Author Topic: keeping clean  (Read 4403 times)

Offline balloonguy

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keeping clean
« on: December 06, 2023, 10:54:17 AM »
I know this seems crazy but how do you keep the ink buckets clean. I ALWAYS splatter/drop ink on the outside of my ink buckets when scooping ink in or out. I even get the outside dirty when opening the ink the first time. I see picture of other shops/ink rooms and the buckets are spotless. Do you guys have a method to keep ink where it should be or do you just clean up after every job?
Thanks,
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Offline tonypep

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Re: keeping clean
« Reply #1 on: December 06, 2023, 11:28:13 AM »
Those "hatchets"......either you love them or hate them. I prefer disposable ink cards (also a love or hate). Stainless frosting knifes to scrape the buckets near the end of their life. And you have to care enough to learn some technique, similar to pouring emulsion in scoop coaters without spilling a drop. Lets face it though, there are a lot of "getterdone" shops who pride themselves on being sloppy. I have horrendous pictures from some previous shops where I literally threw away hundreds of gallons of ink and had them start over clean and organized, with formulas printed and sealed on the outside of the buckets. Drastic to be sure, but it can get wildly out of control and unmanageable in large operations.

Offline balloonguy

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Re: keeping clean
« Reply #2 on: December 06, 2023, 12:01:10 PM »
I don't love or hate the hatchet. I am open to trying something new. My experience before shirts was balloons. The ink is air dry latex. It was a LOT easier to clean. Just let it dry and peal it off. I am at that point now that have to make it better. I am getting slowed down by the mess. When I add ink to a screen I have to wash my hands before I can start printing again. O know if I touch the ink bucket I have ink on my hands! I have never used disposable or stainless but I am trying both next week.
When you dig grave will you make it shallow so that I can feel the rain?

Offline tonypep

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Re: keeping clean
« Reply #3 on: December 06, 2023, 12:27:54 PM »
Some press ops are deathly afraid of running out of ink and I have seen some dump over a half a gal of ink in an auto screen. Presses are disgusting  and you simply can't even look at or touch anything without ink jumping on you. (I know of one shop that buys disposable gloves by the pallet). I prefer to add small scoops a little at a time and monitor this (takes practice). Final cleanup is painless, using 3" stainless paint scrapers (beveled on the corners) and almost zero ink residue remains on the screens before they enter the auto reclaim, which, in turn is easier to maintain and the chemicals last longer as they don't have to work so hard.

Offline 3Deep

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Re: keeping clean
« Reply #4 on: December 06, 2023, 12:59:06 PM »
We use stainless steel and I never every leave a ink knife in buckets of inks, even during production ink lids are back on and the knife lay on top until we get done,  we try to keep our ink buckets as clean as possible, won't say they are spotless.  Also like Tony we don't dump tons of ink in the screen just enough to keep it rolling nice and add more as needed.  I don't like the yellow hatchets even though we have a bunch laying around they just seem kind of messy to use to me  ;D
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Offline Homer

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Re: keeping clean
« Reply #5 on: December 06, 2023, 01:20:31 PM »
slow down. don't use the side of the bucket to scrape the ink knife. wipe the moment ink gets on anything. I have seen a piece of coat hanger / wire shoved through the top of the bucket as a scraping device... too time consuming for me. Or notch the side of the bucket. I prefer they just slow down.....

I was looking over a piece of equipment for a company that refurbs, and my jaw hit the floor when I saw how much lint and ink covered this "newer" press, one spark and this place was a goner..There was no way they were putting out products without an ink stain somewhere.... they weren't too happy about my "WTF is this?!" comment..... you can eat off my presses...
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Offline bimmridder

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Re: keeping clean
« Reply #6 on: December 06, 2023, 01:53:19 PM »
One thing I do, or don't do is not allow gloves to be worn unless you're in the sink for cleaning squeegees and floods. If they wear gloves they DON'T CARE about making a mess. This helps discipline them to keep things clean, the containers, the tools, themselves. And I stress cleaning as you go. Make a mess, clean it up. I've heard it said a number of times how clean our shop is, but I still think it's dirty.
Barth Gimble

Printing  (not well) for 35 years. Strong in licensed sports apparel. Plastisol printer. Located in Cedar Rapids, IA

Offline prozyan

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Re: keeping clean
« Reply #7 on: December 08, 2023, 12:19:31 AM »
As Homer said, don't scrape the knife on the side of the bucket.  Use a disposable card to scrape the knife.  This helps keep buckets clean more than you would think.

