Newman Roller Frames, The MAXX Tension for Max Printing!

•February 19, 2010 • Leave a Comment

 What is the advantage of Newman Roller Frames vs. Glued Frames?
There are many answers to this question. Consider these: High and controlled tensions, ability to retension towards mesh stability, faster printing, accurate registration, faster set-ups, better ink lay-down resulting in brighter white’s and colors, ink savings, mesh savings and emulsion savings.

· What tensions do you recommend?
We provide tension charts for both manual stretching and automatic stretching using our Newman Roller Master. You can download both these charts from our website at by clicking here. 

· What’s the difference between the silver bolts vs black bolts?
All silver bolts require an anti-seize lubricant prior to assembly. The newer black bolts have an anti-seize lubricant baked-on and does not require additional lubricating. This speeds up the assembly process as well as provides the perfect amount of lubrication. This prevents your torque wrench from miss-reading the torque settings.

Torque settings
Silver bolts / M3-UL: 55 ft/lbs max.
Black bolts / M3-UL: 55 ft/lbs max.
Silver bolts / MZX-UL: 45 ft/lbs max.
Black bolts / MZX-UL: 45 ft/lbs max.

· What is the difference between the MZX-UL 23”x31” OD and M3-UL 23”x31” OD frames?
The MZX-UL frame has a smaller roller diameter at 1 7/16 – inches and has a maximum tension capacity of 35 Newtons. It is more suitable for manual shops that need to print large images as well as the small auto shop that does small volume work. The M3-UL frame has a larger roller diameter at 1 5/8 – inches and has a maximum tension capacity of 85 Newtons. It is our “Automatic” frame and it is 300% stronger than the MZX model even if the printer chooses never to go above 40-45 Newtons. Although the MZX-UL can be used for automatic printing, we recommend the M3-UL for medium to large shops with multiple automatics who do not want any screen tension limitations.

· I have problems with keeping my Newman Roller Frames flat. What am I doing wrong?
If you are stretching your frames manually, make sure the table you are stretching on is perfectly flat. Next, make sure you are using a torque wrench (Not a ratchet) and that it is set to the proper torque setting. If you are using a Newman Roller Master, make sure the table is on a flat surface. There is a level adjustment on one of the legs of the Roller Master if needed. For more information, please contact Stretch Devices at 1-800-523-3694.

Torque settings
Silver bolts / M3-UL: 55 ft/lbs max.
Black bolts / M3-UL: 55 ft/lbs max.
Silver bolts / MZX-UL: 45 ft/lbs max.
Black bolts / MZX-UL: 45 ft/lbs max.

· Will Newman Roller Frames fit any type of press?
Newman frames will fit a majority of textile and graphic type presses. We recommend contacting your nearest Newman dealer, or Stretch Devices to ensure that your press will not be an issue.

· What is the most common cause of screens ripping?
There are several reasons why a screen will rip. However, the most common is “Improper Frame Care or Handling”. Because you are now using tighter screens, you must handle them with care. Avoid dropping them, dragging them or throwing them around. Where ever you see frames lying on the floor of your shop put a “mesh safe” rack there. Instead of carrying them in both hands, put them in a “mesh safe” mobile press cart and transport them to your press. Use the correct tape and/or Fabric Protectors on your frames. Contact Stretch Devices for “mesh safe” mobile Racks, mobile Press Carts and Fabric Protectors.

· Do you make custom size Newman Roller Frames?
Yes. We can make CD size frames or large format frames up to 40 feet. Contact Stretch Devices for more information at 1-800-523-3694.

· Is training available when I purchase my first Newman Roller Frames?
Yes. Contact your nearest Newman Roller Frame dealer for training.

· Can Newman Roller Frames go on a lease?
Yes. In fact, if you are in the process of leasing new equipment, consider adding Newman Roller Frames and our PinLock Registration System with the lease.

· What type of tape should I be using for my Newman Roller Frame?
We make a blue “Zone” tape specially designed for the squeegee side of the frame in that it minimizes the amount of adhesive used on the roller keeping the roller clean. We also make a “split-liner” tape that only adheres to the mesh, and not the roller. Both tapes are simple to work with and both peel off the frame in one piece.

· What tools do I need to stretch a Newman Roller Frame?
We a supply a Tool Kit that includes a specially designed Magnesium Extended Open-End Wrench, High-Industrial Torque Wrench and a High-Industrial Socket. You will also need accessories such as Alignment Clips and Corner Softening Tools.

