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.

A big mahalo (thank you) for any and all advice!

Henrik