How to build your own fabric printing table | Tim Eads | Skillshare

How to build your own fabric printing table

Tim Eads, I'm an artist, designer and printer

How to build your own fabric printing table

Tim Eads, I'm an artist, designer and printer

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5 Lessons (27m)
    • 1. Intro to build your own print table

    • 2. Step 1: Building the frame

    • 3. Step 2: Table top boards

    • 4. Step 3: Add table padding

    • 5. Step 4: Add registration rail and dropcloth

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About This Class

In this class I'll teach you how to build a fabric printing table for textiles. It's great for doing small projects or printing production as your passion or business grows.

This same style of table is used throughout the world for hand and screen printing fabrics. It works well for pigments and dyes. I've also used it for printing natural dyes. 

Important key points about the table and class:

  • The instructions are scalable for any size space or budget. I spent about $500 on mine, but it's24 feet long!
  • Most items can found in your local hardware store and readily available.
  • The class includes an itemized spreadsheet with exactly what materials you need to buy, where to get them and how much they generally cost.
  • I have a Sketch-up 3D model of my table you can have.
  • I also have a printable PDF file with step-by-step instructions so you can follow along with my videos.

Meet Your Teacher

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Tim Eads

I'm an artist, designer and printer


Hello, I'm Tim.

I  was born in Denver City, TX. I was a creative kid - my mind bursting with color and design that I just couldn’t wait to share with the world. I decided to turn my passion into a career and figured the best way to do that was with a degree in graphic design. Unfortunately, tuition is expensive. Fortunately, I started screen printing to pay for that degree and that’s when things really fell into place. It was 1997 and he’s never looked back.

From Cranbrook Academy of Art to a stint in Mexico, I have worked as a graphic designer, art instructor, master printer, and artist for over 20 years. I was a Master Printer and Project Manager at The Fabric Workshop and Museum in Philadelphia from 200... See full profile