· Is there an automatic machine that can stretch Newman Roller Frames?
Yes. We make an automatic stretching machine called a Newman Roller Master. This machine enables you to stretch your Newman Roller Frames in both directions simultaneously, and only requires air to operate. The Newman Roller Master enables you to stretch your mesh up to 20% higher vs. manually, keeps your frames flat and produces more stretched and production-ready frames per hour. We make many different models to fit many different sizes of Newman Roller Frames. Including large format.

· What’s the difference between your stretching tables vs. others?
Our Newman Roller Master is an “Automated” machine and operates by air. Unlike other tables which are done manually by having to turn one roller at a time. The Newman Roller Master is made of all metal components. The other table is made of both metal and wood components.

· Why does my mesh tear during stretching?
First, you must realize the mesh count, manufacturer and its tension requirements. Then, inserting mesh and corner softening must be done correctly. We have a stretching manual that will guide your through this process. Contact your nearest Newman Roller Frame dealer for information.

· Do you have stretching instructions for Newman Roller Frames?
Yes. These instructions can be downloaded from our website at by clicking here.

· Do you recommend using the Shur-Loc panels?
There are a few shops that do use the Shur-Loc panels successfully. There are some limitations to this product that you should know before you invest in them. Please contact Stretch Devices for more information.

· What torque setting should my torque wrench be set to?
Torque settings

Silver bolts / M3-UL: 55 ft/lbs max.
Black bolts / M3-UL: 55 ft/lbs max.
Silver bolts / MZX-UL: 45 ft/lbs max.
Black bolts / MZX-UL: 45 ft/lbs max.

· Do you have replacement locking strips?
Yes. We offer them in 50 ft. rolls. They are called Universal Locking Strips and come in White or Black colors. The White locking strip would normally be used with mesh counts of 83 or higher. The Black locking strip would normally be used with mesh counts of 60 or lower. Contact your nearest Newman Roller Frame dealer for more information.

· What should I use to clamp down on my round rollers?
We make a Clamp Adaptor that fits over the roller which will give you a flat surface to clamp down on.

· Do you have a pin registration system for Newman Roller Frames?
Yes. We have a Newman PinLock Registration System. This is a comprehensive system that addresses registration throughout the art dept., screen dept. and production.
Art Dept:
We provide a Grid Layout Board (GLB) with a Pin Bar attached to one end of the board. The board should be used on top of a light table so you can see through it. Pre-punched carrier sheets are also part of the system. You will place one carrier sheet on the (GLB) aligning it to the Pin Bar. Place your outline film of your design on the carrier sheet and position it on the (GLB) to where it should be located on the screens. Attach the positive to the carrier sheet with clear tape. Lay another carrier sheet over the top of your outline positive and then register the next color to the outline positive. Attach this positive to the carrier sheet. Repeat these steps for each additional color. Once all film positives are registered and attached to carrier sheets, send them to screen-making.
Screen Dept:
We provide a Pin Bar that matches the Pin Bar used in the Art Dept. Each of your Newman Frames must have a set of PinLocks attached on one end of the frame corners for the next step. Set your coated screen on a flat table, mesh side up, and place your Pin Bar over the PinLocks to engage it. Then, take your carrier sheets with the positives attached and lay the carrier sheet over the screen, matching the carrier sheet to the pins of the Pin Bar to locate and position the film. Tape the carrier sheet to the frame, and remove the Pin Bar from the frame. You now have your first film positioned to the screen. No measuring, no guessing, NO MISTAKES! Take the screen to the exposure unit and expose as normal. (Note: There is no need to put any other type of equipment on the exposure unit to line the frame up to each other.)
Underneath “one” of your press pallet, we will attach a swing-fixture that swings out with “pins”. You will use this pallet as normal while printing, and then swing the fixture out from underneath when you are ready to register a design. Place all the screens into the press as normal. Locate the swing-fixture pallet and swing the fixtures out with the pins. Locate this pallet underneath the first frame; engage the pins up to the frames PinLocks on both corners. The pins are either “in” or “out” , and is a very effective visual and does not require “feeling” or “guessing” if the frames are in the right position. Once the frame corners/PinLocks are engaged to the pallet swing-fixture pins, lock the frame down and repeat these steps for the next colors. When you are finish “pinning” all the colors, simply retract the swing-fixture back underneath the pallet and start your first test print. You do not need to remove the pallet. Expect to reduce your set-up times by at least 50%. The Newman PinLock Registration System has been in production for over 10 years, is proven and is extremely fast and accurate.

