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6-Color, 6-Station Press

Part Number 6-Color Press
6-Color, 6-Station Press
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No press in the industry can match a Jennings press for performance.   The best press in the industry is now better with revolutionary innovations.   Platens do not deflect, and that is critical for color registration, avoiding dot gain and the repeatability when printing half tones.  Platens are Quick Release with only one release handle required.  Two rails under the platen prevent putting the platen on the press crooked, even if you are blind.  The Quick Release allows easy and fast movement of the platen to print different sizes of shirts.  More than 35 attachments are available to expand revenue - far more than offered by any other company.  The patented Spring Tension Control allows using screens of different sizes for the different attachments without screens falling down or flying up.  The  X-Y axes are independent for straight movement by the Micro and without any jumping.  Everything you push (labor, your labor) is light weight aluminum so you print faster with less fatigue.  Original owners of the 6-6, and like all R Jennings equipment, can return equipment for a credit of 75% of what they paid for the equipment upon return of the equipment with invoice copy.  There is no time limit on this offer.  These are all heads-down presses which means the quality is exceptional, and that is why we can make the 75% offer and no competitor will match or beat us.  This press is rock solid, but screens and platens rotate with a flick of one finger.  Perhaps best of all is the diameter of 6'11" which makes it the smallest in the industry.  Diameter is critical, because it is a measure of the work you must do.  Screens and platens rotate in a circle.  The circle is measured by Pi (3.14) x diameter.  A press that is say 10' in diameter is 3' larger.  3' x 3.14 = 9.4' of extra push on every rotation.  Print 1000 shirts in a week, and you might be looking at 18,000' of extra work.  How would you like to push an extra 18,000' of steel machine?  We print.  So we make the job easy.  15" by 18" (3" of which is neck to make loading shirts easier) are included, but other sizes can be substituted.  Deduct $100 if picking up at the factory and no crate is required.  To see this press in action, see the video "McElroy T's."  Also, "Printing Press Design & Features" plus others.

Adjusting a Press after Someone has Changed the Factory Settings

Adjusting the off-contact is simple.  First, as a matter of background, the platen arms all are bolted to one common aluminum plate.  The platens should all be resting flush on the platen arms with no space between the platens and platen arms.  As a result, the platens should all be at the same elevation and without any pitch.

Before you start, I suggest you check the platens to make sure they are not warped from excessive heat from flash curing.  You can take a steel straight edge and draw the steel bar down the platen looking for light between the steel and platen.  If there is any light, the platen is warped.  Then, repeat the test, but this time draw the steel across the platen.  The platens must be absolutely flat for quality printing.

Your platens probably have white tops.  That means they are malomine.  They would also have plastic t-shaped strips around the edges to make loading and removing shirts easier.  Today we do not use that material, because too many customers warped their platens.  So if you need to replace any, you can go to Home Depot to buy 3/4" thick MDF.  MDF is a powder formed under heat into boards.  They will not warp.  The negative is they absorb liquids like a sponge.  If you use spray or liquid, and then clean with mineral spirits, that is a liquid.  We do not recommend that practice.  We use Double Tape which is a thin plastic sheet with adhesive on both sides and paper on both sides.  We clean the lint off with plain water in a spray bottle.  So no odor.  Nothing harmful.  Works great. 

Before making any adjustments to the press, please read all of the instructions below.  In fact, a good idea would be to print the instructions out on paper.  Read everything, and then start.  As  you follow these instructions, work with only one platen.  When you get one print head adjusted to that platen, following the instructions below, then adjust the 2nd print head to the same platen.  When all print heads have been adjusted to one platen, you can check all print heads against all platens, if you want.

Now that you have established that you have a flat and level platen, next you  need a sheet of Plexiglass 1/8" thick.  The sheet should be larger than the platen.  This will probably cost you $8-10 at a glass shop.  You lay the Plexiglass on the platen.  Next you need a screen that is absolutely flat and extremely tight.  I hope you got Newman frames from Eric.  They are aluminum with tubes on 3 sides.  The tubes can be rotated to make the mesh very tight.  Screens with mesh glued to the frame are NOT tight and NOT good for adjusting a machine or printing.  The screen must be absolutely flat.  So you can find a glass top table or exposure unit, or other table that  you check with the steel ruler for flatness.  When you lay the screen on the surface known by testing with the steel ruler to be absolutely flat you should push on the 4 corners of the frame, one corner at a time.  If the screen is flat, the corners will not give.  If the corners rock, then the screen is not flat.  If using a Newman aluminum frame, you can get the screen to be flat very easily.  That is shown on my video on www.rjennings.com, or I can explain further, if that is a problem.

The flat screen is put in the channel clamp of the press (that has the 2 black knobs for tightening the screen).  When you rotate the black knobs, rotate with ONLY 2 fingers until you feel the knob engage.  Then turn an addition 1/2 turn.  Stop.  Always follow this approach.  Otherwise, the torsional force differences will introduce pitch to the screens.

The tension on the springs should be so low that the springs do not interfere with adjusting the press.  You might have to rotate the silver nuts on top of the press so that the springs travel down the threaded rods.  See the sticker on top of the press that says "Clockwise for heavier Screens."  You want to rotate the silver nuts counter-clockwise.

