Monday, 25 July 2011

preparing the copper plate

I am working on this whilst i wait for other materials to arrive to enable me to finish my press.
I do have some reasonably sized copper sheets,which i have had for some time cluttering up the workshop they are about 1.2 mm so they should be ok.
The first job was to cut the sheets into smaller pieces,giving me a selection of sizes on which to start my etchings.
The copper cuts fairly easely with sheet metal hand shears,although it does leave the edge a bit puckered.I delt with this by gently hammering the edge with a small ball pein hammer on what would be the back face of the plate.This was followed by filing the plate square and then putting a chamfer on the edge of the plate.
I found that the best way to clean up the face was to use 400grade wet and dry paper .This seems to remove most of the scratches.
I start off using the paper dry and then finish with using it wet this gives a finish suitable for polishing.

On the bottom right you can see theplates before and after dry sanding .I finish my plates with a motorised polishing mop .This speeds up the finishing process    considerably.
                                 The last job is to clean the plate .I have been using pummice with water which seems to work well  and leaves a matt finish to the plate ready for varnishing. I have finished 6 plates and they look ok but the proof of the pudding is in the printing!  

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