As good and economically necessary as these Pin-Registration Systems are, don’t be misled into thinking that they are a CURE-ALL and that there is not a learning curve. While considerably less time and skill is required during press set-up, much more skill and attention to detail is required at art and film preparation, screen-making and press maintenance if one is to realize the system’s full advantage.

· Can I take the mesh and image off the frame and use it again?
No. Doing this will distort the image as it comes off the frame as well as inserting back into the frame. You will never be able to get it to line-up to other colors within the design. If you try and do it for one color designs, you may still have problems with circles and straight lines. We do not recommend this!

· Can I retention mesh with the design still on it?
It is not recommended as you will distort the image and it will not line-up to other colors within the design.

· What is the benefit of retensioning mesh?
The benefit of retensioning mesh is to stabilize or work-hardened the mesh at 25 Newtons or more. Doing this will enable you to control many variables or problems inherent to LOW screen tension during the screen-making and printing processes. Stabilizing and Controlling your tension will allow for FASTER SET-UPS, FASTER PRINTING, BETTER QUALITY and REPEATABILITY!

· What do you recommend to protect the mesh around the rollers?
We recommend using our Fabric Protectors which are specially designed to wrap around the roller and protect the mesh during handling. In addition, we recommend our White Solvent Resistant Tape which you would place over the mesh and roller during your initial stretching.

· Do you make tension meters?
Yes. We manufacturer our meters here in the U.S. at our factory in Philadelphia, PA. Our meter is the only meter in the world with all stainless steel hardened gears; shock-proof industrial grade internal gear movement and all jeweled sapphire bearings. The Newman ST meters read from “0” to “130” Newtons.

· Can I use my Newman Roller Frames in a dip tank?
Yes. All Newman Roller Frames are 100% sealed.

· Can I use Newman Roller Frames for any type of screen printing?
Yes. We manufacture frames for many types of printing including, CD, Textile, Graphics, Large Format, Industrial and Specialty Printing.

· Why should I use Newman Roller Frames, I only do spot prints?
Because you can control your screen tensions, using Newman Roller Frames will give you a better deposit of ink ON the garment and not INTO the garment. This will allow your white inks to print brighter and with a much smoother hand using only one squeegee stroke. Registration will also be more accurate due to tension control.

· I am a NEW PRINTER, why should I start with Newman Roller Frames?
Screen printing has a long list of variables. The majority of these variables can be avoided by doing one simple thing. Control your screen tensions! Whether you are printing a simple 1-color design, or a difficult process design you will need a common tool, the frame. Regardless of what mesh you use, you will be able to immediately eliminate a whole list of variables in the printing process simply by being able to control your screen tensions. You cannot do this with a static wood frame or aluminum frame. Start your business with the right frame for ANY type of work that comes your way.

· Besides a better ink deposit, what other benefits does higher and controlled screen tensions give you?
A higher and stable screen tension will give you better registration, consistent coating thickness of emulsion, faster and more efficient reclaiming, emulsion savings, ink savings, faster set-ups, less wear-and-tear on squeegees and presses, consistency and repeatability from job-to-job.

· How does stable and well tensioned screens affect Graphic Printing?
CONTROL, CONTROL, CONTROL! Can you print a job without stopping to re-register, modify inks, or slow down your press just to make a job print correctly? Newman Roller Frames will allow you to print more efficiently, therefore being more productive.

· Are there any Articles published that I can read about Newman Roller Frames and its technology?
Yes. Our website has several detailed articles by Don Newman that are worth reading to better understand the theory behind screen tension and how it relates to our products.


Discharge Ink & Discharge Screen Printing How It Works

•August 28, 2008 • Leave a Comment

Water Base Discharge Inks

Discharge printing can be a valuable addition to your operation. Discharge is not a use-it-and-forget-it product. Discharge printing comes with safety precautions, issues with finished goods, and procedures for a healthy shop environment. These issues are not that difficult to deal with and cannot be ignored. Be prepared to properly handle the discharge products or don’t even try them.

Methods of using discharge

Discharge inks require an activator/catalyst to work; there are two different systems available. The predominant system relies on active ingredient Zinc-Formaldehyde-Sulfoxylate (ZFS). The newer, and less used system relies on Thiourea Dioxide as its active ingredient. There are different name determinations dependant on what the ink company calls it, in most cases formaldehyde is the active ingredient. In both systems, the ink has a limited discharge life once the activator is added. There are two methods of discharge printing, both systems can be used.

