A DIY One-Color Screen Printing Press

Written by katie yancey
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A DIY One-Color Screen Printing Press
Screen-printing uses a stencil to make an image. (Jupiterimages/Photos.com/Getty Images)

Screen-printing is a style of printing that uses a stencil to make an image. It is regularly used to design T-shirts and paper products such as posters and cards. Begin screen-printing apparel and gift cards at home for a minimal investment by building a do-it-yourself, one-color screen-printing press.

Skill level:
Moderate

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Things you need

  • 24-inch by 28-inch by 3/4-inch sheet of plywood
  • 14-inch by 16-inch by 3/4-inch sheet of plywood
  • 2-foot by 4-foot piece of lumber that is 4 to 6 feet long
  • 1-foot by 2-foot piece of lumber that is 14 inches long
  • Pair of jiffy hinges
  • Pack of wood screws
  • Carpenter's glue
  • Polyurethane spray or spray paint
  • Saw
  • Old newspaper

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Instructions

    Instructions

  1. 1

    Cut a sheet of plywood so that it measures 24 inches by 28 inches. This creates the clamp board or base of the screen-printing press. Next, cut another sheet of plywood that measures 14 feet by 16 feet. This creates the shirt board or platform of the screen printing press.

  2. 2

    Cut the 2-foot by 4-foot piece of lumber into three pieces: one 6-inch piece and two 14-inch pieces.

  3. 3

    Cut the 1-foot by 2-foot piece of lumber so that it measures 14 inches. Stack this 14-inch, 1-foot by 2-foot piece of lumber on top of one of the 14-inch, 2-foot by 4-foot pieces of lumber. Glue it together horizontally to create the hinge rail.

  4. 4

    Cover a table or workbench with old newspapers to protect the surface. In a well-ventilated area, paint all of these wood pieces with either polyurethane spray or spray paint. This will protect your screen-printing press from ink stains. Let the paint dry before proceeding with the next step.

  5. 5

    Gather two 14-inch, 2-foot by 4-foot pieces of lumber; one 6-inch, 2-foot by 4-foot piece of lumber; and the 14-inch by 16-inch plywood platform. Glue the top of the 6-inch, 2-foot by 4-foot piece of lumber in the middle of the side of one of the 14-inch, 2-foot by 4-foot pieces of lumber so that it forms a "T" shape. Horizontally glue this "T" shape to the platform so that the 14-inch, 2-foot by 4-foot piece of lumber is flush with and parallel to the 14-inch side of the platform and the 6-inch, 2-foot by 4-foot piece of lumber is in the middle. Let the glue dry before proceeding with the next step.

  6. 6

    Position this "T" shape 6 inches from the 24-inch side of the base, ensuring that the 14-inch, 2-foot by 4-foot piece of lumber is parallel to the 24-inch side of the base and the 6-inch, 2-foot by 4-foot piece of lumber is in the middle. Flip over the 24-inch by 28-inch base, and glue the "T" shape from step 6 to the underside of the base. After the glue dries, secure it with wood screws.

  7. 7

    Continuing with the flipped over 24-inch by 28-inch base, secure the stacked hinge rail from step 3 to the underside of the base with wood screws. Position the hinge rail so that the 14-inch, 2-foot by 4-foot piece of lumber is flush with and parallel to the 24-inch side of the base. Ensure that the hinge rail is 4 inches away from the "T" shape.

  8. 8

    Flip over the 24-inch by 28-inch base so that it is upright, and secure the 14-inch by 16-inch platform to the "T" shape with wood screws.

  9. 9

    Screw the jiffy hinges into the 1-foot by 2-foot piece of lumber on the top of the hinge rail. Your newly created one-color screen-printing press will open like a clam shell when completed.

Tips and warnings

  • Jiffy hinges are available at an art supply store.

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