I've been reading up here for a long time and am pretty new to screen printing, having done it here and there in a crappy way in the past I've been trying to get things right this time. I've read so many peoples posts on this kind of thing to try and figure it out, but no joy. I must be doing the same old wrong things somewhere but I can't figure it out.
I've got a diy vac table, I'm using 40x30" aluminium frames. 120 mesh ( think that translates to about 300 in America, maybe). I'm using Daler Rowney System 3 acrylic with their print medium. On this print it's yellow on black paper. This is the first of two colours, white mixed with process yellow, the other being black. These are A2 prints. My squeegee is the width of my paper. I have 3-4mm off contact.
I know I'm asking for trouble printing yellow on black, but err it's out of my hands. I'm hoping to avoid getting the separations re printed to accommodate doing a white base though as it'll cost another 60 quid and thats just the half of it.
So as you can see in the pictures, I'm getting ghosting, blurring, areas not printing properly... basically everything is going wrong.
I've been flooding in between strokes, but it looks like the ink isn't rolling across the screen as it should. I flood from the top downward and only the top half looks like it's covering the stencil entirely and the bottom half is exposed. Should the flood completely cover the screen and the stencil openings? Mine is very inconsistent. I try to let the squeegee glide over it, but it feels like it gets stuck and drags half way because all the ink has transferred to the top half.
At the same time I think I'm getting through way too much ink. I did around 10 prints (mostly fucked) and I've worked my way through at least a third of a 500ml tub. Seems like after the flood theres no bead of ink for me to do the stroke.
Then when I do a stroke I get a patchy print.
Next problem, probably related, is that after all the other problems the bottom right part of the stencil failed to come through anymore. I thought maybe the ink was drying in that part of the screen, the medium is supposd to slow down the acrylic drying but I'd already added the reccomended 50% maximum. So I added a bit of water to my ink, didn't help much. So at this point I washed it out ready to start again. I think it could be to do with my shitty flood.
The mesh is quite fine but its all I have to work with at the moment. So going lower isn't really an option, plus I tried an old 40t screen I used from a while back and it had similar problems. So I'm thinking that's not the real problem.
This has been driving me insane for the past 4 days. Any help would be much appreciated. Please!