Setting Up Ink Jet Stencils
So, you just picked up your first bottle of Ink Jet Stencils and you’re looking to get it all set up. You’re now that much closer to being able to print around 3,000 high resolution stencils on the paper of your choice, but, much like the S8 Brother Thermal Printer, there’s a little bit of a setup process involved.
What You'll Need
Before we begin, let’s go over the list of things you’ll need as advertised by the manufacturer, and then a couple of extras that we found useful:
- Ink Jet Stencils Solution
- Ink Jet Stencil Prep
- An Epson EcoTank Printer
- A bottle of rubbing alcohol
- Cotton-tipped applicators
- An empty bottle 4.5oz or larger with a cap
(x4 if you want to save the printer ink)
Step 1: Preparing Ink Jet Stencils
The first thing you may notice when you look at the nozzles for the ink tanks in your Epson Printer (we used the Epson ET-2750) is that your newly purchased bottle of Ink Jet Stencils wasn’t made for them. Each nozzle has a divider in the middle of it, preventing any other type of cap or funnel from allowing ink into it without it spilling everywhere. Since there isn’t a special port or cap included that will allow you to pour Ink Jet Stencils directly from the bottle into the tanks, getting your printer filled will take some creativity.
Our Epson ET-2750 included four bottles of Epson 502 Ink; one for each of the respective color tanks. The cap for each bottle is only compatible with its respective tank. For example, the cap for the black Epson Ink will only fit the nozzle for the black tank, the cap for the Magenta ink will only fit the Magenta tank nozzle, etc. While this was a clever move on Epson’s part to keep users from putting ink in the wrong tank, it complicates the process of replacing ink all together with Ink Jet Stencils.
Here’s how we did it:
Put on some gloves, remove the caps from each of the Epson 512 Ink bottles, and pour all the black Epson Ink into the empty 4.5oz bottle. Each bottle of Epson Ink will have a transparent cover over the cap. For the Magenta, Yellow, and Cyan Bottles, you have the option of removing the cap and putting the transparent cover back on each bottle, or transferring the ink into other empty bottles that are able to be sealed. You can then use the ink in a different Epson EcoTank Printer or dispose of it. If you decide to trash the Epson Ink, we recommend looking up the proper disposal method for your area, which might involve taking it to a special facility. We reached out to Epson and a representative informed us that any Staples or Best Buy will take ink bottles and cartridges for recycling.
Once you’ve got the Black Epson Ink bottles empty, go ahead and clean it out thoroughly with rubbing alcohol. After you’ve finished getting all the black ink out of it, use the cotton-tipped applicators and the remaining alcohol to clean out the caps for each bottle. Now that the Black Epson Ink Bottle and each of the caps are completely cleaned, turn the bottle upside down and place it, along with the caps, on some paper towels or any other unused absorbent surface and allow them to completely dry out.
With the bottle of black Epson Ink clean and dry, open the bottle of Ink Jet Stencils and poke a hole in the middle of its safety seal. Now pour the entire bottle of Ink Jet Stencils into the empty bottle of black Epson Ink.
Step 2: Filling the Epson EcoTank
It’s time to get Ink Jet Stencils into your printer. The instructions on the bottle are pretty straightforward: put one ounce of Ink Jet Stencils in each tank. Thankfully, Epson makes it easy to measure that out with markings on the front of the semi-transparent plastic EcoTank so you can eyeball it.
Start by accessing the ports to the printer’s ink tanks. With our model, it only took lifting the print tray to expose them. Now put the cap for the black ink on your, now filled, Epson Ink Bottle. Lift the lid to the black ink tank, line up the cap with the tank nozzle, and set the bottle down so that the Ink Jet Stencils Ink begins to pour freely into the EcoTank. Watch the front of the tank as it fills to the one ounce mark (it was the second tick mark on our model). Once it reaches one ounce, lift the bottle from the tank and put it down right-side-up on your work surface.
From here, you’ll switch the cap on the bottle with the cap from the cyan bottle, lift the lid for the cyan tank, and repeat the process of lining up the pattern of the cap with the tank nozzle, pouring Ink Jet Stencils in, and removing the bottle once it reaches the one ounce mark.
You’ve probably got the idea by now: repeat the same steps after switching out the cap on your bottle with the magenta ink cap, and then again after switching to the yellow ink cap.
Now that you’ve got one ounce of Ink Jet Stencils in each tank, you’re ready to move on to the next step.
Step 3: Choosing Paper Type and Loading
You get some freedom of choice in this step: pick out your preferred paper. You can go with a plain lightweight paper, photo paper, or any other type of printer paper that you’d like to try.
With your paper selected, open up the loading tray and drop it on in.
Step 4: Test Print
If this is your first time firing up the Epson, power it up and follow the on-screen prompts to walk through the test print process. We didn’t have to do anything special here – just follow the instructions and pay attention to the buttons that it’s telling you to press in order to perform the test print.
You’re all set! Your Epson Printer is ready to run off thousands of quick, crisp, and lasting stencils.