Introduction: Screen Printing Washout Booth (Part 1)
The photo above is my initial design for a full size Screen Printing Washout Booth (with filtration system).
I am a Screen Printer and I needed a large booth to washout my screens in that also filtered out all the gunk from the wastewater. I use eco-friendly chemicals but I still wanted to make sure I kept those chemicals out of the drain. You can buy large washout booths and filter systems but even for the low end ones I was looking at spending at least $2000.00. So I searched online for weeks looking for anyone that had built a custom washout booth (full size, I kept seeing washout booths made out of those $50 garage sink basins that aren't big enough for even a smaller sized screen printing frame. The frames I use are 20x24 inches. Even harder to find were custom built filtration systems...so I designed one myself. What you see in the photos is the combo washout booth/filtration system. When I built this I was mostly focusing on the washout basin/backsplash and drain and then the filtration system. The 2x4s that I built the frame out of could and probably will be replaced with something that looks nicer. It worked and I had orders so I started using it. I am posting the design plans for the filtration system as well (part 2). This tutorial is for the washout booth itself.
Step 1: Materials
For the washout booth you need:
-10-12 2x4s depending on the 2x4 length
-A pack of wood screws of various sizes
TUB & DRAIN:
Large black concrete mixing tub (36inches x 24inches)
hole saw attachment for drill
standard shower drain of your choosing
silicone caulk (or preferred caulk)
2" SCH 40 PVC PIPE (2ft)
Sheet of Coroplast 48 in. x 96 in. x 0.157 in. White Corrugated Plastic Sheet
Plastidip or Rustoleum Leakseal (in the color of your choice)
Step 2: Frame
The frame is very basic.
I just built something sturdy that holds the tub and drain above the filtration system, and then built a frame around the tub for the corrugated plastic back-splash so it would be sturdier.
I added casters at the bottom of the washout booth after I built it. I realized I was moving the washout booth around a lot. I would recommend putting casters on everything in your screen printing shop if possible.
I bought a pack of casters and added them to my press stand, drying rack and washout booth:
Step 3: Washout Booth Tub & Drain
Drill a hole with your hole saw attachment in the center of the mixing tub. The mixing tub that I bought actually had a circle in the mold so I used that for reference.
I bought a shower drain "Sioux Chief 2 in. PVC Shower Drain with Strainer" and followed the instructions on installing it just like I would install in a shower.
Use the silicone caulk to seal the drain into the plastic tub. The shower strainer will be slightly raised above the surface of the tub, but it won't cause any drain backup
Because of the two tank system I have underneath the washout booth tub, I had to take the drain and add 2inch SCH 40 PVC Pipe with two 2 in. PVC DWV 90 Degree Hub x Hub Elbow sections to move the drain runoff to the back tank.
Step 4: Back-splash & Waterproof Seal
What has to be the most important feature of a screen printing washout booth system is the side walls and backing I call a "back splash" to keep the chemicals and water spray in the booth and off of the walls.
I discovered this sheet of flexible, lightweight and inexpensive plastic called "corrugated poly carbonate sheeting" which I believe is the same stuff used for yard signs.
Its main feature is that it is lightweight, easily cut, and water proof! Perfect for what I needed.
Depending on how tall you want your washout booth to be, you can cut to size. I cut mine down to 60 inches lengthwise, and 3-3.5 feet tall.
I measured the side walls and folded in the edges like those project boards (See Photo)
I slid the whole piece down into the tub (should be pretty snug and kind of stick there) and then I put a screw in on each side at the bottom and on at the top to keep it from collapsing in on itself.
The final step is taking plasti-dip or equivalent and spraying all the edges of the board, over the screws to keep the water from seeping through.
I also added plastidip on the wood sides that were exposed to spray from the pressure washer and the hose that I was using to clean out screens.
Step 5: Conclusion
Basically I wanted to have enough space to easily maneuver a 20x24in screen around while I was reclaiming it or washing out a stencil.
The images above were from my earlier attempts at a washout booth, realizing that I could not properly clean out a screen with the size tub that I was using. The tub was a standard utility tub you can buy from a local hardware store.
Facing upwards of $2,000.00 to fork out to have a good washout booth, I realized I was going to have to build one myself.
Hope you enjoy my designs, and let me know if you have any improvements or questions.
I will be creating a blog on "how to screen print" which will feature much more information about screen printing and more builds such as an exposure unit.