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  1. #1
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    Default Color Registration With Fixed Clamps?

    A while back, I read about a technique for registering multiple colors that went something like this:


    1. Using rulers and registration marks, make a sincere attempt to have your films line up in the same place relative to the frames of the screen(s) before you expose them.
    2. Print the first color, making sure you've pre-racked your paper ahead of time.
    3. Clamp in your second screen and tape down the far side of something transparent (like a blank piece of film) over your print surface, turn on the vacuum, and print your second color onto that clear sheet.
    4. Lift up your screen, slide your first piece of your one-color-so-far print run paper under that transparent sheet and line up your registration marks.
    5. Lay in masking tape tabs on the corner(s) of that piece of paper.
    6. Remove the transparent sheet.
    7. Print the rest of your run.


    I'm sure it was a post on these forums that described this method, but I can't for the life of me find it again. The appeal of this (proposed) technique is that you don't have to try to move or reposition your screens once they're clamped in, and since my setup is a pair of Jiffys bolted right into the press*, this sounds like the sort of color registration system I'm looking for.

    Could anyone clarify if I've got the right idea here or if I've missed a step or some key concept of this? Should I try to use a large sheet of tracing paper instead of a blank sheet of film? Something else entirely?

    Thank you in advance for any/all advice.

    *I know that having your clamps on a separate shim is the best thing for projects where your off-contact needs to change, but I'm just trying to focus on prints on paper for now.

  2. #2
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    That's pretty much exactly how I was taught to do it in college. It's what I do now. It's not always perfect but it works.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by SkinnyD View Post
    That's pretty much exactly how I was taught to do it in college. It's what I do now. It's not always perfect but it works.
    Good to know I'm in the ballpark on this one! Are you doing that first pass of the 2nd color on a blank sheet of film, or on something else?

  4. #4
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    Well that's a lot more work than is needed IMO. You should NEVER have to move your screen to adjust registration (some set ups you have to I guess). It's a lot easier to move you print (or bed if your set up that way).
    1. Print your first color in registration to your first screen (obvious, but I see people skip this first important step and wonder why they cant register their second color)
    2. When you are ready for the second color, tape the film you used to shoot your screen into registration on the first printed color.
    3. Tape a stiff piece of paper to the print edge, making a handle, and slide the print under the screen until the film is lined up with the screen. (there are various awesome tricks I've learned over the years to do this fast and it takes me all of 10 seconds to line up).
    4. Lift up the screen and put down your registration tabs.
    5. Get printing
    6. If the registration is a hair off then move the tabs accordingly. You can really dial in reg easily and accurately. remember when adjusting registration that the color you are printing remains static and you are moving the existing printing around underneath it.

    Some general tips about registration.
    1. Use a 3 point reg system, never more never less.
    2. One out of registration print doesn't mean that the whole edition will be out of reg the same way. Print a second print to see if it too is out of registration the same way as the first before adjusting.
    3. When using a 3 point system don't ever move all 3 points at the same time, it's too easy to mess the reg up.
    4. Always register subsequent colors to a print that is completely in registration. For this reason we have a "Reg Print" at the end of the run that we print and we always register to that print.
    5. If you move your registration mid edition in a substantial way then you need to keep that point of departure noted. The easiest way to do this is while you are racking slide a scrap of paper into the rack where you moved and write on it what you did. Then when you are unpacking, unrack that paper scrap with the edition and put it in the stack. This helps keep the 2 different registrations segregated and also reminds you what you did.
    6. Consistency is the key to registration. Even little things can mess up your registration. We've had cases where we put a fan blowing on the last rack to speed up it's drying and when it came time to print the next color... you guessed it... that rack was out of registration.
    Last edited by squeegeethree; 08-29-2013 at 09:22 AM.

  5. #5
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    That "handle" of paper is a really good idea, squeegeethree! I'd seen videos of t-shirt presses that lined up shirts in this under-the-screen-already way, but I didn't realize you could use the same technique for flatstock work as well. (Thank you for the general tips too!)

    Is it difficult to see through the emulsion when moving the paper+film around underneath? I'm likely going to have to add some standing lights to the area I'll be printing in already, but even so, your method sounds like it requires a touch of x-ray vision to see through the semi-opaque areas of the screen to the black lines of the film beneath. Any way to describe those awesome tricks from Step 3?

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by rghayati View Post
    T
    Is it difficult to see through the emulsion when moving the paper+film around underneath? I'm likely going to have to add some standing lights to the area I'll be printing in already, but even so, your method sounds like it requires a touch of x-ray vision to see through the semi-opaque areas of the screen to the black lines of the film beneath. Any way to describe those awesome tricks from Step 3?
    nonono, that's just it. It's super easy to see. I use the most opaque emulsion (highest solid content) emulsion you can imagine and the film is obvious. It's especially easy to see because when you have it lined up right the color of the open screen mesh turns to the black color of your film. You can see the slightly non-aligned parts right away.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by squeegeethree View Post
    nonono, that's just it. It's super easy to see. I use the most opaque emulsion (highest solid content) emulsion you can imagine and the film is obvious. It's especially easy to see because when you have it lined up right the color of the open screen mesh turns to the black color of your film. You can see the slightly non-aligned parts right away.
    This is good to know! What you say about the black of the film lining up with the lines in the stencil makes sense. Thank you for the advice on this!

  8. #8
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    squeegeethree knows his stuff. When I'm scouring the older posts for answers to problems I have I tend to keep an eye out for his posts and I would recommend doing the same.

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