DIY: Screen Printing Exposure Table

Written by adele eliot
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DIY: Screen Printing Exposure Table
You will need to purchase halogen work lamps for your exposure table. (lamp image by timur1970 from

You might want to make your own screen printing designs using homemade templates. To do this, you can create templates yourself and use photosensitive emulsion. When the emulsion is exposed to light it hardens, while the emulsion under the template washes away, allowing you to print your design onto other materials using paint. Screen printing exposure tables are useful for hardening the photosensitive emulsion and they can be expensive. However, you can make your own at home for under £65.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • 8 2-x-4-inch boards (actually 38mm x 89mm)
  • 6 1-x-4-inch boards (actually 19mm x 89mm)
  • 2 1-x-2-inch boards (actually 19mm x 38mm)
  • 1 plywood 89mm x 89mm
  • 1 glass plate 89mm x 89mm
  • 1 power strip
  • 2 500 watt halogen work lamps
  • 1 box 3 inch deck screws
  • 1 box 1 1/2 inch deck screws
  • Drill
  • Wood glue
  • 8 mirror clips
  • Tape measure
  • Pencil
  • Large bulldog clips

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  1. 1

    Attach two 2-x-4-inch boards lengthwise at right angles using the 1 1/2 inch screws. Repeat this process for eight boards, creating four pairs. These will be the legs of the table. Use eight screws per leg.

  2. 2

    Attach four 2-x-4-inch boards top to bottom at right angles so that they form a complete square. Position the legs upright and place the square on top. Screw the square to the legs using the 3-inch screws.

  3. 3

    Measure 20 inches down the legs from the top square. Mark this spot on each leg with a pencil. Position the plywood at this point so that the corners of the plywood fit into the corners of the legs. Attach the plywood using the 1 1/2 inch screws.

  4. 4

    Fit the mirror clips to the glass, using two clips per side. Place the glass onto the top of the square, securing it in place by attaching the wood to the clips.

  5. 5

    Place the two halogen lights onto the plywood board so they are pointing upwards towards the glass. Attach the power strip to the outside of one leg by adhering it with glue. Plug the halogen lights into the power strip and make sure the power strip is attached to a wall plug.

  6. 6

    Attach any loose cables from the halogen lights and the power cord that might cause a safety hazard to the table using the bulldog clips. Your screen printing exposure table is now ready to use.

Tips and warnings

  • The halogen lights need to be 20 inches away from the screen for the emulsion to harden properly.
  • Screen print emulsion templates usually take about 15 minutes to develop.
  • You will have to position the table close to a power source so that you can plug in the cable for the halogen lights.

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