Bring the screen down to the plexiglass.  Our objective is to have the screen be on-contact at the 4 corners of the platen, and to have the off-contact bolt supporting the bottom of the color arm.  So  you might have to have the screen be on the 4 corners of the platen and plexiglass before you bring the off-contact bolt up to support the color arm.  That bolt will either have the flat side of the bolt head parallel to the end of the platen, or the pointed part of the bolt head facing the end of the platen.  Those are the  only two choices.  That is because when bolts are threaded the thread starts in 2 places.  Depending on which thread happens to have gone into the registration gate first will determine whether you have a flat side of the bolt head or point.  I tell you this so you know all the bolts will not probably have flat sides of the bolts or pointed sides of the bolt heads facing the platen.  You will have some of both.  However, the part of the bolt head facing the platen will not be between the point/corner of the bolt head and flat spot.

Actually, your problem will not be the above.  Your problem will be the screen does not lay flat on the Plexiglass.   Getting the screen flat is simple, but does require an understanding of the press that will pay huge dividends for you when printing.

You have 3 locations: the platen, the registration gate, and the 2 rod eyes at the end of the color arm.  The rod eyes will look like eye bolts to you.  They have a steel rod that goes through the rod eyes, and the color arm pivots on the steel rod.  The rod eyes are bolted into the 1/2" aluminum plate near the outside edge of the platen.  Think of these 3 locations as a see-saw  you played on as a child.  When one end is up, the other end is down.  The two ends pivot around the center which is the off-contact bolt.  We know the off-contact bolts are set to the correct height based on a flat screen resting on 1/8" Plexiglass.

If you have a screen which is pitched, and you will loosen the 2 nuts on the rod eyes on the top of the 1/2" plate, and loosed the 2 nuts under the 1/2" plate.  Now with the rod eye end free to move up or down, the screen should rest flush on the plexiglass while the color arm is resting on the off-contact bolt.  2 of 3 points in our see-saw are supporting the color arm and screen.  Then tighten the 2 nuts on top of the 1/2 plate at the rod eye location until you feel the nuts touch the 1/2" platen.  Then do the same for the 2 nuts under the 1/2" plate.  Next, take a 3/4" wrench and tighten further the nuts under the plate being sure you rotate both nuts the same amount.  The screen should be perfect.

Check the screen.  Put your finger on the 4 corners of the platen.  You should be on contact at the 4 corners.  If you are, to check further, remove the Plexiglass and push down again on the mesh in the 4 corners.  The mesh should deflect the same amount at all 4 locations.

If the screen is not perfect, that is, the mesh is not touching the Plexiglass in one or more of the 4 corners, or when you remove the Plexiglass the mesh does not deflect the same amount, the pitch of the screen will have to be adjusted.  That is easy also, as long as you understand how a press works.  So here we go on that.

If you are standing at the end of the platen, and the bottom of the screen is touching the platen and Plexiglass all the way across the platen, but the screen where you are standing is pitched up, then the rod eyes are too low.  I doubt you will experience this, but if you do, you need to raise the rod eyes.  You raise the rod eyes by loosening the 2 nuts under the 1/2" plate by the same amount of turn, and then tighten the 2 nuts on top of the 1/2" plate the same amount of turn.  That will raise both rod eyes the same amount.

Let's say the problem is different.  If the corner of the screen out where you are standing is raised off the platen, but the other corner is touching the Plexiglass, all we need to do is lower the corner that is raised.  That raised corner is lowered by raising the rod eye that is on the opposite side of the color arm.  So, as you are facing the center of the press, a right corner of the screen out where you are standing that is raised off the Plexiglass is lowered by raising the rod eye on the left side of the color arm as you are facing the center of the machine.  A left corner of the screen that is raised is lowered by raising the rod eye on the right side of the color arm.

If both corners on one side of the screen, for example, the left side front and back corners, are raised off the platen, then the channel clamp that holds the screen is twisted against the backing plate.  The channel clamp and backing plate are bolted together with a 3/4" carriage bolt (round head inside the channel clamp that the screen butts up against).  You would loosen the nuts on the channel clamps to bring the screen down on to the Plexiglass.  When making these adjustments, always make sure the color arm is down flush on the off contact bolt so you are getting an accurate reading.

When you go through this process, you will see how easily a screen might not be parallel to a platen.  If that is the case, then images do not line up correctly.  Colors can shift.  You can experience a variety of problems.  So having screens absolutely parallel to the platen is critical.  That also means screens must be very tight, and that requires the use of Newman screens.  The platens must not deflect.  The platens of all presses, except Jennings presses and the M&R Chamelion deflect.  So when printing, the force of the squeegee pushes the platen away from the screen, and that causes a long list of problems.  You will not experience that problem as long as you use Newman screens, and keep them tight.  The negative with Newman is the tight mesh will cause the frame to bow down under the pressure of the squeegee.  So we recommend cutting a piece of cardboard from a carton, e.g. 2" x 3", and taping that to the neck of the platen.  The screen will rest on the cardboard.  The frame then will not be able to deflect under the pressure of the squeegee.  Only the mesh will deflect.  The reason we use 1/8" plexiglass is t-shirts typically are 3/32" thick.  1/8 = 4/32.  So the true off-contact to release ink from the screen is 1/32".  When you print, you do not want to deflect the mesh more.  The squeegee blade must not bend.  If it does, you are applying too much pressure and splatering the ink or forcing the ink into the garment.  You do not want the ink to spread out, and you do not want the ink driven into the garment.  If the ink is driven into the garment, then the color of the garment shows through the ink film, and you will be flash curing and printing again.  That is double work.  You want to cut the ink off and lay it on the surface of the shirt where it can be flash or full cured easily, and will block the color of the garment for an opaque print.

After reading this, if you have questions, contact roger@rjennings.com.
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