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Screen Printing Start Up

Discussion in 'Screen Printing' started by muledalton, Oct 11, 2009.

  1. muledalton

    muledalton Member

    Apr 3, 2008
    I'm looking at investing into screen printing equipment. I'm a school teacher and have the inside track into the schools PE, sports, orginazation shirts, etc. Looks like the money would be too good to pass up. I've looked at a few websites and wanted advice on companies you've had success with. I'm planning on buying a 4-color 1 station press (I don't know why i would need to 2 stations if I'm by myself), flash dryer, exposure light unit, and printer (the printer is what I'm really not sure about). Obviously I will have to buy all the supplies as well. I've looked at Ryonet and would like any other suggestions you may have.

    Thanks, Darrin
  2. houseofgrafix

    houseofgrafix none

    Dec 27, 2007
  3. TheSnowman

    TheSnowman Major Contributor

    Aug 28, 2007
    Yea, you don't wanna do that. You can sub them out to I-45 Signs, and still make good money, and you don't deal w/ all the "crap" that comes w/ screen printing.
  4. briankb

    briankb Premium Subscriber

    Jul 7, 2009
    Lake City, Florida
    I purchased a 4 color 1 station "magnet" press from Ryonet over 6 years ago. It's a POS. They've upgraded since but it's still not that great. If you are serious get a 4-1 (4 color 1 station) or 6-2 (6 color 2 station) from http://vastex.com/index2.html it's more money but their machines are pretty solid. I was just at the SGIA show where they had their V1000 press and other machines.

    One reason you may want a 2 station press even if you are running solo is speed. While one color is being "flashed" you can print another shirt. when it's done pull the 1st one back and print the 2nd color. I'm looking at spending about $5k to a get a 6-4 press, 110v conveyer dryer, and exposure unit from Vastek in the next week.

    Ryonet does NOT have the best prices on supplies either. Visit SGIA.org and look up the screen printing vendors http://www.sgia.org/events/current_expo/my_expo_planner/company_list.cfm

    finally I would agree that you can probably avoid all the expense and training needed by outsourcing to one of the signs101 merchant members that offer that service.

    also try http://www.t-shirtforums.com for more specific screen printing feedback.
  5. jgproducts

    jgproducts New Member

    Aug 25, 2009

    You would be better to just shoot yourself in the foot. Out source the work. Find someone to do the art if you can't and find a shirt source and heve them contract printed and never get your hands dirty. I do one and two color stuff and send everything else out. No fuss no mess. As for the inside track that is good sometimes. There are shops out thee now that will make a fifty cent profit to just stay open. Getting the system is not rocket science but it is not legos either. There is a leaning curve. And you need to spend between 5k and 8k to get the right stuff the first time.
    Just my 2 cents worth

    Signwerkz/JG Products
  6. Farmboy

    Farmboy Active Member

    Feb 8, 2007
    Auburn, NY
    Looks like the money would be too good to pass up. Uh huh. Making money from schools is like getting blood from a stone. Schools want everything for nothing or the person that orders already has a printer that they use and getting them to switch is next to impossible unless that printer really screws up. Easy money it ain't!
  7. Just Another Sign Guy

    Just Another Sign Guy Very Active Member

    Jun 19, 2004
    i agree if you are going to do it, design it, organize it, farm it out. if you are going to do it in house buy the best equipment you can afford there is some serious junk out there targeted at the noob that is anything but professional.

    i would suggest you go check out a working textile outfit so you can see first hand the need for more than one station as well as the need for a conveyor drier. many ppl cure witha flash unit but it is anything but an optimum way to go about it...i do not recommend it at all. if you are doing team type work you will also need a numbering unit..with any quantity at all you will want a press with more than one station. for a manual press 4 station 4 color is the way to go.
  8. Mosh

    Mosh Major Contributor

    Oct 19, 2009
    We started with a 4 color 4 staion M&R back in 1990, we are up to a 12 color M&R automatic as well as 2 manual printers for smaller orders (under 100 pcs). There is alot of money to be made in screenprinting. BUT, there is ALOT of other stuff you need besides a printer. To do it right I would guess $20,000 for a basic starter set-up. I know Ryonet sells cheaper start-up stuff, but get good equipment to start out, cause these days 4 color machine is not much to offer. Also software and a good post-script laser printer, exposure unit, washout and reclaimer, screens, ink, mesh....
  9. trik

    trik Member

    Feb 10, 2009
    Yuba City, CA
    I agree on the good equipment for a couple of reasons. First you are brand new I assume, which means you have to learn to print, good equipment will help tremendously in that aspect, especially with registration. Secondly the saying "you get what you pay for" is so true.