1.       The first and most traditional printing method is to discharge every color in the print; there is no need for an underbase screen. This method saves a screen and does away with flashing between colors. The exception to this rule is when a black-ink screen is needed. There’s no need to use discharge if the black will cover without it. When printing on black, any black that is on the design is reversed, that part of the design will use the shirt color itself.

2.       The second method is to use discharge strictly as an underbase. With this method, you can use either white discharge or natural discharge, which contains no pigment and reveals the natural color of the fabric. The following colors are printed with regular plastisol with or without flashing.  Some prefer not to flash the discharge underbase. This saves the head used for the flash and any cool down heads. The end result is that printers can increase the amount of colors they can print on dark shirts by one or two.

The undwhite discharge erbase works well for most design types, especially spot-color work. Even though the other colors are printed using plastisol, the overall print has a less heavy feel because the underbase is a water-based product. If a design contains halftones or other areas with very thin ink deposits, then a natural discharge would work much better. The pigment in the white discharge underbase might mix with the process inks and shift their color. This is usually a problem with spot colors.

Discharge ink underbasing makes true 4 color process printing on dark fabrics possible. For process printing do not use a white discharge underbase. When the white pigment mixes with the transparent process inks, they will turn pastel and muted. Work with a natural discharge underbase that will reveal the natural cotton background color using a highlight white to make the design pop. Process-ink systems can be beefed up using triple-strength versions to compensate for the natural background thus overcoming the off-white background color. Again if the design contains any white color of its own, print a white highlight that is designed to print with the process inks using this application.

Safety issues in production


Water-based ZFS-activated discharge is the most used and the most versatile method of discharge printing. ZFS has an unpleasant odor and should be handled carefully in its crystal form then blended into the ink by a properly trained employee. Always blend the ZFS slowly until it is well mixed in the ink to prevent dust, ZFS is relatively safe once in solution. Formaldehyde is a skin irritant. Proper procedure dictates dryers should be properly vented, never use an unvented dryer for discharge curing. Shirts printed with ZFS discharge have measurable levels of formaldehyde. Garments that are allowed to sit for a time after printing in an unconfined state will disperse most of the formaldehyde within days. If at all possible, avoid folding and packing ZFS-discharged garments immediately after printing.


Water-based Thiourea dioxide discharge should also be handled with care; it’s a strong oxidizer that must be kept in a sealed container. The same precautions that are recommended for ZFS apply to Thiourea dioxide as both are strong oxidizers to be kept in sealed containers. Efforts should be made to minimize dust when pouring the crystalline powder into the mixing container, occasional direct contact is not considered an immediate health threat but advisable to avoid excessive contact.

Screen printing hands on – the Tradeshow

•August 20, 2008 • Leave a Comment

Hey Everyone. So sometimes you can do all the research in the world over the internet but it just doesn’t take the place of real hands on experience. If you’re thinking about screen printing you might want to consider going to one of the textile trade shows that come your way. It’s a great way to check out different vendors and really educate yourself about the screen printing industry. These trade shows, often with different names, and sometimes covering slightly different aspects of the industry, pop up all over the country.

Here’s a pretty cool video to give you a look at a booth at a trade show.

Is now a good time to start a new business?

•July 9, 2008 • Leave a Comment

There’s almost endless coverage of the recession these days.  Has it affected you?  I’m always curious about that.  I often wonder how much of it is media hype and how much of it is real.  But none the less how does it affect screen printers and their business?  Because it’s a “recession” does that mean you should be wary of starting a screen printing business?  You might be surprised.  Here, check this video out for some interesting answers to these questions.


•July 3, 2008 • Leave a Comment

Sublimation isn’t something we’ve touched on too much in this blog (by the way, sorry for the lapse between posts) but here’s a video that’s pretty interesting.

