Author Topic: DIY Belt Dryer  (Read 6874 times)

Offline 3Deep

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Re: DIY Belt Dryer
« Reply #15 on: August 03, 2018, 11:30:35 AM »
If you keep looking you might find one for free that someone wants to dump, or you might find one real cheap that needs a little work.  I started out using waterbase inks and dried shirts on a hanger in the sun and my wife's oven then move to a flash unit, saved every penny I could, then got lucky and bought a whole shop of equipment for around 1600 bucks....just keep looking shop's are up upgrading and going out of biz everyday for one reason or another so equipment is out there to be had.


and to build one would cost your more than you think, a belt itself could eat up your budget.
« Last Edit: August 03, 2018, 11:37:08 AM by 3Deep »
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Online screenxpress

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Re: DIY Belt Dryer
« Reply #16 on: August 03, 2018, 06:14:14 PM »
Folks,

Thanks for all the advice.

$1000 is really too much for me to spend at this time.

If not a belt dryer, what about a flash dryer? What should I look for in a good used flash dryer? How do I know what a good one is? Are there websites out there that do reviews on Silk Screen equipment?

Thanks
Bart

The problem is....even a GOOD flash dryer is going to run you at least $500. 

If you do end up going Flash Dryer to cure....DO NOT CURE ON THE PRESS PLATENS.....been there, done that, replaced the platens.
Anything important is never left to the vote of the people. We only get to vote on some man; we never get to vote on what he is to do.  Will Rogers

Offline SPexchange

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Re: DIY Belt Dryer
« Reply #17 on: August 03, 2018, 11:00:15 PM »
Saw a customer use a heat shrink tunnel.  I think I have seen it all.

You could put 2 flashes over a 18" conveyor.

Offline Homer

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Re: DIY Belt Dryer
« Reply #18 on: August 04, 2018, 01:20:38 AM »
homemade dryer sounds like a fire hazard to me. If you want to be in business, there are costs that go with it. There isn't any schooling for this industry. Cost of equipment and all the mistakes you're about to make - consider that your tuition......


go buy a heat gun @ Home Depot. 50.00 and you're in business..
...keep doing what you're doing, you'll only get what you've got...

Offline Crazy Mike

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Re: DIY Belt Dryer
« Reply #19 on: August 04, 2018, 09:43:37 AM »
The cheapest way to get a good cure my be to use a heat gun to set print and finish using a
hot press for a final cure. Or use your oven in your stove at home.

Offline Prince Art

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Re: DIY Belt Dryer
« Reply #20 on: August 04, 2018, 10:17:58 AM »
So, there are ways to work around the need for a conveyor dryer using a flash cure unit. I've seen rotary table tables (essentially 4 platens that rotate like press), so you can rotate a shirt under, let it cure while you print on your press, rotate to the next, etc. I've also seen one set up as a linear table with several "curing stations," where you slide the flash into position over each shirt. And I caught shirts on fire in the kitchen oven once!

But here's the thing: Going too DIY wastes a lot of time & money. Many years ago, I spent a lot of time building a 4-color, 2 station wood press, and tried curing with a flash unit. Problem was, around the same time, I had gotten a job at a big shop. So, by the time I went to try to print a job on my homebrew press, I knew how real equipment should perform, and what good printing results looked like. Despite the fact that I was also ignorant of how much profit you need to actually make money, this method was so painfully so slow, it took exactly one 36 piece P-F-P job for me to know that I could not go on this way. (It was also physically painful - those platens got hot!)

Lesson's not over, though: So, I scraped together some cash, bought a small dryer, and 4-color "real" press. And I was actually "in business," able to handle orders fast enough in my free time to start building up to going full time. But you have no idea how many times I kicked myself for not saving a little more money to get better equipment. I bought a press without micros (i.e., micro adjustment)! And took way too long to replace it. As a result I slaved over setups for hours instead of minutes, and profit was abysmal. And my small dryer was way better than the flash, but still required running shirts through twice to guarantee a full cure. I should have traded up at the earliest opportunity. I could go on & on, with my too-small, no vacuum exposure unit, my weak reclaim setup, etc. Every weak link in the chain slowed me down and ate away at any money I was making.

Finally, the light dawned on me, and I set about upgrading & improving in every area I could, and I saw dramatic improvements in the speed with which we could turn around jobs, and therefore profit as well. But the reality is, if I had been clued into the importance of this from the beginning, I would have tried hard to make efficiency a priority. And I would have tried to earn/save money elsewhere to get good equipment, rather than try to get by on as little as possible.

