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Topic: If at first you don't succeed, ask someone on Craftster.  (Read 1470 times)
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« on: October 12, 2006 05:42:10 PM »

Why is this happening?

After I start to wash the screen, the image peels off!
I am using speedball photo emulsion, and I usually use a more industrial brand.  The industrial brand comes in a vat, and I never use it all before it expires, so I thought I would try something different.  I have a light table, and exposed it for six minutes, thirty seconds.
Am I putting the emulsion on too thick?  
The emulsion also curled away at the edges of the image.
Any help would be appreciated!
« Last Edit: March 07, 2011 02:30:34 PM by jungrrl - Reason: fixed a coding issue » THIS ROCKS   Logged

« Reply #1 on: October 12, 2006 06:25:00 PM »

As usual, there are a number of things that can cause this.

You have a good guess with thick emulsion.  At least two bad things can happen when the emulsion is too thick:

1 - The emulsion dries on the outside, but has not dried all the way through before you start exposing. 

2 - The emulsion exposes only on the surface and not all the way through.  Exposure hardens the emulsion, of course... so the soft part separates the hard part

« Reply #2 on: October 12, 2006 06:28:33 PM »

also could have happened if the screen wasn't clean enough .. if it was laying on something, or leaning on somthing before you applied the emulsion there could have been oil or dirt that may have kept the emulsion from bonding to the screen
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« Reply #3 on: October 12, 2006 07:37:40 PM »

hmm, okay.  How do you know what is a good thickness of emulsion? And I only let it dry for nine hours.  Should I leave it for a few days?
And that might be true about the dirt on the screen, free_loader, because my cat had a nap on the screen before I put the emulsion on it. 

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« Reply #4 on: October 12, 2006 07:39:30 PM »

(May I just say that is a wonderful title...how incredibly true  Cheesy)

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« Reply #5 on: October 12, 2006 08:50:11 PM »

as far as thickness goes .. i spread it as thin as possible with an old credit card .. i only apply the emulsion to the side of the screen that will come in contact with the shirt.. but scrape and spread on both sides with the credit card ...

"the winner is the thinner Won't have to take her skinny ass out to a fancy dinner Like Sizzler"

sorry .. that song really does pop into my head every time i think about applying emulsion ..   can't help it .. i think it's some sort of blood hound gang disorder ..  i bet they make some sort of medication for it ... anyway .. enough pointless rambling
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« Reply #6 on: October 13, 2006 05:39:23 AM »

hehe, I love pointless rambling! 
 I was definitely putting it on two thick then, I have the fancy trough that I paid thirty bucks for, and I was was putting at least two layers on both sides.  I will try it again, but only one side.  thankya!

« Reply #7 on: October 13, 2006 08:00:49 AM »

A scoop coater (the fancy trough) is definately the way to go.  It allows you to precisely control the amount of emulsion.  The key is using a firm grip, controlling the eveness of contact across the entire edge of the coater, and controlling the angle of the coater so that a small and consistent amount of emulsion is being applied.

I usually apply one coat on each side, starting with the squeegee side.  If I have a problem such as a light spot, I can take another pass, and if there is accidently too much emulsion I can cleanly remove excess emulsion by making a pass with the coater tilted so no emulsion is being applied.

The screen iteself should be in a more or less vertical position while coating with a scoop coater, with one hand holding the top of the screen, and the other holding the scoop.  If you aren't strong enough to hold both, you need a devise (such as an artists easel) to hold the screen firmly.  If the screen is wobling around as you coat you will get a very uneven coat.  The action of pulling the scoop is in some ways similar to pulling a squeegee - you work at an even speed, while maintaining a steady tilt of the scoop and with even pressure all around.

The length of the scoop should be about 3 inches or so less than the narrower width of the screen.  I always coat along the longest length of the screen so I can use the smallest scoop for better control.  The tighter the screen the better.  Once a screen becomes slightly loose it becomes almost impossible to control an even application of the emulsion. 

Of course, a less than tight screen causes numerous problems during printing as well, such as edge bleeding, distortion,  uneven ink application, poor release, registration problems, and the ever present etc, etc, etc.  I never work with anything less than a very tight screen - it makes printing a pleasure and eliminates most of the problems of printing.

When I used to train people to coat, I would show them how to do it by coating a screen or two as they watched, and then I'd let them coat a couple - of course, the first few screens would not be good at all, but we'd let them dry and then expose them so they could see all the problems that a bad coating causes.  After about 4 or 5 screens, they would be experts.  This is one of those things that you need to learn from experience, and that once you get it you will almost never have a problem again.

If you drop the scoop on something hard it can become damaged and unusable.  I am always very careful with my scoops.  Once a scoop is dinged it leaves streaks that can really make the rest of your job (exposing, washing out, and printing) a hassle.  Also, a dinged scoop can have a sharp nick that has a burr on it that will cut your screen and that is very annoying... you can try to sand the burr a bit to save the scoop, but it will never be the same after that.   Also, a dropped scoop can bend a little and that is worse than a nick as it becomes unusable after that.

Have fun.

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