STEP-BY-STEP: RECLAIMING AND MAKING SCREENS 2 Remove the tape from the back and front of the screen 5 Coat the screen with emulsion – Dave recommends the 2-1 method Next, remove the old emulsion/stencil by rubbing in a stencil stripper. Once the stencil has softened, use a jet washer to remove it 3 Place the coated screen face down in a drying cabinet for 15-30 minutes until dry 6 Remove the old ink from the screen using a plastisol ink remover 1 Apply a degreaser, then blast with water to remove it. Place the screen in a drying cabinet 4 TIPS & TECHNIQUES 74 images APRIL 2020 B eing able to reclaim and make screens to a high standard is a vital skill in screen printing, says Dave Roper, managing director of Screen Print World. "After all, you can only print as good as the screen." The first step when reclaiming a used screen is to clean all the old ink from it. "We suggest using a really effective plastisol ink-remover like Franmar Bean- E-Doo or Easiway 842, both of which are sewer-safe," says Dave. He reminds printers to dispose of the ink and rags in the correct manner, before removing the tape from the back of the screen. The next job is to remove the old emulsion, ie the stencil. Dave recommends applying and rubbing in a stencil stripper (he suggests the soya bean-based Strip-E- Doo Emulsion Remover). "When the stencil starts to soften you can then use a jet-washer to remove the dissolved stencil. Never leave the stencil stripper and allow it to dry as it will harden in the screen and then it can never be removed!" Dave points out. Follow this with a degreaser. "This step is often overlooked, but is always needed as it will prevent pinholes later and give you a better stencil," says Dave. Then give the screen a good blast with water to remove all the degreaser, before popping it in a drying cabinet to help dry it quickly. Once the screen is dry, it's time to coat the screen with emulsion. A good quality coating trough is important, says Dave, who advises the Pro Angle 2 Emulsion Coater for "precision coating", along with a top-quality emulsion. His top tip is to always mix the emulsion the night before to give the air bubbles a chance to disperse as these can otherwise cause pinholes. Dave recommends using the 2-1 method when coating a screen, ie coat inside first, then outside, then a final dry coat, pushing the emulsion to the outside of the screen where it is needed for a