First off - I want to say how stoked I am to have found this forum, and how much I appreciate all the great info/advice shared in these threads. I'm an artist whose "day job" is commercial illustration/design, and whose "fun job" is making ceramic tiki mugs, tiles, and curiosities. I've finally decided it is about time I started drawing what I want to draw for a change, and that screenprinting is the way I wanna do it.
I've got The Book (Screen Printing Today), and I've gone Premium to get a look at the fantastic vacuum table plans. Yesterday I scored a magnificent sheet of solid surface countertop material that I plan on building my table out of. Next up: purchasing screens - but that is where things get tricky. I'm located in Hawaii (on Oahu), and shipping things out here can get crazy expensive. I was planning on ordering a set of screens from Victory - until I stumbled on a local screen supply shop that I never new existed. The dilemma: they only stock 2 sizes of frames - 17x21 ID, and 20x28 ID.
My first one color "test" illustration is 8x11.5 inches, and after that I want to do a 4 (or 5) color print at 13x19 inches. I've read that a 6" gutter is the way to go, but can I get away with a bit less?
The small screen would give me roughly a 4.5" (sides) x 4.75" (top & bottom) gutter on my small 8x11.5" print. Is a 4.75" gutter do-able for a one color run - or do I need to get the larger 20x28ID screen?
And secondly, for my big 4 or 5 color 13x19 print, can I get away with the 4.5" gutter the 20x28 ID screen would give me?
If a 6" gutter is a must, I'll go for the 20x28" screens and adjust my planned multi-color print size accordingly. Or bite the shipping bullet and get frames sent from the mainland.
the bigger the gutters, the easier and nicer the print.
for small prints, your squeegee is going to be at least 1" on either side of the image, and you will need at least 3" on either side of that. when you try to do it smaller, you risk the edges bleeding out or not printing and ripping or delaminating the screen from the frame.
they will cost about the same to start, but everytime you restretch, you save about $13-15 plus shipping and time. And when you run out of mesh, the box of replacement panels is small and lightweight. Plus you can have only a few frames, but keep and swap out different mesh counts.
Thanks for the feedback! I think I'll adjust the planned size of my multi-color print a bit to give me 5" gutters top & bottom. I did manage to find a similar thread via the search tool - and I now feel guilty for asking what seems to be a common first-post question. Andymac, the book is fantastic!
Ok - I'm feeling good about the gutters... but now I have a *new question*
For my 1 color print I was panning to print black on white paper. Looking at the all the tiny white type living in vast areas of black ink fill, I am wondering if white ink printed on black paper would be a safer bet. Here is a snippet of the image in question:
The top block of text is 17 points ("V" is 3/8" high), and the lower text is 12 points ("Y" is a hair smaller than 1/8" high). I'm thinking that if I print black on white paper, I'm going to run into trouble with the black ink filling the small text on the bottom.
I think you are fucked both ways. Welcome to screenprinting.
Damn! Not the double F! I had a feeling I was. I think I'm going to print black ink on white, increase the size of the upper text and get rid of the fine text on the bottom. If I can get something 1/10th as good as that motorcycle on my first print since high school I'll be a happy camper. Mahalo Andymac!