    M&R and Vastek would be my choices, we own both!

    Also outsourcing maybe the way to go. As much as I love the industry, it is a lot of work hidden in overall production. It may look all glamorous in the beginning, but once you start cleaning screens, prepping screens, burning screens, finding a good way to store vellum, etc...and these are just a few things..lol

    Good luck which ever way you go!
  10. juan45215

    juan45215 Member

    Aug 6, 2004
    Cincinnati OH
    I just want to add. Screen printing is very messy if you are thinking about doing it at home. The learning curve is much longer than you would think. I agree with everyone else, sub it out at least until you are sure this is what you want to so. Contract printers are very cheap. If you are a good salesman you can make good money without ever touching a press.
  11. gnatt66

    gnatt66 Active Member

    Oct 31, 2007
    i recently bought a 4c/4s press for an eventual attempt at screenprinting, but not as a 'business' venture. i've always wanted to be able to do it, so maybe in a few months/years i can gather a fair amount of the stuff required.

    it's a more daunting task than it seems from the outside, that's for sure. lots and lots of equipment and stuff required.
  12. High Octane

    High Octane Active Member

    Mar 27, 2005
    Fenton, Michigan
    I wouldn't trust a flash dryer to do a final cure....you never really know its cured...and what a pain to try and flash cure any type of large run.
  13. knifemaker3

    knifemaker3 Member

    May 16, 2007
    Another option if you want to do it in house and not be out too much money is to buy a quality heat press (good ones start a @$700) and then have plastisol transfers made from the different transfer companies. It's what a lot of people are doing these days that only do garment decorating. ACE, First Edition, F&M,Transfer Express, Stahls, etc. all have fairly good reputations for this service.
  14. mark in tx

    mark in tx Very Active Member

    Oct 25, 2005
    Harker Heights, Texas
    Besides the cost of the equipment, who is going to do your artwork?

    Do you already know how to do color separations, line counts, angles, etc...

    The mechanical portion of screen printing is very related to the creative element.
  15. K Chez

    K Chez Member

    Feb 13, 2008
    Howell, NJ
    +1 on NOT using a flash dryer to cure prints. Absolutely no consistancy and you'll warp your shirtboards, resulting in even more headaches.
  16. mark in tx

    mark in tx Very Active Member

    Oct 25, 2005
    Harker Heights, Texas
    I use a flash on the base color, then into the dryer after the other colors are screened.
    Never had a board warp, but they are all metal.
  17. knifemaker3

    knifemaker3 Member

    May 16, 2007
    Just a flash generally won't warp your platen. It's when you cure with a flash that you get the warped platen.
  18. Graphics2u

    Graphics2u Very Active Member

    Jan 31, 2007
    We added Screenprinting to our sign business about 1 1\2 years ago. Used equipment, a Printa 770 6c - 4s, so it's not the best but it does get the basics done. Even with used equipment to get everything needed to get the job done right we ended up with close to 10k invested. If you have a day job as teacher that's quite a chuck of change for extra money. Took us longer than I thought to learn the basics (we're still learning by the way) and I already had a fair knowledge of producing the artwork.

    So I'd really consider subbing out the work at first at least, or the heat press idea above is a good thought. I did that for a while before jumping in.
    And like others have said no matter what the sales people tell you, do not try to cure shirts with a flash unit. You need a conveyor dryer.
  19. herestj

    herestj New Member

    Jul 18, 2008
    I have one of Ryonet's 6/2. Its a great press to get started with. There are micros available for it now so I will look into those as well, but it holds reg just fine. I like the that they have everything in one place, and they are always nice to me when I order or have questions.

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