Sign & Digital Graphics

November '19

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S I G N & D I G I T A L G R A P H I C S • November 2019 • 45 When printing on metal, we use an air-dry enamel ink (Nazdar series 5000 ink), and let the ink cure a couple of days before boxing up a job. We use Nazdar's 9700 ink with a catalyst for printing on fluted plastic, which does a great job, and does not dry excessively fast. The same type of ink can be used on vinyls and some plastics. Only a few of our screen jobs are actu- ally printed by hand though. We have had an M&R Saturn 25/38 clam shell press for 20 years or more and get a lot of use out of it. Machines like that are available new, but can also be purchased used from $5,000 to $10,000, typically found online, and if in good working condition a used unit like ours will be well worth the price. So, that weekend, as you can see in the photos, I burned stencils in multiple screens, made sure my pipeline sign blanks were cut and punched before my staff left, and figured out a game plan that would not overwhelm my screen print work area. The several hundred metal signs would have to stay in drying racks for a while, but the fluted plastic signs would dry quickly and could be boxed up after a few hours. Our dying racks are all basically homemade, and you can see some of them in the photos. For drying metal pipeline and safety signs, a collection of four-foot-long pieces of 2 x 4 with mul- tiple grooves cut in them with a radial saw have been drying our smaller-sized metal signs for decades. Standard 18" x 24" corrugated plastic signs go in a set of drying racks I had my dad make from scraps of MDO, fin- ish nails and small strips of fluted plas- tic. This drying rack system, which holds 100+ signs, is also shown in these photos. I have another metal version of this rack for drying corrugated plastic signs, which is on castors and is pulled from storage whenever needed. So, for many years we have offered in-house screen-printed sign work to our clients, and we have a modest investment in the equipment needed to do this type of work, and have never ran out of work Small pin holes or flaws in a screen stencil are touched up with a small brush and a bit of liquid screen emulsion.

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