diy flash cure unit

heater and top arm

heater and top arm

i have always set screen printing dye by steamer, so i wasn’t sure i’d need a flash cure unit. when i needed some plastisol ink for a metallic effect in the pot o' gold shirt, i tried to cure the plastisol in the oven. well, i scorched the shirt. at that point, i decided i needed a flash cure unit, but i wasn’t sure i wanted to commit to the $300 or more price tag. i decided instead to try and build one. i tried several infrared heaters, but they always had safety switches (which likely could have easily been disabled, but i didn’t want to mess with it) which made them switch off if not upright. i finally found a ceiling mount heater.

removable stand

removable stand

i built a stand for it which i put on castors. i made it so that it could easily break down (the upright 2×4 can be removed) for easy storage. i had to make it taller than one would normally because of my oddly tall press cart. it is mainly constructed of 2×4. the base has three 2×6 boards stacked together with a space in there to put the upright 2×4.
shelf bracket

shelf bracket

i use 4 bolts to hold the upright in place. they can be removed as can the heater itself so that i can store the whole unit more easily. the upright then has a shelf bracket to accommodate the 2×4 that holds the heater. i used shims to keep the heater level. i can drill more holes in the upright 2×4 to raise or lower the heater. right now i have the heater about 7″ above the surface of the platen.

heat gun reading on a shirt

heat gun reading on a shirt

this thing seems to work great. not only does it cure my plastisol easily, it also sets my screen printed dye and activates discharge. one nice thing i’ve found is it seems to not get too much above the 320º F required for curing plastisol, so i haven’t noticed any scorching. ultimately, i would love to have a conveyor dryer but i just can’t justify the expense or the space and this seems to be working fine for what i’m doing.

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comments

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2 comments on “diy flash cure unit
  1. Jay says:

    Hey buddy! I really really really am glad I’ve found this! I’m a beginner who’s just finished a diy press. I’ve got many of my own ideas…my emulsion, squeegee, plastisol, etc…Will all arrive shortly. I’d just been wondering so bad can I get away with an infrared heater and diy stand for curing the plastisol. My heater cable had been chewed up by my dog and I repaired it…..after three years of use that way, the cable is done. Well I’m going to buy another cable of the same gauge and totally wire it back up.
    Anyway after all the rambling, I kinda just wanted to know if I could contact you here and there, by anyway, for some infrequent wisdom in the practice? TIA Buddy

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