Every printer wants to make a quality print. Out of the million ways to achieve a nice print, obtaining perfect registration and screen stability is one way to make a good print great. To improve registration and screen stability, consider adding side clamps to your press.
WHY PRINTERS SHOULD INVEST IN SIDE CLAMPS
The main benefit of side clamps is the extra support they provide for a screen. Without the side clamps, it's solely the back clamp holding the screen in place. That leaves more room for the possibility of the screen to shift when you spin the press to change screens, throwing off the registration. The back clamp unfortunately does not stop the screen from flexing. If you watch Lee Stuart's video, you'll see how the screen in the back moves when you press on it. If a screen flexes too much, it may throw off the registration. The quality of your screen will play a factor into registration. If it's a cheap screen, the aluminum frame will have thinner walls, making it more prone to twist or bend. Nothing holding the sides down of the frame means your registration may become off.
You don't have to worry about movement with side clamps. By having a device that holds the sides and back of the screen, it won't move when you push the screen away and you won't see the back of the screen press onto the platen. Side clamps make your screens stable and rigid, making registration flawless.
HOW SIDE CLAMPS WORK
Side clamps work for any Riley Hopkins 300 and 350 press. As you saw in Lee's video, the side clamps have a tight clearance because he has an older, eight-color press. Simple to install onto your press, the side clamps' mechanisms are straightforward. Clamps are adjustable, able to hold up to 23" wide screens. The clamps also have a rear cross bar that acts like a linear glide, allowing you to move the screen from side to side. The clamps are a foot long, which heightens the capability to move the screen forward or backward. The clamps gives you more flexibility to set your screen where you need it to be.
No matter what level you're at, side clamps work for anyone. It's great for people just starting out with screen printing since the clamps improve registration by a landslide. They also work fantastically for printers looking to print complex artwork, achieving precise, tiny details.
Tighten up your registration. Dial in your prints. Invest in side clamps.