I've been thinking a lot about screen printing the past week after finally making something. I find the art very fascinating and really like it more and more. There are so many techniques and ways to print things. It's overwhelming but I love the flood of knowledge when I read about it. Just today I came across new things that made me eager to keep learning.
As my next goal is to print a 3 color design, I realized my printing press setup (if you can call it a printing press...) is not suitable. During my terribly busy day - see super not busy - I spent a large part of the afternoon thinking how I could build an easy and effective system for my table top. Bridging together my needs and elements of other systems I came up with the following.
This involves 6 clamps to secure different parts of the system. This allows a lot of flexibility because everything is movable on the table then. The screen will clamp to a hinges that are screwed into blocks which will in turn be held by clamps on the table. The printing platen that the shirt goes on for printing will be positioned on a longer piece of wood that can be slid up and down. This will then be clamped on the table edge.
There is a small degree of off contact with the hinge being positioned under the screen that will be very good. You can see that gap created on the drawing. This will help prevent the stencil from sticking to substrates in the future. Cardboard could be inserted between the clamp and hinge to raise the distance if desired.
The biggest plus of the design is the platen. The shirt can be slid on the platen and the excess material will hang off the edges and out of the way. Thus only one layer of fabric and the wood platen will be in contact with each other rather than the backside of the shirt bunching up against the front. The shirt will also lay very flat so it will make aligning multiple color prints easier.
Of course this all looks good to me in theory. We will have to see how it comes out. I'll start work on this tomorrow.