been letterpress printing for a few years now, and I was curious if screen printing would yield a 'tactile' quality (otherwise, why do it right?)... well I'm pleased that the prints have that quality and people did notice it.
could be that the first burn was that lights usually have to warm up to full capacity. so perhaps the first burn took that long because the lights were warming up and the next two they were running for awhile. also, unless you're exposure unit is unfiltered black light, the heat given off from the bulb being on quicken the exposure time.