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Screen printing glass for the back glass of pinball machines

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Screen printing glass for the back glass of pinball machines

Postby printsandwich » Tue Jan 15, 2013 12:46 am

So was wondering if anyone has any tips for screen printing the back glass of pinball machines. This is how they were originally done, and I have a client that would like me to screen print some for him. Maybe someone out there used to work on these maybe for bally williams or another outfit.
My idea is to screen print them as spot colors one color at a time with GLE ink, let them air dry and then do the next color. I'm thinking I will make a table to print them on. Any tips or ideas would greatly appreciated.
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Re: Screen printing glass for the back glass of pinball mach

Postby Mod-Zel » Tue Jan 15, 2013 10:44 am

I used to (30 years ago),screen print replacement glass for a local company. It's fun but very expensive. 6, 8, 12 colors, Film separations and screens and press set up for all of those colors. Unless you are printed a couple of dozen of the same graphic it's a looser as far as profit is concerned, especially now that digital flatbed printers are all over the place. I would never screen print today. I'd digitally print clear vinyl in mirror image, apply it to glass and cut opaque vinyl and apply it over if you needed light blackout areas.
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Re: Screen printing glass for the back glass of pinball mach

Postby printsandwich » Tue Jan 15, 2013 12:06 pm

He really wants them to be authentic, and he's willing to pay for it. He wants to do runs of fifty, starting with the ones that have the most demand. So my thing is I have been textile printing for about five years, and feel confident in that, but have not screen printed a substrate like glass. Did you use a flat table press with three point registration?
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Re: Screen printing glass for the back glass of pinball mach

Postby Mod-Zel » Tue Jan 15, 2013 12:27 pm

Yes, table print with 3 point reg. We used NazDar 5900 series enamel at the time.
Remember, not only are you printing mirror image but reverse order. So you'll be printing your borders first that will trap
the color fills which is actually easier than the "normal" way.

Tight screens and a decent screen offset is important. Any screen sticking an pulling off irregularly will leave rings quite visible
in this back lit panel, not to mention any dust or hairs.

Just out of curiosity, how may colors are you printing on this job?
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Re: Screen printing glass for the back glass of pinball mach

Postby printsandwich » Tue Jan 15, 2013 11:05 pm

Thanks again, got it down to six colors with separation studio software, so I will print it in reverse order final white to base. Thanks again.
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Re: Screen printing glass for the back glass of pinball mach

Postby VintageSlots » Tue Nov 26, 2013 11:21 pm

I'm interested in doing old slot machine glass. Like many old pinball glasses there is a lot of mirrored areas on the glass.
When they originally did these glasses 40 to 50 years ago how did they do the mirroring part of the image.

The only answer I have found is that they mirrored the entire glass and then etched off what they didn't want.
My guess is Asphultium (spelling) is the stuff they might have used to mask what wasn't to etched off the glass.
But what did they mirror the glass with?
Thanks,
Jeff
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