Used Screen Printing equipment

October 14, 2022
Used Screen Printing Equipment

— Jed Taylor once surfed websites and drove hundreds of miles to find a great deal on used screen printing equipment.

"I have always been a smart buyer and mostly purchased used equipment to save thousands of dollars, " says Taylor, co-owner of Sanctuary Printshop, Austin, Texas. "I searched eBay and Craig's List for the best deals and have driven as far as Florida to pick up a press."

"This changed when I did some research and started buying Vastex. I have found that Vastex offers quality, cost-effective products, and its pricing is always laid out on the table — there is no wheeling and dealing when it comes to what is charged, " says Taylor.

"Plus, its service is impeccable. No matter what, I can always talk to someone on the phone and get answers to my questions or place orders for any replacement parts I need."

Taylor, who has been in business six years, now owns five Vastex presses, plus a compact DB-18 infrared conveyor dryer, an EconoRed 54 infrared production conveyor dryer and two flash cure units.

"One year after opening my shop, I bought my first Vastex press and have never looked back. I continue to be impressed with the quality and reliability of the machines, and I am sold on the power and durability of Vastex equipment. I am a true believer in the company's offerings and customer service, " he says.

The Early Days

Taylor got his start in screen printing when he worked in a shop while attending Texas Tech University. "I learned how to clean screens and did printing at night, " he notes.

While working at the shop he also became proficient in graphic design and soon found himself making T-shirts and fliers for the numerous youth groups with which he was associated. Upon graduation his wife suggested he start his own print shop.

"I realized I could sell my designs to churches and youth groups, so I moved back to Austin, bought a bunch of equipment from Craig's list, and started doing it, " he says.

Early in his new career, Taylor set himself apart from competitors by focusing on niches where he knew he could do a stand-out job.

"We are a style company. We really want to be known as graphic designers who own a print company not a print company that makes cool T-shirts, " says Taylor.

"We stay way from high schools, fraternities, and sororities. We pick and choose what we want to do. That is what's great about being a design house that prints: we can say 'no' to jobs we don't want and require a decent minimum."

Catering To Youth

One of Sanctuary's largest markets is youth organizations. "We have a national contract with a company called Young Life, " notes Taylor. "It deals with more than 800 high school organizations. So we are consistently coming out with new designs and getting to do what we want to do and that keeps us fresh."

Onsite printing is another niche in which Sanctuary has established an outstanding reputation.

"A cool thing we've been able to do with our mobile business is print straight out the back of a 1979 El Camino, which makes what we do even more of an attraction at the events we attend, " says Taylor. "We have a four-color, four-station Vastex V-1000 press harnessed in the open back of the El Camino. The car has our company name on it and is custom wrapped to create an old retro feel to it, which works very well with the 'old school' type of prints we do."

"We also have a DB-18 Dri-Box in the back of the El Camino. It gives us enough space to print close to 100 one-color shirts an hour. We've found that the dryer has been just as dependable as our Vastex presses, and reinforces our trust in the company and its products."

Clients for onsite printing range from corporate events to national music festivals and concerts such as South by Southwest and Austin City Limits.

"We've printed at South by Southwest — which is a music and technology festival held annually in Austin, Texas — in addition to many other concerts. There's an excitement and intrigue factor to attendees who can walk to the back of a venue to grab some food or a drink, and then see a bunch of guys printing up T-shirts next to the concession stands, " says Taylor.

Onsite Printing Draws Crowds

"Whether at a corporate event, trade show or concert, people love watching me and my staff work the press and the inks, " notes Taylor. "It has an "old world" appeal when compared to digital direct-to-garment printing, and, in my opinion, manual screen printing is more interesting and produces better-quality products. People love watching us get messy with the inks."

"People also love to pick their size, color and template design, and watch us print it on the spot, " Taylor continues. "They're impressed by it and will pay more for the experience, so we're able to charge more than we do for our in-house orders. What's neat is, as long as we're able to print on the material with the inks we're using, we'll let someone hand us a jacket or other garment they were wearing and print a design on it right there."

"For our mobile corporate events, we mostly print giveaway T-shirts for employees and attendees, " says the shop owner. "Typically we work directly with a production company that contracts with us for a set amount of hours and at an agreed-upon price, and we'll spend that time printing as many of the employees' requests as possible. Through all of this, our Vastex presses have held up for us. They're all very reliable, and enable us to have this mobile side to our screen printing business."

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