Silk screening is the process of forcing ink through an image-laden screen onto a piece of cloth or paper. A special, heavy squeegee (not a window squeegee) is used to force the thick ink through the screen by pushing or pulling it across. It's important to have a stiff squeegee so that only the leading edge of the blade touches the screen. You don't have to buy a store-bought squeegee. You can make your own squeegee with a few basic parts found at your local building supply store.
- Skill level:
- Moderately Easy
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Things you need
- 1 X 4 board
- 3/8-inch thick stiff rubber
- Drill with bits
- Philips screwdriver
- Utility knife
- 1/4-inch screws
- Table saw
- Epoxy (optional)
Cut the 1 X 4 board to a length that is 1/4 inch less than the inside width of your screen. Cut a slot running the length of one of the long sides of the board (along the 1-inch width) 1 1/2 inches deep.
Cut the rubber blade to the same length as the 1 X 4 board, using a sharp utility knife. Use a piece of rubber that's flat and straight. Cut the bottom (screen printing side) of the rubber blade using a straight edge as a guide. This bottom edge must be perfectly straight to spread the ink evenly across the screen. Cut the rubber blade to a height of 3 1/2 inches.
Insert the blade into the wooden handle. Drill four holes evenly spaced, cutting through the handle and the blade, across the length of the handle. These are pilot holes for screws that will hold the blade in place and keep it from falling out of the handle.
Screw the blade in place using four screws. Tighten the screws enough so the blade doesn't wiggle in the handle of the squeegee. For added support, add a bead of epoxy glue added to the blade slot, in addition to the screws.
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