December '14

For the Business of Apparel Decorating

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20 1 4 D EC E M B E R PRINTWEAR | 79 CHECK THE EQUIPMENT Let's start with the equipment. Many screen print professionals use a home- grade electric power washer they bought from the local hardware store. These power washers are typically 1,400 to 2,000 psi and are meant for occasional household chores, such as cleaning the driveway and washing the car. These machines lack ample pressure and aren't meant for daily use, six to 12 hours per day. They eventually burn up and are typically replaced every six weeks to six months. Although these machines are only about $100, it's less expensive and more efficient to buy a commercial power washer, which costs around $700 and is built for everyday use. Along with using a good-quality pres- sure washer, it's important to use a backlit screen booth when reclaiming. Again, don't skimp on cost and purchase a booth without some sort of light fixture mount- ed to the back. The reclaimer should be able to clearly see while working. With- out a backlit booth, the reclaimer can easily overlook small pieces of emulsion and other contaminants that may be left in the screen. KEEP A CLEAN SHOP The cleanliness of the screens and booth has a serious effect on the final stencil, as well. I've visited numerous shops where you can't pick up a screen without get- ting ink all over your hands. Not only will this ink eventually leave finger- prints and smudges on the final print but it also causes contamination in the degreasing process. To avoid this, wipe down the frames of the screens before stripping away the emulsion and con- sider cleaning the inside of the booth during the last 10 minutes of each day. If the frames and booth are both full of ink, tape, and residue, there's a good chance the reclaimer will recontami- ™ Seeing spots? Does your screen opener or on-press color change have you Switch to our and see clearly again! 1 . 8 0 0 . 5 3 8 . 5 0 6 9 W W W . F R A N M A R . C O M

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