Wooden screen printing frames

Wooden frames, despite of their many drawbacks, are commonly used for preparing screen printing forms mainly because of their low price. However, because they’re not very stable, they’re usually used for single color, relatively small format print jobs.

Screen with a wooden frame

Screen with a wooden frame (notice the staples used to mount the mesh)

Wooden screen printing frames are typically made of soft pine woods, which allows for using staples to attach the mesh. To ensure stability, pieces of wood making the frame must be glued together with an adhesive resistant to water and organic solvents. It is important to remember that the mesh that will be stretched over the frame creates considerable tension. For higher stability corners of the frame can be addictionally reinforced with steel bolts or brackets. Addictionally, to prevent wood from warping, the frames need to be protected from ink and water by a coat of polyurethane varnish or shellac.

Types of wooden frame joints

Types of wooden frame joints

Because of their low stability wooden frames are usually used for printing on substrates no larger than 40 x 50 cm (16 x 20 in). Using wooden frames for multi-color screen printing should be avoided, because they don’t guarantee good enough color registration.

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