DIY Exposure Unit for Screen Printing

Written by tom williamson
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Many ways help prepare a screen for screen printing. The simple routes use a stencil and burn your image with light from the sun. High tech screen printers buy a fancy light box. Another way allows you to screen print on your own using an exposure unit with a few pieces of wood and a work light. If the do-it-yourself option most appeals to you, then you only need materials to build your own reliable and cost-efficient unit.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • 250 watt work lamp
  • 2 pipe clips
  • Drill
  • 2 pine 2 x 4, 8 feet long
  • Screws
  • Saw
  • Tape measure

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    Adjustable Wood Frame Exposure Unit

  1. 1

    Cut the 2 by 4 pieces of wood so you have two 3 foot long pieces and five 2 foot long pieces.

  2. 2

    Stand a 3 foot long piece of 2 by 4 up vertically and place a 2 foot long piece on top of the wood to form a "L" shape. Attach with two nails or screws. Repeat the process so you have two wooden "L" shapes.

  3. 3

    Place your "L" shaped pieces on the ground so the 2 foot section is on the ground and the 3 foot section is vertical. Place a two foot 2 by 4 on the ground on its edge and then centre this piece against the "L." Attach with four screws. Repeat so you have two of these. They serve as brackets to suspend your work light above the screen.

  4. 4

    Remove the protective cage and the UV glass from the work lamp.

  5. 5

    Attach the work lamp to the centre of the last two foot long 2 by 4 pieces with the pipe clips.

  6. 6

    Measure the size of your screen and choose how far away you need your lamp for best exposure, then mount the lamp to the correct height by attaching the 2 by 4 to the two brackets.

  7. 7

    Begin the exposure once the lamp is level.

Tips and warnings

  • To adjust the height of your rig, unscrew the centre 2 by 4 and raise or lower as needed.
  • It might take some experimenting to determine the correct exposure time.
  • It is a good idea to put a piece of glass over the image you are burning to keep it from moving.

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