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Wildgoose last won the day on March 19

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  1. Wildgoose

    Screen Printing ?

    Have you tried any of the Howards "Shimmer" colors? Those look like something that I might try out. The silver shimmer in particular. Just wondering if they are at all reactive to light like a mild reflective?
  2. Wildgoose

    Hi Everyone!

    The Graphtec is a CUT above...
  3. Wildgoose

    Screen Printing ?

    I use F&M exclusively at this point. They have various products and their website will walk you though most of your questions. Order a sample kit and it will give you samples of all the stuff they do. I was originally concerned with product lifespan but I used them on some of my construction guys tee's and paid attention to how they wear and they held up really well. Probably not quite as lang as HTV but it's a close second and the price saving for clients is really impressive. On any kind of volume I actually do less work and make more per shirt so I basically doubled my output in the same amount of time. You already have a press so you're good to go. HTV will always have it's place and things like specific numbers or any kind of custom work or higher quality work like on nice jackets or polo's is probably better with HTV. I'm a small mom an pop shop and work from my living room so being efficient is key for me. I do my designs in AI but they will accept PS or Corel Draw as well. Basically you pick your product (I mostly use the Athletic formula because it resists dye migration the best). Pick your color count and size of transfer sheet. If single color you basically get two choices for the cheap deal. Can't gang two images on the $0.15 program but it's so cheap it doesn't matter anyway. If you are doing 2,3 or full color then you have to decide if it's priced best to go with a certain size sheet or gang a bunch up on a larger sheet. I build an AI file with the different sizes offered and decide by crunching numbers which one makes the most sense bearing in mind gang sheets with ,utile logo's you will have to cut apart yourself. Leave enough room that you can cut several at once with a paper cutter board and it goes pretty good. Sometimes a lot of little ones are cheaper than a few large sheets (min order on gang sheets is 8 I think) Most of the time it's cheaper to use the XL sheet and stack a bunch on there when doing 2 or 3 colors. I have done some full color work and it turns out great too.
  4. Wildgoose

    Screen Printing ?

    Cut vinyl definitely rules the custom one off market. The only issues I ever have are when someone wants a gradient or distressed flag or something that's just too intricate to be buildable. I have done a few that I shouldn't have. One distressed job took a half hour on the cutter and an hour to weed. Those are work the cost of a screen set up even for just a couple.
  5. Wildgoose

    Screen Printing ?

    I am like Dakota. I have grown to need high quantities often and use plastisol transfers. There are several outfits that sell them and they make it affordable to compete with the screen print shops. You can't quite get the same hand that true screen print will (which I find sort of rough) but I have had good luck with them and utilizing my now heat press.
  6. Wildgoose

    Hi from Kate in Florida

    Welcome from Idaho. I lived in FL for a couple years. I don't miss the heat though. Or the bugs. I'm a fellow Illustrator user. The Graphtec is pretty much the fan favorite if you have the funds. They have a free plug-in for Illustrator that lets you just cut right from the program. I think there is also a free offering of Graphtec Pro Studio with some machines.
  7. Wildgoose

    Advice regarding software and maybe hardware

    If it's single color stuff and I have the time to wait for the transfers I do it as low as 20 or 25. Especially if there is a lot of coverage area that would burn up a lot of vinyl. I have tried a few out and have settled in on F&M Expressions. The have taken good care of me even when they had issues.
  8. Just a couple thoughts. Double check that your carriage has not partially slipped off the rail. And that your drive rollers are not loose. There are small screws that secure the drive shaft that have been known to come loose especially if you moved and it got knocked around. Also you said you had to buy new software to be compatible with your mac and the cutter. I believe the MH is one of the cutters that does not allow you to set the blade offset directly on the machine but is dependent on the software to make this adjustment. There is possibly some issue between the two. Double check that the increments for your blade offset are in mm. 0.30mm is an appropriate amount of offset but 0.33 inches would not be. I would adjust your blade offset both directions by a large margin and see if it actually changes. t's possible you have some issues with the program telling your cutter what to do. If you need a second option try the SignCut free trial and you will have something to compare with.
  9. Wildgoose

