A random list. (may be added to)
Use aluminum frame silk screens instead of wood. Wood can warp and the mesh gets loose quicker. Another tip, loose mesh is more difficult to print with.
You can have a dual cure emulsion coated silk screen (we use Ulano LX-660) out in fluorescent light or low incandescent room light for a little while, 5 to 10 minutes (or even a bit longer) with no ill effect. Avoid sunlight or UV light, however.
Make your artwork a higher resolution than you think you will need. I have often been glad that I scanned a drawing at 400 or 600, even if I thought I would only need it at 300.
You can make perfectly good custom platens out of sink cut outs from a counter or cabinet shop. They throw them away. Just order the brackets that go with your press and screw them to your home made platens. Reuse, recycle, reduce.
All of the “green” products like the Enviro line that we have tried work better than their toxic counterparts. Especially the reclaimer, Envirostrip.
Buy the best spray bottles you can find for your cleaners. The damn things will leak for no reason. Victory Factory.com sells some.
Write the screen size and mesh count on every screen as soon as you get them with a Sharpie, otherwise you may need this: Mesh Counter. Unless every screen you get is the same. Then ignore this one. We match the screen to the artwork so ours are all different.
Check a new squeegee before you use it to make sure it is straight. Warped squeegee=horror, pain and agony. Believe me on this. More details on the agony later.
A small rip in a non-image area of a screen can be fixed by placing an oval-shaped cut out piece of screen tape or blockout tape on each side of the rip and rubbing it down well.
Sometimes you can “fix” a small blockage on the exposed screen in your design by very gently poking out the hardened emulsion with a very fine needle while looking at it under a high powered magnifying glass like a linen tester. Being careful not to poke too hard and break the threads of the screen. I highly recommend a linen tester for closely examining the screens in any case.
Next: The stuff we use, a master list.