Pre-press... when making film, if you want to eliminate photo chemicals
the camera and use an ink jet printer, or a laser printer on smaller
work. There are now specially-treated clear materials that can
sub for litho
film and still give you perfect positives at good prices. Best
of all, you
can make them with your home computer system and a decent
Exposure... use solar (the sun) to burn screens. This eliminates the use
electricity and exotic bulbs or carbon arc.
3) Washout... run the waste water through a settling tank with filter baffles
(cheap low tech) or use a batch treatment filtration system with floculant
style or removable filters. Make an evaporation tank if appropriate, this
will keep effluent out of the wastewater stream.
What the well-dressed screen printer is wearing these days.
4) Personal safety equipment for washout or screen reclaiming... solvent
gloves, apron, long-sleeved shirt, face splash shield (or at the
goggles), respirator (if necessary) and ear protection.
5) Inks... switch to waterbase, allows the use of water for clean-up and
reduces rag use - use sponges over and over. Water base ink
(volatile organic compounds) in the printing and recaiming
area or your studio,
and reduces the use of reclaiming chemicals.
6) Tape out your screens with clear packing tape - tape your gutters and
the screen surface close to your image, when you clean up just pull
tape - eliminates excess ink cleanup on the press and in the
7) If you do use solvent based inks... switch to lemon based ink degrader,
allows cleanup without laquer thinner or agressive solvents.
8) If you do use solvent based inks... use a respirator mask, wear solvent
resistant gloves during clean-up, and put used rags outside the studio to
evaporate solvents. Afterwards, dry the rags and wash with bleach, then
9) If you do use solvents continued... Ventilation system suction from the
floor (solvent fumes are heavier than air) near the press, and if you have
drying racks, place a suction vent with a curtain shroud where you can push
the racks during drying - your prints give off the most fumes as the inks
harden, you can direct these to the outside with a vented drying area that
captures the VOCs. There are also stand-alone airscrubbers which will filter
VOCs and dust from the air, through replacement filters.
Sunlight is clean, uniform and free!
Reclaiming... use a pressure washer, switch to biodegradible stencil
haze remover, and degreaser. The use of a pressure washer will
allow you to
use minimal amounts of the reclaiming chemicals. Personal
outlined above should always be worn for this proceedure.
Also, a properly
constructed backlit washout booth with a suction vent will
11) Recycling ... separate garbage into used ink, paper, cardboard, and
waste. Reuse paper for set-up and test prints, then use it for wrapping
packing. Reuse cans and plastic containers for ink mixing, allow inks to
before disposing of them, mix used or trash inks together and use as
or dark grey, try to use up left-over custom mixed inks before using
12) Clean-up... use ink knives and scrape away as much ink from the stencil
area as possible, then pull away the tape to carry off the excess outside
the image area. Always clean tools and equipment before inks or spills
you use far less cleaner and materials. When cleaning solvent-based
make sure to use enough cleaner to break the ink and absorb it -
use one rag
to first clean the screen, then wipe the squeegee, then the ink
13) Studio Layout... maintain designated storage areas for all tools and
there will be a marked reduction in waste, spillage, and
dirty processes from the main printing area, build in
your venting to accomodate
the layout, with sealed spaces if appropriate,
and if you really want to get
tricky, build the venting so you have positive
air pressure in the room at
all times, with a controlled filtered intake -
this will decrease dust in
the printing area, and carry away VOCs or smells