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1. Intro to build your own print table: Hi, My name is Tim EADS. I'm an artist and designer in Philadelphia, and I've been screen printing fabric for almost 10 years. I've built two tables and printing thousands of yards of fabric in that time. In this course, I'll show you how to build a simple fabric printing table. It's scalable to your size and space. Most of the materials you could find in your own hardware store. You'll be up and running, getting great results in no time. Theo, in addition to the step by step videos in this class, I'll also include a spreadsheet, which has all the materials that you'll need to build the table, where to buy those and how much they cost. I even have a three D sketch up model. If that's the way your role, I hope you'll join me in the first step to creating your own beautiful 2. Step 1: Building the frame: Hi. Welcome to the video. We're obviously jumping right in here. As you can see on the floor have already laid everything out. All the dimensions for the boards are either in the description or in the included PdF. So you confined those here. I recommend that you pre cut everything before you start assembling, laying it all out, similar to what I've done here and that will give you a head start. Basically, it's a simple frame construction, similar to how wall would be built in a house. All the joints are put together with wood screws, but you can also use nails. The main thing that you need to be aware of is the floor should be relatively flat because you're actually going to be building this frame and turning it upside down. So that way you know you're gonna have a flat surface at the top, so make sure that the floor that you're working on is relatively flat. One important thing to notice here is that I have split in my longest links. I have to tweet force foot sections, and what I've done is offset where those two long joints come together. I've done that so that I don't have a split in the top of the table. So that's just really important. You're trying to create a very stable surface here, - but now that the framing for the top of the table is done, we're going to be assembling and attached here. I'm just gonna double check this for us to see 30 30 year. So before I screw it down, I need to cut out much. Now, the notch actually goes fits in, uh, life like essentially like this. So what I need to do is have a notch. That is like that. So I need to do is actually true. That's what you do that pictures this will be actually on the floor. People actually just put cut block years. This is where I had previously. This is the knockout that I used to buy six before. This isn't going Teoh. I just need to fit in there. I already have a whole my life. So I'm doing noticing this is pretty close to the edge here. Really? Goal. Okay, Whole drill. You know, no ability here. I'm actually gonna dio this weighs. Okay, so I actually get this a little bit bigger banging. Obviously, we're this one. That's obviously you know, it's a socket on here. It's like a range nice and tight. 3. Step 2: Table top boards: so I've got it flipped over and positioned it. The next thing to do is make sure table is level has to be level is possible, and I've already done that. But essentially, you take a level and just run down the table and you're checking it. You know every few feet. If it's not level, then you put shins underneath the legs. So I'm just checking this. This is really close to the level I like to go all the way around, really close to a level. So after the tables been leveled, it's now time to put on the particle board. As I mentioned before. It saves a lot of time getting these pre cut at Home Depot or Lowe's, so they should be all ready to go. After putting all the boards down, you'll simply be stirring everything down like I'm doing here. - After putting down the particle board now goes home sewed or sound barrier, it's simply a compressed cardboard. It's really helpful for having a soft material that you can pin your pins into. Once you get this layer screwed in, you'll be putting spackle on the scenes. Teoh make sure all the same, Zahra's level is possible. I'm just making a note here that have offset the seams for both my home. So in particle board here, you can see all the seams have been filled with spackle and ready to be sanded. Now it's time to sand. Please use respirators or dust mask when sanding spackle. - Good job on finishing this step of the project. This is what your table should look like. It's now time to add the phone canvass and rail. 4. Step 3: Add table padding: I'm so glad you stuck it out this far. This isn't a really exciting lesson in the sense that you'll have a finished table by the end of this lesson. So the first step is to add a padded surface. I'm using a one inch upholstery phone, medium density, and it comes on rolls like this signs you could find this, typically at a local upholstery, plays for online. I'll include links in the pdf. Another option is to use industrial felt. That's also really good option. It is a bit more expensive, but quite a bit more durable. Since I don't have one continuous piece of foam, I'm gonna be slicing the two pieces together. So, as I explained previously, I need to join my two pieces of foam. So in order to do that, I have to cut a really straight line on both so I can get a good joint. And it's pretty simple to do with a T Square. - After cutting and laying out the phone, I am using double stick duct tape to join us. You can use any kind of tape that you have. It just needs to be as close together as possible really secure, so you don't have a gap there. - Okay , so the next step is to put handcuffs on, and my table is about 67 inches wide or something. So I'm using a 72 inch wide Kansas, and I'm actually using that canvas for both layers, so you essentially have two layers. You have a layer, that kind of a pollsters, this phone, and then you also have a final layer that is considered a drop cloth so that you can essentially replace that drop cloth a win and if it gets damaged. So so it's a good thing to have a very top layer that you can replace two, usually without having to do your entire table again. First layer of campus. I actually safe because it's a more permanent layer. Ideally, I'm not having to replace it, and then the top layer actually pin in and I put in my rail first, and then I pinto that rail so that that way I can easily unp in it and reap in it if I need okay, so the next step is to put the first layer of Cam Asan and I'll be stapling it on OK, So this is my canvas. It's a 10 ounce single feel great, a 72 inches wide. It doesn't really overhang the table that much. Now this this is really personal preference. You can also see my phone is cut pretty close to the edge here, and then I'm just gonna be kind of pulling that down like upholstery. But truthfully, you could have your phone come, or you could have the campus wraparound. There's all kinds of different ways to do this. Essentially, the ultimate goal is you want a nine flat surface. That's really what you're trying to accomplish, and that could be achieved in any number of ways. So, unfortunately, I misplaced the video that demonstrates the first round of canvas. It's similar enough that I think this will work the biggest differences. Obviously, you don't have a rail yet metal rail that you see in the back the video. But you're also going to be using staples similar to how you apply the foam for previous demonstrations, so you won't be using teachings here. The main thing is that you're trying to get everything is flattened, smoothest possible 5. Step 4: Add registration rail and dropcloth: The next step is Teoh actually install the rail so the rail is simply a piece of angle iron . I think this is 1.5 by 1.5. You could find this at any kind of metal supply store. Basically, all I've done here is drilled holes every foot and I have three pieces that are going to go across the whole thing for the eight yards. Okay, so now the the next step is we need Teoh align all three pieces of angle iron. Okay. And the easiest way to do that is with sort of masonry strings. Essentially, what you do very first step is to drill in this piece here to start it off. So I'm just doing it against the edge here. And as you can see, it's kind of slanted. But as I drill it down, it's going to actually cause it to be really flush with the top of the top of the table. And he had to be careful not to step. One is you need to drill a hole. If not, your screw is going to get caught in the fabric and stuff. Is drill a pilot hole So these air just Stainer. Two inch drywall screws and we should be able to get. I think I lost my pilot hole here so you can see how it really bit down onto the table. So that's the first step. Step two is to actually attach the string to this poll here, this piece of angle honor and obviously this temporary. So I'm just going Teoh, secure it with a really good piece of tape. And what we're gonna do here is string it across the entire table and use this as a guide to screw in the other pieces of angle iron. We are stringing this all the way across. So the second step is to go down to the end. And I need to drill a pilot hole in a regular whole for this end. So I'm just making sure everything is these three pieces are flush up against each other. They don't have to be 100% perfect, but pretty close. Okay, so now next step is and I haven't really utilized stringing all I'm on. Lee. I'm only kind of getting this this one set, and then essentially, once you have these two good to go. You're going to be using this spring to line up. So I've pulled the string really taught. So this is going Teoh allow you to, uh, move all the ends and set the middle one fairly easily. And this is super tight, right? I'm now moving along here, and I'm setting the 2nd 1 where the piece of angle iron is flush up against this string. I'm actually going to go down here and pull this even a little bit more tight. So I've got that ready to go. Now I'm moving to the end of the first piece of bar, and I'm actually lining it up along and getting it flush with the string. So now I'm starting with the second piece of angle iron I'm getting. It looks pretty good. And then you just continue the process. The last and final step of the process is to install the final layer of canvas or Muslim. This is typically considered a drop cloth, so can be replaced easily when it gets dirty. In this case, I'm painting it, but you can also staple it as before. You should be aware of ripples and wrinkles and trying to make it as flat as possible. - Happy printing and Cindy photos. When you're done,