As I discussed before, I am taking over more of the business. One of the thorns in my side has been emulsion application. So we needed screens coated but Kyle was working on other things and this means that I needed to figure this emulsion thing out! Before I could coat the screens, I had to mix the emulsion first. We use DXP Diazo-Photopolymer Dual Cure Direct Emulsion from www.silkscreeningsupplies.com. This emulsion we are comfortable with and know how to expose really well. The emulsion is easy to mix needing just a small amount of distilled water that is added to the sensitizer powder that comes with the emulsion. After the water is added to the powder, just pour the newly formed liquid into the emulsion container. MIX WELL! After the emulsion and sensitizer are well mixed, leave the emulsion with the lid off just slightly to settle. This allows time for the air bubbles to rise to the surface for a smoother emulsion. All of this mixing and settling needs to be done in a light sensitive emvironment.
After a couple of hours, I returned to coat the screens. The coating process is normally what Kyle does. He is just better at it. But this was the day that I needed to get screens done so I had to figure this all out. I poured the emulsion into the scoop coater and had 6 screens all ready to go. My biggest flaw is not getting the emulsion on smooth, but this day I did pretty well! I have watched Kyle coat a lot of screens and asked a bunch of questions. It must have all paid off because I only had one of the six that had a few streaks. I was pleased.
My next part of this process is to learn more about planning our jobs with the emulsion and mesh sizes we use. In other words, all the screens we do now are just 1 coat on each side. But as I get more jobs, I need to plan if I am printing with white or other color inks so I can make a better stencil.