DIY Hat Platen


To purchase an updated version of this platen click here!

I’ve been having issues using my home made transfers on my hat press so I decided to build a hat platen out of scrap I had lying around.


The issue.
I don’t have an oven so I’ve been gelling my transfer with a hover heat press. This works every once in a while but rather than go through another $100 in hats I decided it was time to find a better solution.

Illustrator design
I started with a rectangle shape like I’ve seen on commercial attachments and added some soft curves to the edge.

Thank you pathfinder
Slammed them all down with pathfinder and deleted the excess

Laser time
This is where things get interesting. I bought a laser from China about a year ago because I love automated production and knew I could get it up and running for cheap. It’s done pretty well for how much it cost and the modifications I’ve made to it.

You can see on the screen I added the holes for mounting as an after thought in Corel. Drilling acrylic is difficult since it’s so prone to cracking and then exploding.

Holes counter sunk and attached to a cut down 2″x2″ that was connected to a junk platen I use to print tote bags.

Since this is acrylic I can’t flash so I’ll have to either heat gun cure or I may give water based inks with a low cure catalyst a shot.

Looks like it’ll print the proper size

Hold down
The 2″x2″ wasn’t cut the full height of the platen so I can tuck under it. I don’t plan on doing more than single color hats so no “real” hold down but spray tack should be fine and high opacity on dark will definitely help by only having to use a single stroke.

Screen down
Looks good.

Wide shot
So a great part about having the tuck under area is that it really pulls the bill down. I wasn’t expecting this but now I theoretically could place the image on the middle of the screen or do a bunch of them down the center without having to clip anything down.


Here is the template for the platen. Make sure to follow the scaling key to make sure it prints at the proper size.


2 Comment

  1. @skunkbeer says: Reply


  2. Mr. Hill says: Reply

    That’s my purse! I don’t know you!

Leave a Reply