Types of Heat press
There are so many different heat presses on the market, it would take me forever to go through every type. So to make it easier I will go through the basics:
The Swing Away Heat press is my favourite as the heated part of the press swings to one side too allow you to put your item onto the bed for printing.
The Clam Heat press basically just opens and closes like a Clam shell. These are not my favourites as you have to put your hand quite close to the hot bed to enter your item.
Last but not least is the handheld. These come in a variety of sizes. The smaller ones are great for using on caps and smaller items where the large ones (up to 12” x 12”) are great if you are short on room or if you are just an occasional user.
How to use your Heat press
As with anything new a Heat press can be very intimidating. Fear not, it is not as bad as you think. After unboxing it and finding somewhere to put it (Those with craft rooms will not have this problem) its time to start playing.
Most presses work on the same sort of principles. The is usually a large wheel to turn that moves the top bed up and down. I would recommend putting a tee in the press and pull down on the handle. If it feels loose when pulling down tighten the wheel and continue to keep doing so. You know you have it just right when you must strain slightly to clamp it fully down.
Now we must look at the temperature settings. Check with the vinyl manufacture as to how hot and how long the press needs to be down for. This changes from brand to brand so never make assumptions. Most presses will not only allow you to set the temperature you need but to also set a timer for how long the press is in the locked position. You will see all this information on the digital display.
When using your heat press is very important to put a Teflon sheet or parchment paper between the HTV and the hot plate otherwise the HTV will melt onto the plate. This is something we have all done and it is not a fun job trying to scrape it off.
So, there is a basic overview of how to use your heat press. As I have said it will vary from machine to machine, some will be simpler, and some will have more sophisticated functions, but they all do the same job.
So, what are you waiting for?
Go use that Heat press!