How to Make a Silk Screen Frame

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How to Make a Silk Screen Frame. Printing a silk screen is a lot of fun. But before you do it, you need to make a frame. It's worth putting a bit of effort into this step, because a well-built frame will last a lifetime.

Things You'll Need

  • Brushes
  • Polyurethane Finishes
  • Wood : Pre-routered Framing Material Or Kiln-dried 2x2s
  • Wood Glues
  • 1-inch Wood Screws
  • C-clamps
  • Medium-grit Sandpaper
  • Miter Saws
  • Variable-speed Drills

Choose Supplies

Decide how large your frame will be.

Choose a type of frame. Your options, essentially, are two: framing wood that is pre-routered for stretching the silk screen (and often precut in standard sizes), and plain wood (2-by-2) that you buy at a hardware store or lumberyard. Option 1 is easier but more expensive.

Buy your supplies.

Build a Frame from Pre-routered Wood

Cut wood to the desired size, unless it's precut, using a mitre saw.

Join pieces two at a time to form corners, using screws and wood glue.

Allow to dry.

Coat with polyurethane finish to seal and protect the wood.

Build a Frame From Scratch

Buy kiln-dried lumber (2-by-2). Eyeball it to choose the least-warped pieces.

Cut to the desired length, using a mitre saw. If you're an experienced carpenter, try lap-joint construction for greater stability.

Join pieces two at a time to form corners, using screws and wood glue.

Allow the frame to dry.

Sand any sharp corners or edges to protect your fabric.

Coat with polyurethane finish to seal and protect the wood.

Tips & Warnings

  • Pre-routered wood stock will have a groove cut into it for placing rope to stretch the silk screen fabric.
  • Try using angle braces on the non-grooved side for greater stability.
  • Sanding the inside corners where the grooves meet up will protect your fabric.
  • Try using angle braces on the corners for greater stability.
  • Check twice before you mitre - cutting in the wrong direction is a common mistake.

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