Optional platens for the EnduraPRESS SD20

The enduraPRESS SD20 is a garment decoration workhorse. Our popular 16 by 20-inch swing away is the pinnacle of the enduraPRESS product line. It can handle jobs from full-size HTV graphics to demanding laser transfer applictions. The large table is solidly constructed to provide even and consistent pressure across the platen. The spring-actuated lever allows for smooth and easy opening of the press, even on high pressure settings. If you run a high-volume shirt shop and need a professional quality press, that won’t break your bank, the SD20 is a great choice.

The enduraPRESS SD20 has another great feature. The lower platen can be converted using three optional base platens. These optional base platens are inexpensive and easy to use. They make the SD20 even more versatile, and open up new avenues for profitable professional-quality garment decoration. What are the options, how do they work, and what can you do with them?

EnduraPRESS SD20 optional platens

As noted above, SIGNWarehouse offers three optional platens for the SD20 swingaway heat press. The options are a shoe platen, a leg-sleeve platen, and a youth platen.

Shoe Platen: The shoe platen is a 5-inch by 14-inch table engineered specifically for fitting a standard size shoe to the base. The idea is to make it easier to get even heat and pressure on the sides or top of a shoe, the areas most likely to warrant custom transfers or appliques. The ideal area for decoration is the side of most shoes. You can apply HTV to the top of a shoe, but it’s a little more challenging. As custom footwear from pink Chuck Taylors to mis-matched socks becomes more popular, the market for athletic shoes with custom HTV graphics is even more appealing. Of course, you’ll want to choose shoes that are made of heat transfer compatible materials. Leather, cotton, and canvas are ideal.

Sleeve Platen: The leg- sleeve platen is 5 inches wide and 18 inches long. While you won’t be able to thread most sleeves with this platen, it can help with getting the sleeve flat for application of your heat transfer graphics. This platen can also be used for pant legs. With the growing market for more distinctive ‘athleisure’ apparel such as yoga pants and dance wear, a leg-sleeve platen can open up exciting new business opportunities.

Youth Platen: The youth platen is a simple 14-inch by 16-inch lower table that makes threading small tops much easier. Now you can thread youth shirts without stretching them over the standard 16 by 20-inch platen. Since the demand for children’s apparel is a mainstay of the garment decoration industry, the youth platen is aimed right at the heart of the custom apparel market.

How to Change Lower Platens

If you are changing the platens, do so when the press is powered off.  If the press is on and has been in use, the lower platen could be warm, so make sure the heat press is turned off and cooled to room temperature.  Changing the platen is easy.  Here’s how.

Fig 1: The optional platens are easy to install. Consult the updated SD20 user manual for more instructions
  • Under the SD20’s standard lower platen, there are leveling four bolts and a large central knob. Loosen the four leveling bolts, but do not remove them. They are not needed for the optional platens, but if you keep them in place, there’s no risk of misplacing them during transitions.
  • Unscrew the large central knob and lift the lower platen free of the base.
  •  Set it to the side and place the optional platen on the base of the heat press. Align the new platen with the central hole and adjacent holes. Then use these to aid in alignment as you fasten the large central knob from the bottom (Fig 1).
  • Once the optional platen is in position, tighten the central knob to secure it to the base. Keep in mind that the upper heat platen is still 16 by 20 inches press, so use caution when loading and unloading garments.
  • Bear in mind the fact that the optional platens are smaller and lighter.  In these alternate configurations, the base may not offset the mass of the upper platen. The press may become top-heavy in these configurations, so be mindful of this when swinging the heat platen away from the base.
  • If it sounds complicated, don’t worry. We have added clear instructions and illustrations to our EnduraPRESS SD20 User Manual. Click here to view or download the updated manual.

Tips for Decorating Non-standard items

  • You want to make sure the platen is secure and stable. If the lower platen it not mounted securely, there may be variations in pressure applied to the garment. Some applications are very sensitive to pressure changes, so if you have unsatisfactory results, re-seat the platen more tightly.
  • If you are pressing shoes, take care to prevent exposing rubber soles and trim to the heating element. On shoes like ‘Chuck Taylors’, the rubber sole wraps around the side of the shoe. This area can be damaged by direct contact with the heat platen. You can prevent this by covering this area with Kraft paper or Teflon.
  • Using optional platens means you may be decorating non-apparel items or materials beyond standard cotton and polyester shirts. If you’re decorating shoes, backpacks, and koozies, make sure you’re using compatible materials and processes.  If you’re using HTV on these items, Logical Color WarmPEEL Universal is a good place to start.

Prices & ordering info

The optional platens are all sold separately and are compatible for the EnduraPRESS SD20 only. If you’d like to get in on the fun, but don’t have an SD20, please click here to toss one in your cart. For those who already have the right heat press and are ready to expand on its capabilities, here are the ordering essentials.

The SD20 is the most capable heat press in the EnduraPRESS family. It’s ergonomically designed swing arm action supports all kinds of heat transfer applications including laser transfer decoration. Now with the added versatility of the optional lower platens, you can explore a host of other fun and profitable heat transfer applications. Add a set of optional SD20 platens and get ready to customize shoes, yoga pants, leotards, youth Tees, koozies, backpacks, totebags…


*Plus shipping.