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Manual or Auto ?

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Old August 8th, 2010, 08:55 PM   #1 (permalink)
Bearcat Bearcat is offline
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Default Manual or Auto ?

O.K. I have read 100's of post and I have been researching equipment I was planing to spend up to 15 k for equipment an 8/8 Anatol a $4k expo unit $3k for a dryer 800.00 for the flash and some other misc items.
From what I have been reading it sounds like I should go ahead and look for an auto press . I have seen several for sale that would not be that much more than what I am already looking at. I do have mechanical ability and do like working on equipment so a used auto that might need some work does not scare me. However I have never screen pressed before, so my question is Auto or Manuel ?
I also would like to build my own exposure unit If any one has plans for a vacuum unit or know where I could obtain some I would appreciate it. Large enough to expose at least 2 screens. I do plan to print maybe 500 pcs per month not many for some but if the auto is worth doing that few of numbers then I think that's the way to go.

PLEASE ADVISE
Thanks for any input
Bearcat
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Old August 11th, 2010, 09:59 PM   #2 (permalink)
Bearcat Bearcat is offline
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Default Re: Manual or Auto ?

Thanks for the help ?
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Old August 12th, 2010, 08:23 AM   #3 (permalink)
mshort01 mshort01 is offline
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Default Re: Manual or Auto ?

Hi Bearcat,

Feel free to PM if you would like to discuss the advantages of starting off manual or auto.

~Matt
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Old August 12th, 2010, 02:51 PM   #4 (permalink)
glenc glenc is offline
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Default Re: Manual or Auto ?

I have some simple return on investment tools that can help you decide whether manual printing or automatic printing is the right choice for you. They really help take some of the guesswork away from a financial standpoint. There are certainly other concerns that need to be weighed also. Feel free to contact me if you would like to talk further.
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Old August 12th, 2010, 08:59 PM   #5 (permalink)
1leon 1leon is offline
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Default Re: Manual or Auto ?

as a rookie i would go manual. if i have space and the patience. i started out small and now i am at a 4 color press. still learning. u need at least 4 thousand to get a small and decent setup.

u need a good manual press any where from a thousand to 3 thousand

u need software, printer , films , exposure light ,a dark room setup, washout booth to start

also u need computer experience in design software and a ton of patience.

finally if u are borrowing from the bank i wouldnt advise it
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Old August 13th, 2010, 12:26 PM   #6 (permalink)
Bearcat Bearcat is offline
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Default Re: Manual or Auto ?

Thanks for your help I have recieved some good info. and advice but if there are others who would like to contribute the more the better.
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Old August 20th, 2010, 10:41 PM   #7 (permalink)
sgsellsit sgsellsit is offline
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Default Re: Manual or Auto ?

It really depends if those 500 pcs are a couple of big orders or if you are going after smaller jobs. The newer autos are pretty easy to set up and dont really take up much more space than a manual but if you are only going to use it a few days a month then you run into a pneumatically driven machine sitting unused which is bad. A manual however has virtually no maintenance and is ready to go with no build up time. If you want a one of a kind shirt to wear, stick in the screen and sqeegee it. With an auto it is a little more complex. On the financial side let me give you some advice and this is coming from a 20 year manual and auto screen printing veteran. Dont fall for the at home screen printer "I CAN MAKE A KILLING" philosophy. Nothing wrong with at home printers if you price competitively and figure in all the factors. If you buy a shirt at $2.00 and sell it for $5 printed that is not 120% profit. You have to figure in time, utilities, consumables as well as equipment costs if something breaks. Those guys are usually gone the first time their dryer loses a unit and it cost $600 just to replace a couple of panels. The companies that advertise the $3.99 tees are working on massive quantities and have the infrastructure to support such efforts. This is where a lot of small guys try to price just to get the jobs. I can lose money sitting at home in my pajamas watching television why would I do it pulling a squeegee in a sweat shop. LOL Be different, do totally custom work, and turn out higher end printing to make up for quantity. Most of all HAVE FUN AND GOOD LUCK!
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Old August 21st, 2010, 12:06 AM   #8 (permalink)
Bearcat Bearcat is offline
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Default Re: Manual or Auto ?

Thanks for the input I can use the advice that you senior printers can give and I do appreciate your reply. As I am really not sure where this will lead me (screen printing) I have started acquiring my equipment a piece at a time I have purchased a used Javelin that seems to be in good order. I have a Lawson 32"x 48" exposure unit to burn screens with and am now searching for a dryer and flash unit. Hope to be printing in a couple of weeks. I already have some orders to get me started.
I probably am doing this backwards but I still plan to buy a manual press as well in the near future.
Thanks again
Bearcat
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