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I've had my eye on Craigslist for a few months looking for a silkscreen press. I've only ever dealt with my own 1 color/1 station press which I purchased new, so I'm not especially well versed in what sort of things can go wrong.

What sort of defects should I look out for when shopping around for a pre-owned multi-color multi-station press?

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up vote 3 down vote accepted

Make sure to look for the following:

  1. Shocks ease of flow from fully compressed and fully extended.
  2. Check the shock within the flood area. This is where you flood the screen with ink before you lay it down on the garment. Make sure the shock doesnt lock up or fall.
  3. Check the bolts on the clamps to make sure they aren't stripped.
  4. Test the clamp with a wooden and alum screen.
  5. If you get Platens check them to make sure they arent warped.
  6. Check the registeration "XY" or "Joystick Registration" is working correctly.
  7. Make sure ALL knobs are present.
  8. Get them to make a print to check for any warping from anywhere.
  9. Make sure the base rotates well.
  10. Make sure the printing stations, rotating heads, rotate if yours is equipped.
  11. make sure its in a air controlled environment to prevent possible warpage.
  12. If this is a press with a spring ask when they were last changed.
  13. Ask if a spring has ever broken, that will identify any possibility of strain within the press and if they have taken care of their press.
  14. Look for cracks in the spring or wear tension weaknesses.

A video on checking for larger presses.

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