Also, as Homer said, slow down and clean as you go.  Really saves a ton of time in the long run.
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Offline blue moon

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Re: keeping clean
« Reply #8 on: December 08, 2023, 09:34:16 AM »
oh man. that hurts to see.
set all those yellow plastic knives in a bucket and forget about them for now. Buy cleanup cards as Tony mentioned and throw them away after you scoop once or twice. wipe them off on the screen rather than on the bucket. Throw away as soon as there is a chance of them getting you dirty. this should keep your hands and buckets clean. easy peasy!
pj
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Offline tonypep

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Re: keeping clean
« Reply #9 on: December 08, 2023, 10:27:37 AM »
More on that shop that buys gloves by the pallet. Its two towns away and I did work there briefly to keep my accountant happy. Four autos, app 60 stock colors on two sets of shelves 120 buckets all with yellow hatchets. I believe they were yellow anyways at one point in time for they were never cleaned ever (for more than a decade). So they were of course whatever color ink that was in the bucket. Heres the real interesting part....yes, they are the ones would pour 1/2 to 2/3 of a bucket into the screens. When tearing down, the squeegee/floodbar assembly is uncerimoniously plopped into the nasty inked screen and the whole mess is shoved into the (you guessed right) nasty ass bakers racks until the next time a job requires that particular color. For setup, the old nasty screens are pulled from the rack and propped up on the print heads and the press assistant uses the nasty hatchets to plop the old ink into the new screen and attach the nasty ass squeegee/floodbars to the nasty multicolor holders (I think they were stainless steel at one point but we'll never know). now those old screens finally make it to reclaim and they are a hot mess (Doesn't help that they are super sloppy tapers.)
When the owner asked about auto reclaim machines I told him not to even think about it until they fundementally change their procedures and explained how most shops (certainly at that size) clean their parts/screens etc between jobs and that those disgusting screens would tear up an auto reclaim machine in about a week. He of course looked at me like I had three heads. I left later that week.

Offline inkman996

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Re: keeping clean
« Reply #10 on: December 08, 2023, 11:57:46 AM »
I have seen shops that some how got ink on the ceilings, and I have seen busy shops and still be spotless. We are very clean here, none of our buckets look like that at all. Like said before it is technique and patience and you can get through the day with out making a mess.

I have s simple rule here, if you get a drop of ink on anything (the press, tables, the floor, any piece of equipment? you wipe it up ASAP period. That keeps things clean 90% of the time. We also take time every couple of weeks to  wipe the press clean of any ink, clean the dust out of the motors etc.

Oh yea and no gloves period. Only for when using chemicals in the sink.
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Offline Evo

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Re: keeping clean
« Reply #11 on: December 08, 2023, 02:18:22 PM »
Stainless cake spatulas. Keep them wiped clean and racked on a magnet strip. Keep the scrapers and knives OUT of the buckets, it just invites chaos.
There is scarcely anything in the world that some man cannot make a little worse, and sell a little more cheaply. The person who buys on price alone is this man's lawful prey.
John Ruskin (1819 - 1900)

Offline Homer

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Re: keeping clean
« Reply #12 on: December 08, 2023, 05:52:18 PM »
Stainless cake spatulas. Keep them wiped clean and racked on a magnet strip. Keep the scrapers and knives OUT of the buckets, it just invites chaos.

webstaurantstore is great for these, mixing containers too

https://www.webstaurantstore.com/choice-8-blade-straight-baking-icing-spatula-with-wood-handle/4078SICNSWD.html
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