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  1. #1

    Join Date
    Dec 2007
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    Default Emulsion troubleshooting.

    Yo.

    So, I spent the past few weeks building the light box, a table to print on, et cetera, and now I'm running wedge tests to find the good exposure time. I'm using Ulano 925WR and glass-top exposure box with 40W unfiltered black light bulbs about 5" from the screen.
    The screens are 190 Y mesh that were degreased thoroughly. My positives are oiled laser print paper and, for shits and giggles, opaque black coverstock cutouts.

    Ulano's specs recommend 288 seconds for 1/1 coating; 12 mins for 2/2 coating.

    I'm now on my sixth test run with lots of failure.

    The first run I did 2/2 for 12 mins and the thing was like a baked shrinky dink. Nothing washed out. Nothing.

    This last run I did 2/2 and stepped 4 to 10 mins with 1 1/2 min increments in between. Progress, finally getting good washout and fidelity to the positive, but lots of "peeling like a sunburn" and blurry or jagged edges.

    In between those runs I did some 1/1 coats others 1/2 or 2/2 with varied times from 1 min to 7 min and the same effects, everything from leather to blurry goo.

    Sooo....I went to wash out this last run and my whole screen is ghosted. Seriously bad. Both edges from excess emulsion that didn't get scraped perfectly to bits and pieces of the image in the center of the screen. Haven't even had the chance to open a pail of ink yet so this is all emulsion. I reclaim twice, still got lots of gunk. I dehaze like there's no tomorrow and still it looks like crusty disaster.

    Any thoughts before I take it and throw it out the window? I've even checked the sensitizer bottle twice to make sure I got it all in and it still hasn't changed inside.

    Anyone ever get a bad batch of emulsion or do I just need to burn some sage up in here?

    Thanks.

  2. #2
    Premium Member
    Iron Canvas Studios's Avatar


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    Default

    emulsion could be bad or old, I get this every once in a while - but that's only after I haven't been using it a lot and it sits around for quit a few months.

    Actually I don't know, thinking is too hard at 5:30 am.

  3. #3
    squeegeethree's Avatar

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    Default

    What's on the other side of the screen when it's getting exposed?

  4. #4

    Default

    you can use blacklight bulbs as a light source?

  5. #5
    mono_666's Avatar

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    Default

    I think emulsion needs to be mixed for awhile before it goes bad

  6. #6
    squeegeethree's Avatar

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    If you can't even shoot a pice of black paper than there's something wrong with you're rig. Are you using a vacuum? Black lights can be a great light source how many 40w bulbs are you using?

  7. #7
    Premium Member
    crosshair's Avatar


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    Default

    Get an exposure calculator and at least you can eliminate that variable forever.
    This one is fifteen bucks.
    Franklin ImageMate Exposure Calculator: Richardson Supply
    Every printer should have an exposure calculator. Think of how much valuable emulsion and time you waste screwing around with exposure times.
    Crosshair pushing here until its limit the bringing together.

    www.crosshairchicago.com

    "Every single Crosshair poster I've ever seen is almost exactly the same. Do these guys even have a bit of creativity in them? I mean, come one - shitty old building pics photoshopped with text over them. Pretty pathetic to say the least."

    "it just seems like so little effort is put into creating this? am i missing something?"

  8. #8
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    steve w's Avatar

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    do you have a power-washer?
    did you abrade your screens?
    it's hard to advise without actually seeing your process.
    and, yes, exposure calculator.
    "I guarantee, the image will not be fade off and you will be pleasure it too. " - a bootlegger
    We need to print a tshirt "Avoid sucker effect!"-Fabio
    "fudge isn't sharp"-phoondaddy

  9. #9

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    Default

    So....

    While I don't have a power washer I do have a high pressure hose for washout, not the same thing, but not water dribbling out of a faucet either. I would understand and accept this more if this was the 20th time I was cleaning the screen and there's been time for ink to dry etc., but I'm talking about a straight up exposure time test.

    On the back of the screen is a piece of black light blockout fabric with a piece of hardboard on top to weight it down. The hardboard is cut to fit the inside of the screen perfectly.

    I have ten 40W bulbs in the exposure box and there is only about 1 inch of space in between each light in the box.

    The emulsion is now 3 days sensitized.

    Bran flake time.

  10. #10

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    Default

    I just ran another test run with a screen that was coated 1/1 and dried overnight.

    I did 30 sec, 1 min, 1:30. 2 min, and 3 min.

    Finally some real success.
    The 30sec completely washed out.
    The 1 min burned but in a real light fashion.
    The 1:30 and 2min washed out and had fidelity to the positive, but my issue is still the lack of clean lines on shapes such as squares and 25 px wide lines.

    The 3 min wouldn't wash out. So much for manufacturer advised burn times.

    Anyone using 925 familiar with this blurry jagged edge funk? And anyone who used 925 but switched to something else, say QTZ, find the latter better? I'm thinking about telling my supplier this emulsion ain't right.

    -NPT

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