Drawing Crosshairs On Your Pallet

A lot of people ask me how I line up my screens on the press. I always explain for manual screen printing in situations where you do not have access to pin registration systems, it is often handy to draw crosshairs directly onto the pallet.

When you make a cross hair use a medium tip black Sharpie and make the lines bold so you can see them through the emulsion on a new screen. Your pallet will have to be somewhat clean so you may see the black lines easily. You shouldn’t let too much shirt felt and spray tack build up on the pallet anyway. A clean, smooth pallet will give better results especially with halftones.

Square the lines off with the edges using a right angle drafting tool like a T square. It’s nice when it hangs off the pallet on one side of the T square so you can do it pretty quick. Putt the T square flush to one edge and make sure the ruler guide is long enough to cross the pallet at least from side to side.

I make a center line and several cross hairs at different levels so I can line them up with different parts of the design on the screen. To make your center line go all the way from end to end lengthwise, measure the center with a ruler and make marks down the length. Then use a long straight edge so you can “connect the dots” sort to speak.

You can also make a “center line” to the left of the actual center line to get your crest print, (over the heart), set up too. The position of that line may depend on where your shop likes to position that print.

I like to have a clean pallet and a fresh set of crosshairs when I’m starting a new print run. Simple things like this can make the job a little easier.


Thanks for reading!

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