HOW TO MAKE YOUR OWN SILK SCREEN PART 2: STRETCHING THE MESH

June 7, 2019

 

Thank you for all the great feedback on part 1 of this blog series! We really enjoy making these informative blogs and are glad that you’re enjoying them too. If you haven’t read part 1 you can do so here.

 

Materials

  • T2 screen printing mesh screen

  • Cabot's Cabothane Clear slow glue

  • Monkey grip with angle on it

  • Electric sander

  • Electric stapler

 

Process

1. So continuing on from part I you should have a fully dry wooden screen frame. As you can see the excess glue has dried and formed a thick layer.

 

We need to sand this down to ensure the surface is even, smooth and flat. Mark does this with an electric sander. We do this to both sides of the screen. This is important for print registration!

 

 

2. Now Mark is going to cut the mesh. We’re using a 42T screen-printing mesh.

 

You can get this mesh from us, just give us a call at (02) 9569 6044 or pop in and we'll gladly help you out! 

 

We allow about a 10cm seam allowance if you will. So in this case a 185cm x 105cm mesh size for a 175cm x 95cm frame. 

 

 

 

Before we start showing you how to stretch the mesh here is a quick diagram just to help you understand the direction we are stapling in on each side of the frame. This is important in keeping the tension even.

 

 

 

3. All right, onto stretching the screen. We choose to staple on the sides of the frame because if we staple on the top of the frame when you pull on the opposite end it can create a mark from the pulling motion and rip the mesh. Mark has just found this to be the best way.

 

 

Mark uses a monkey grip tool to be able to hold more surface area and to pull it nice and taut. Following the directional diagram Mark staples each side accordingly. Each staple is roughly 5cm apart.

 

 

 

As you can see Mark constantly feels the top of the mesh to make sure the tension feels even. Sometimes you will find softer, weaker spots; in this case just re grip until it feels firm and even.

 

 Stapling the last side!

 

 

4. Once the mesh is securely stapled on all sides of the frame we are onto gluing the mesh to the wood! This is a vital step in ensuring the ink does not seep through. Start by taping the two longer lengths of the frame about 1cm in from the inside of the frame. Make sure the tape is nice and even.

 

 

5. Then we weigh the mesh down so it is flush against the wood, use anything you like just be careful of sharp edges as you don’t want to tear the mesh.

 

6. Here we are using slow glue. It’s affordable and can be found at Bunning’s. Using a brush, paint the whole length of the frame up to the tape ensuring the wood and 1cm of mesh is fully saturated. This also fills in any air bubbles.

 

 

7. Once fully saturated we wait 2hrs for the glue to dry. Once dry remove tape.

 

 

8. Repeat process for the other two sides.

 

 

 

 

9. Once fully dry remove the last strips of tape. We then remove the excess mesh using a stanley knife.

 

 

10. Now we heat gun the excess edges of the mesh like so to prevent any fraying (this is important)!

 

 


There you go! We hope you enjoyed this mini two part blog series on how you can make your own screens. Please keep in mind that this is what we have found works for us, you may find an even better method; if so please let us know! We’d love to know. Let us know if you have any questions down below and we will do our best to reply as soon as possible.

 

 

 

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