I wrote this post a while ago in an imgur album and decided to bring it on over to the blog. Like any DIY project, there’s other ways to print boards but this is how I have done it.
I built this so I could stretch the mesh really loose. In the future I may look in to buying them pre stretched if I can specify how many newtons.
I built this out of scrap wood I had laying around. It definitely needs blocks on the front so the off contact is consistent. The biggest problem I ran in to was off contact and rushing really. I built the screen/press, burned the image and printed in the same day which is a terrible idea but I wanted to get a finished product.
I didn’t have a scoop coater or exposure unit large enough to accommodate this size screen but, since this worked out decent enough, I have since purchased a larger coater and built the DIY LED exposure unit.
There aren’t any pictures of my actually printing, not because I want to keep it a secret but because you have to keep moving the entire time or else the ink can lock up in the screen. Make sure you don’t have a fan running in the shop and, ideally, you want to keep the relative humidity in the room fairly high like for any water based inks. I cut down the handle on the squeegee so I was able to wrap my fingers along the edges and follow the contour of the boards so wear gloves.
So all in all the boards came out alright. I only printed 4 and all of them have very small ghosting issues that are noticeable close up. Next time I’m going to either tape off the bleed on the sides or completely avoid making the graphic go edge to edge since this is where a majority of the issues are. Once you make a mistake with this ink it spreads QUICK and then you have to stop everything and clean up just for it to happen on the next board.
Here you can see a few small issues but all in all I’m happy with them. I don’t have any plans on selling them since they aren’t perfect but am up for giving away what I have to be hung in small shops/public areas in Baltimore.
*This is only my second attempt at printing boards*