screen printing > Ink and Chemicals

keeping clean

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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...

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.

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.

blue moon:
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!

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.


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