    Intro for you all

    Hello and welcome from Idaho. (Jeep country)
  10. Wildgoose

    cutter issues

    If you only spent $60 your not out much anyway. Most software is at least $400 for anything worth using. Graphtec is really smart to market some options that you can run with their product that help ease the pain of buying the top shelf cutter. They also run a totally different cutter command language so that their free stuff is only useful to their own clientele. Gotta appreciate clever market control. Best thing is they really ARE great cutters so they are providing a great machine on top of the other promotional benefits.
  11. Wildgoose

    Advice regarding software and maybe hardware

    I don't think I have ever seen anyone who really loves the all in one press functionality. If you're going to go with a budget press I would just get the 15"x 15" swing press. Anything flat will fit on there. The people who do mugs generally seem to do better with Cactus wraps and the supposed cap attachment isn't going to be all that useful. If you want to do caps just get a good Hotronix cap press. Caps are good money BTW if you find yourself working into the HTV garment market caps are reasonably simple (with a good press) and turn high profits. You can pay for a nice press with one or two cases (144) of hats. When I say good press I speak of the Knight or the Maxx or the Auto Open Hotronix which is what I have. There are several other cap presses that may work ok too but the Maxx (made by Hotronix) and the Hotronix have several platen sizes to fit different hats. I actually use a really small kids hat platen on 98% of the work I do because it just fits inside better and doesn't cause as much deformity at the edges. Not that many people do hats so it's an easy niche if you can find the right client. My regular t-shirt clients often want hats and with HTV small quantities are no problem as well. I have a quote going on 700 hats right now. I charge them $7.50 per each and the hats cots me $3.50. With that kind of volume I order plastisol screen print transfers that in that volume will cost me under $0.50 each. You can press at least 24 hats an hour (often closer to 48) so that's over $80/hr up to $160/hr. I pull that hat press into the living room and watch tv while I work, it's great. If you are planning to do sublimation on your own cut work then you will be wanting to use a brush on sublimation product in order to get it to work. I have a little of that I bought from Dakota a couple years back but never tried it. Sublimation will work naturally with polyester but anything else has to be specially prepared. I could see doing something really cool with a laser cut product that is then sublimated.
  12. Wildgoose

    cutter issues

    Pineapple if you are good with Adobe Illustrator the Cutting Master plug-in will cut right from AI to your Graphtec.
  13. Wildgoose

    Advice regarding software and maybe hardware

    Hopefully you didn't miss the comments by several that a value cutter will still do surprisingly passable work if you stay in a certain size range. Nothing tiny and nothing over about 36 inches long. You can do larger but the tracking will cause issues. About the only one we try to steer people away from is the MH. It sounds like budget IS a concern and sometimes thats the way it is. You have and will continue to hear all our own personal advice and you have to go where YOU want to through the process. I would hold off on the Sublimation if I were you. To do a good sublimation job you really need a high quality press. Dye sub is very touchy about consistent and exact heat and it's high heat as well. You would need a swing style press to do anything like keychains or dog tags or other stiff objects. A good quality swing press is going to be a lot of $$$. I tried the sublimation market out and found that online sales tend to be a fight for sales with the lowest priced stuff coming out of China and the custom stuff that will bring higher prices really needs a walk in store environment to have any chance. I never had any luck at all getting any consistent sales that justified the process. Shirts worked good which fell in line with my shirt business but you have to sub onto white polyester and not that many people want white polyester shirts. They make some poly that feels like cotton nowadays but it's still a white shirt.
  14. Wildgoose

    CorelDraw 2019 (Mac?)

    I think AI re-wired my brain. I get frustrated with Inkscape as well. Bottom line is I'm good with AI and own it. If life ever slows to the point of boredom I will take on a couple of those programs just for fun. I have VM Pro as well and have been playing with it here and there so I can be a little help sometimes. It's actually at my day job so when I get a slow moment I have a project to explore. Full time job then the side business means 15-18 hour days most of the time.
  15. Wildgoose

    What would you charge?

    I think we all get to that point after a little experience. You know what it's going to take to build and what most are willing to pay. Off the cuff quote. I actually make a killing on vehicle graphics now that I don't want to do them anymore. My day job is just too busy to allow me to mess with things that have to be done during daylight. I mostly cut for self installers and charge enough that I am surprised they keep calling back.