Obviously, I don't know what your situation is. But here's what I'm saying:  Consider whether you want to be only a hobbyist, or if you want to own a business that turns a profit. And if you want a business, then: if you really have no choice but to start by curing with a flash unit, then do it. But only for as long as you have to. Think down the road to what will help you get shirts in, printed, & back out, in a quick, uncomplicated manner. Make it a priority to get professional-level equipment, even it's entry-level or mid-grade. Don't just think "What's a cheap way I can do this?" but rather "What will it ultimately take to do this fast enough & well enough to profit from, so the business can grow & give me a paycheck?" The way you approach this now can affect your ability to sustain & grow your business in the months & years ahead.
« Last Edit: August 05, 2018, 09:30:21 AM by Prince Art »
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Offline BartJY

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Re: DIY Belt Dryer
« Reply #21 on: August 04, 2018, 10:42:11 AM »
A lot to think about.

If I could finance a belt dryer I would. I'll check into that.

Thanks
Bart

Offline Frog

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Re: DIY Belt Dryer
« Reply #22 on: August 04, 2018, 11:08:33 AM »
Bart, here's an old thread listing other forums that can only help you (and other members who have missed it)
http://www.theshirtboard.com/index.php/topic,620.0.html.
While true, we pride ourselves on being a little more sophisticated, and attracting the best in the biz, you may well find more of the sought after "kitchen remedies" at a place like T Shirt Forum. We just can't recommend a lot of the advice shared there (often the blind leading the blind), though anywhere, even here, as Pierre has also warned, take all advice with a grain of salt, and use reasonable caution when something sounds crazy!
That rug really tied the room together, did it not?

Offline BartJY

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Re: DIY Belt Dryer
« Reply #23 on: August 04, 2018, 12:32:16 PM »
I appreciate it.

Thanks
Bart

Offline larryk

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Re: DIY Belt Dryer
« Reply #24 on: August 06, 2018, 04:57:22 PM »
Good idea to look into financing that conveyor dryer.... and while you are at it make sure you get enough for a flash unit.  You WILL need it more sooner than later. Good luck with everything.

Offline Atownsend

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Re: DIY Belt Dryer
« Reply #25 on: August 06, 2018, 07:33:34 PM »
Hey Bart! You’re in a Cvile right?

I sold our old 24” Hix dryer to this guy in Powhatan last winter. Probably an hour from you.  He already has it for sale along with an  8 color Harco press. I think he wanted 7-800 for them. Harco = brown which is not great but better than anything DIY. PM me if you want his contact info. The Hix is 240v 8ft total 6ft of heat. Good for a startup... it got me where I wanted to go. Also, if you’re ever in RVA hit me up and I’ll show you how we do things here.

Offline BartJY

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Re: DIY Belt Dryer
« Reply #26 on: August 16, 2018, 04:02:05 PM »
On 64 towards Richmond I'm about 20 miles from C-ville

Offline Doug S

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Re: DIY Belt Dryer
« Reply #27 on: August 17, 2018, 07:32:57 AM »
Folks,

Thanks for all the advice.

$1000 is really too much for me to spend at this time.

If not a belt dryer, what about a flash dryer? What should I look for in a good used flash dryer? How do I know what a good one is? Are there websites out there that do reviews on Silk Screen equipment?

Thanks
Bart


If you are going the flash route, I would definitely find one that has forced air.  We used one of those for about a year before buying a belt dryer.  You don't have much of a budget but there are deals out there.  If it were me, I would wait until I could find the best deal on a gas dryer if you have gas available.  They are soooo much cheaper to run and provide better curing results.  Also, that will save you from having to sell any electric belt dryer in the future.
It's not a job if you love doing it.

Offline mooseman

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Re: DIY Belt Dryer
« Reply #28 on: October 06, 2018, 05:17:40 PM »
OK I am the rube goldburg of the screen printing gang here and i like working around a problem in a way some don't think of.
Think about a good safe source of high heat, then think about ganging 6 or 8 of them together. Lots of electricty but tons of heat also. Fudge up a conveyor or buy a dryer that has a broken heating element just to have the conveyor.
The heat source I am thinking about can be had from Lowes or the Home depot ets .
 ::) ;) :o ;D
mooseman

OK here is the heat source strip it down gang them up for 60 or 80 bucks you get some real heat.
https://www.walmart.com/ip/Bayco-500-Watt-Halogen-Project-Work-Light/14003469
DUE TO CIRCUMSTANCES COMPLETELY WITHIN MY CONTROL YOU SHOULD GET YOUR OWN TEE SHIRT AND A SHARPIE MARKER BY NOON TOMORROW OR SIMPLY CALL SOMEONE WHO GIVES A SHIRT.

Offline gotshirtz001

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Re: DIY Belt Dryer
« Reply #29 on: September 26, 2019, 01:42:08 PM »
Did you ever sort this out?


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