Tuesday, 21 April 2015

Home made screens

After leaving University and not having use of the facilities anymore especially print I have found its been time to get creative!
Looking at the prices of screens online and having little to spend I decided to make my own which with a little bit of research was much easier than I expected. 

You will need 
  • wooden picture frames - (found around the house or in charity shops I picked up 3 ranging from approx A1-A3 for £9)
  • gloss paint or varnish 
  • electric staple gun  (preferably electric as the assisted speed ensures a tight screen)
  • screen mesh (I bought mine from eBay for about £8 used 55T but here's a guide to see what suits your work -http://www.wickedprintingstuff.com/site/download/WPS_Mesh_Guidelines.pdf
  • long ruler or tape make sure you measure you frames before purchasing mesh to get the right length and width 
  • someone to help 
  1. To start I stripped away any hooks or attachments from the frame until your left with the basic wooden frame which was already painted one side with varnish, but I went over the full with gloss paint to preserve the wood. Continuous washing of the screen will eventually rot and warp the wood and this will prolong the life of your screen. 
  2. Leave to dry for 24 hours. 
  3. Call on your helper and place the frame on a sturdy surface, preferably not your best dinning room table as it might get scratched I did mine outside in the garden. 
  4. Get your electric stapler plugged in and place the fabric round the frame with enough spare hanging over to grab onto. 
  5. I found it easier to have one person holding the wood and mesh and one person stapling. 
  6. Place a staple in the center of each piece of wood in the frame pulling the mesh as tight as possible, then place a staple in each corner of the frame. 
  7. Continue in this fashion pulling the mesh tight and stapling around the frame until the screen is as tight as a drum with no creases.
Buy thick wooded screens about 2cm thick so the staples don't push through the other side, one of my screens does this and can be uncomfortable to print with. 
Keep going even if it doesn't seem like your screen is getting tighter, if your are pulling as tight as you can without tearing it will get tighter the more staple's put in just like pinning fabric to the printing table. 

I exposed my screens at CCADS Hartlepool campus who offer very cheap prices at print club on a Monday night, but you can also use stencil printing which can be done at home. 

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