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Stahls' Clam Basic Heat Press | Starter Heat Press

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Hey friends, Dave here with Transfer Express! Today we’re very excited to show you a brand new heat press that’s perfect for beginners, crafters and growing t-shirt businesses!

The Stahls’ Clam Basic heat press is a lightweight, affordable heat press available in 3 sizes. 11 x 15, 15 x 15 that we have here, or a full-size 16x20! It’s compact design makes it perfect for home or small workshop use.

This entry-level heat press is packed with features that make this an incredible value, fitting in between our 9 x 12 craft press and our very popular A2Z press.

With heat printing, we rely on three elements: time, temperature and pressure - and this press has all of them covered!

First, let’s power the machine on with the on/off switch here on the side. Once we’re powered on we can check out the digital display on the top of the unit. This display allows you to set your temperature and press time.

Using the easy-to-navigate interface, you can enter the main menu by pressing the center button, then adjust the temperature using the up or down buttons on the end. Here we’ll get this setup at 365 degrees. Once we’re done, a press of the middle button takes us to our time setting - we’ll select 6 seconds. One more push of the center button exits the menu and shows us the current temperature. This is important, because the upper platen will not heat up when the menu is active. You’ll see our temperature start to rise here - another sign the press is working!

Now that we’ve got time and temperature figured out, let’s focus on the pressure. Here, right in the center of our platen, is our pressure dial. Having an over-the-center pressure adjustment ensures the pressure is even across the entire printing surface.

You’ll notice the platen has a little room to wiggle. We call this a ‘floating platen’. It ensures the top platen contacts the lower platen evenly when closing, so you don’t have any pinching at the back, which you’ll see on lower-end clamshell presses.

Speaking of the top platen, the heating element included on the Stahls’ Clam Basic press includes a high-quality S-shaped heating coil. Eliminating any cold spots and giving you nice even heat across the entire platen.

Now that we’re all setup, let’s press a t-shirt with this press using our screen printed Goof Proof transfers!

Following the instructions on the transfer sheet, we’ll set our temp and time to 365 degrees, for 6 seconds. For our pressure settings we’ll aim for a firm pressure. One way to tell we have a firm pressure on this press is just using the paper test.

Here we’ll use a sheet of regular paper to gauge how firm our pressure is. We’ll just place the paper here on a corner, close the press and see how hard it is to pull the paper out. Once we get to the point where it is difficult to pull the paper out, we’ll stop. That's firm pressure.

Now we’re all set. Let’s load our t-shirt. We’ll lay it over the bottom platen, ensuring our collar and seams are off the printing area, giving us a nice flat, smooth surface for printing.

Next, we’ll preheat for 3-5 seconds to remove moisture and wrinkles in the fabric.

Now, we’ll take our screen printed transfer and position it on the garment and press.

With Our Goof Proof screen printed transfers we’ll peel hot, so as soon as the press lets us know its done, we’ll open the press and peel the transfer immediately. And there you have it, a retail-ready screen printed t-shirt!

The Clam Basic heat press is available now, exclusively at Transfer Express.com. If you have any questions we didn't cover here today, let us know. Be sure to subscribe to the Transfer Express YouTube channel to stay up to date on tons of t-shirt business tips, tricks and inspiration.

Until next time, I'm Dave, happy pressing!