Info about creating films for exposing your art

•June 10, 2008 • Leave a Comment

Why an Inkjet to Output Films?
The concept behind inkjets will be familiar to most readers: ink gets squirted out of nozzles located within the print head, which distribute the ink across the page as it is fed through the printer. It’s less well known, though, that the technology itself can be broken down into two common types: thermal and piezo.
Although both distribute ink in a similar fashion, the difference lies in how they transfer the ink to the page. In thermal inkjets, the nozzles located inside the print head are heated to create a vapor bubble which forces a droplet of ink onto the paper. Due to the nature of the ink transferal method, many manufacturers refer to these types of inkjet printers as bubble jets. Manufactures producing bubble jets include HP, Canon and Lexmark.
In contrast, piezo printers squirt pressurized ink through the nozzles by charging the piezo crystal located behind the nozzles in the print head with electricity. Piezo crystals vibrate when charged with electricity and this, in turn, pulls and then pushes the ink within the nozzle. By varying the strength of the electrical charges, the technology causes different-sized ink droplets to break away from the nozzle. Also called the vibration method, the technology was patented by Epson and is consequently used in its range of inkjet printers.
This is a PostScript interpreter called a Raster Image Processor or RIP. Without PostScript it is impossible to print high-quality halftone dots on a “non-PostScript” inkjet printer such as an Epson 2200 or 4000. Even if your printer has PostScript, it may not be able to print halftone dots because PostScript is often just used to calibrate and balance colors on an inkjet. The Epson “RIP” does not print halftone dots! FastRIP™ does!

A plotter is a vector graphics printing device that connects to a computer. Plotters print or cut their output by moving a pen/knife across the surface of a piece of paper or film. This means that plotters are restricted to line art, rather than raster graphics as with other printers. They can draw complex line art, including text, but do so very slowly because of the mechanical movement of the pen/knife. (Plotters are incapable of creating a solid region of color by pen)
When computer memory was very expensive, and processor power was very slow, this was often the fastest way to produce color high-resolution vector-based artwork, or very large drawings efficiently. Plotters coupled with a hand-cut water soluble film that is weeded out in a negative form after cutting then applied to a screen, this is but one option to a printer that’s already doing vinyl signs.

In addition to this blog you can learn more info about screen printing here as well as sign up to take a comprehensive class about screen printing and get one on one instruction and learn from the pros.

Introduction to art terms

•May 13, 2008 • Leave a Comment


The term actually stands for “Joint Photographic Experts Group,” because that is the name of the committee that developed the format. But you don’t have to remember that because even computer nerds will think you’re weird if you mention what JPEG stands for. Instead, remember that a JPEG is a compressed image file format. JPEG images are not limited to a certain amount of color, like GIF images are. Therefore, the JPEG format is best for compressing photographic images. So if you see a large, colorful image on the Web, it is most likely a JPEG file.

While JPEG images can contain colorful, high-resolution image data, it is a lossy format, which means some quality is lost when the image is compressed. If the image is compressed too much, the graphics become noticeably “blocky” and some of the detail is lost. Like GIFs, JPEGs are cross platform, meaning the same file will look the same on both a Mac and PC.


Both GIF and JPEG images are widely used on the Web and are supported by all Web browsers and other Web software. The choice is usually a simple one. Charts, screen shots and technical drawings are compressed best as GIFs, and GIFs only hold up to 256 colors (8-bit color). Most all photographs are better as a JPEG, which supports 24-bit color and has the option of several compression levels (the choice depends on how much degradation you can tolerate). If you save a scanned image in both formats, you may see a dramatic difference in file size between them.


BMP (short for bitmap) is a graphic format used internally by the Microsoft Windows graphics subsystem, and used commonly as a simple graphics file format on that platform. BMP files are usually not compressed, so they are typically much larger than compressed image file formats such as JPEG or PNG. Despite its shortcomings, the simplicity of BMP and its widespread use in Microsoft Windows and elsewhere, as well as the fact that this format is well-documented and free of patents, makes it a very common format. As such, many image programs are likely to be able to read in BMP files.


A spot color is a specially mixed ink that is applied on the printing press, as opposed to a mix of the four inks which make up process printing. Spot colors can be produced in a much more vibrant range of colors, and can have special characteristics which aren’t available in process inks, such as day-glow or metallic ink. Because they only use one screen, spot colors can reduce the cost of printing if you limit your ink choices to black and one spot color. For example, if you choose to print a red and black logo in process inks, you will actually need three inks on three screens (with associated , etc): Magenta, Yellow, and Black.

However, if you are already printing a full-color piece, adding a spot color will dramatically increase the cost of printing. You will add one more color to the four colors needed to produce, for example color photographs. It then is a five-color job requiring five inks, five screens, five positives, etc. Many companies make spot colors, but the most popular is Pantone, Inc. They not only make and sell inks, but they have a process which enables printers to mix the exact same colors from a set of base inks