Hey guys, so I've been reading a ton of the threads in here for a while, and I don't think I've seen this addressed anywhere. Feel free to link me to a thread that covers this subject if you can think of one. So, I have graduated from school, and soon I will no longer have access to the school's wonderful facilities. On top of this, I have found myself in this niche market of screen printing zines and zine covers mini-comics etc... I couldn't be happier about the situation.
Drying rack solutions, screen cleaning solutions, which paper and inks should I keep in stock. I know a lot of people aren't crazy about speedball inks, but I haven't found a place to get tw products. Any suggestions on that? I know rollers are a little pricier than regular frames but I imagine it's cheaper in the long run plus they are a huge space saver. Thoughts?
Invest in a real drying rack, not a drying rack 'solution.'
Contrary to what someone is bound to tell you, it IS worth it.
Inadequate ghetto drying rack solutions create a huge bottleneck, especially when you produce in volume, and they slow you down, creating other problems. People get used to them the way a quadrapelegic gets used to having no limbs, but that doesn't make them some sort of DIY triumph to aspire to. Shell out for a used drying rack, on day 1.
Use whatever inks are easy for your situation. Speedball is adequate for zines & mini-comics, and fine for starting out.
I've never used roller frames and don't see why they would be a space saver. Leave the screen-stretching to the pros. It isn't that expensive and if you're diligent about cleaning and reclaiming well, you shouldn't need to constantly replace screens.
Some of those process threads are good, you can see what others use when setting up ghetto.
Do you have a space? do you have water/washout?
You can make a rabbitvac press.
buy some stretch and glue screens to start, If you have some money and think you will do this enough to rip some screens, try the greenscreens by Sefar. email me i can sell them to you.
Buy a coater to fit your screens, which fit your print size. buy a squeegee or two
the rack...if you are going to be in this, they are a good investment, check craiglist, thorton equipment, other screenprinting forums with classifieds, they are always for sale. check local signshops/screenshops for old gear.
if you are going to expose, some foam, a piece of glass, and a work lamp will get you going. Again if you are going to really do this, a pressure washer is the way to go for reclaim.
You will spend between $500 -$1000 to be up and running. Maybe less, always more.
that's about it. the rest is just bits and pieces. Speedball is fine to start.
you can always find a local shop to burn screens, that helps at the start.
Agreed with the above dudes -- get a proper drying rack. It'll hold it's value and make life so much easier. Wish I had done this right off the bat.
A tip for acquiring yer stuff. Do a search for something you need on craigslist. Scroll to the bottom of the results page and find the orange RSS rectangle (bottom right). Save that in a feed-reading service/app (if you use Gmail, it's convenient to use Google Reader and the mobile app is solid too). Repeat. Now you have a centralized place to check all your searches easily -- you can jump out at good deals on anything that comes up.
I put a whole shop together doing basically that. I've had some ridiculous scores, often free or cheap as hell, and occasionally just really good deals. I'm still using ink and paper from early 2011.
One more tip from Craigslist Kyle. For anything substantial, get folks on the phone. Once you talk to actual human beings you'll have a much higher success rate against flaking, scams, misrepresented ads, etc. In fact twice after I get someone on the phone and it sounded legit I went straight to renting a truck (for big equipment) so I wasn't running around all day. Good sellers will be happy to talk to you.
I'm setting up shop in White River Junction, Vermont. Thanks for the advice. The person I'm going into business was insistent about making our own drying rack, I'll use this thread as proof otherwise.
I've been doing t-shirts out of a print shop's garage for a while now, I've learned decent techniques for exposing with mr. sun. I plan on using my shop's washout unit until I can afford one myself. Right now I'm printing out of my basement, but we'll see how this develops. Once again, thanks for the advice.
1. work regular hours every day. its a job, not an adventure. I suggest 8am-8pm. 7 days a week.
2. Learn math. everything costs money....figure out what it costs you every day to pay ALL THE BILLS and your SALARY and make sure you earn more than that each day.
3.a clean studio is an efficient studio. efficiency=more money.
4.pay your taxes on time. have real accounting.
5.interns will steal everything , complain, then tell everyone they did all the work. NO INTERNS. if you need help PAY A PROPER WAGE AND BE A BOSS.
6. by real equipment. Janky equipment=janky work.