Also, the other thing I do when I'm printing something like that is make a frame of sorts so that there is an even, solid surface under my entire frame.
Like Andy said, I flood hard. I've been training someone and she was leaving a very uneven flood -- to the point that there was a marbling of ink on the screen. I find it's important to make pull and flood almost a continuous motion; don't pause and see how your print looks. Commit to it.
squeegeethree, nah man doesn't smell like cat pee at all. i'm in grandview, there's tons of places like mine around. right now the basement is smelling like screen opener and the windows don't open so it's crazy strong.
This would be a far easier job if you would have located wood that was milled, sanded, finished, and leveled at 2x15x20 and built in a slightly larger "trim" margin. Then you could print the job as a solid board and have someone with a really good table saw and a finishing blade cut it up for you. A little minimal sanding and you're good. You'd have easier variables to troubleshoot as from there it pretty much can only be the printing and not wiggling or out of size blocks or whatever.
I know this is the screenprinting forum, but if I might talk about letterpress to illustrate a point briefly... If you've ever printed letterpress, specifically from handset type, you know that one overlooked section of the job is leveling the type or cuts you are working with to a solid plane (with relation to the height of the face to the bed), otherwise known as 'planing' the type. Low type needs to be brought up; high type needs to be sanded at the foot to bring it down. You don't even know there is a problem until you start lightly proofing the form and then you see the variations in inking and pressure and can begin to address them (this is part of what made letterpress such a difficult endeavor for so long, before modern polymer plates).
A similar issue could be part of the problem here and you wouldn't even know it without a tight tolerance straightedge. When you deal with inflexible substrates like wood, even minute variations in thickness really make a difference in a situation like this- they might even be so minute as you would be unable to discover them with your fingers or a regular ruler.
This would be a far easier job if you would have located wood that was milled, sanded, finished, and leveled at 2x15x20 and built in a slightly larger "trim" margin. Then you could print the job as a solid board and have someone with a really good table saw and a finishing blade cut it up for you.
How the hell is he going to print the other 4 sides if it's one solid board.
He says the blocks are true so it has to be his printing.
Hah. Yeah the one sheet of wood would have been great if it was one sided or two side, but I've gotta print all 6 sides. It's gotta be my printing. I made a new screen with 305 mesh and am awaiting the new blocks to arrive. I'll keep you updated. Thanks for a all the feedback. This site has been a huge help in getting my home set-up together.
Alright thanks again for everybody's input and feedback.
Finally finished the blocks today.
After ordering more blocks and having to sand down a few misprinted sides we ran into more problems.
Using Ulano rlx emulsion we noticed that the emulsion was breaking down after 10-20 prints. we cleaned the screen and re-exposed the design for 12 blocks and sat the screen outside for about an hour on each side in the sun hoping that it would harden up the image a bit. second time around and we noticed it lasted a little longer, but still started breaking down quickly.
not sure the reason.
once my exposure unit is built at home i'll be testing out the murakami photocure pro in hopes that i can do a 1/1 coating and let the exposed screen sit in the sun for a bit without having any problems or breakdown.
also, sanding individual sides really messed me up in having different heights. even just the slightest change in height messed up a lot of blocks on the second re-print.
school was definitely in session for this job and i'm glad i made it through it and learned as much as i did from my mistakes.
Ulano Proclaim emulsion breaks down really quickly with water-based inks as well. Gums up like crazy too, I actually sheared a sheet of 250gsm stonehenge in half trying to peel it off the screen a couple of weeks ago.
We got some sweet new purple emulsion in today. Couldn't even wait to get it down into the studio before opening it!