Custom Pattern Plates
Metal Maven Pattern Plate Use Guidelines
We recommend using our pattern plates ONLY in a rolling mill. Do not use our plates in a rolling mill and then in a hydraulic press. Switching back and forth between a rolling mill and a hydraulic press could cause stress fractures to form in your plate and ruin your plate.
Your plate will arrive lightly oiled with a lubricant called CorrosionX. It can be found at most auto supply stores. We highly recommend you use it or some kind of machine oil to protect your investment, especially if you live in a humid climate. We use it to keep rust from forming on our steel pieces, dies, rolling mill rollers and other tools. It also helps your silver or copper release from the plate.
When you press your plate, you MUST use a full sheet of silver or copper. Do not use a strip or small piece – you will ruin your plate!!! (See photos below.)
To set your rolling mill rollers, place a piece of 20 gauge copper sheet the same size as your plate on top of your plate. Place them into the opened rollers of your mill and gently close your rollers until they just touch the plate and metal. Pull the plate and copper out from the rollers and add a piece of craft foam and then a piece of card stock on top of your copper. The craft foam and card stock should be the same size as your plate. Try rolling your plate (with the copper, craft foam, and card stock) at that setting first to see if you get an impression and adjust your rollers tighter if necessary. Rolling too tightly could damage your plate or cause your plate to form a drastic curve, so be careful to tighten in small increments. We include 2 pieces of 2mm thick craft foam and 2 pieces of card stock with your first order. You can find the craft foam on Amazon - search for Darice 2mm Foamie Roll, 36-inch by 60-inch, black.
We use small pieces of blue painter’s tape with our metal gauges written on them to mark the settings on our mill. (See photo below.)
If your silver or copper gets stuck on your plate you can easily pry it loose by holding the plate with the copper or silver on top against a firm surface like the edge of a table. The bottom edge of your silver or copper usually gets stretched past the edge of the plate when rolling in a rolling mill. Allow the extended edge of the silver or copper that hangs over the edge of the steel plate to rest on the edge of your tabletop and press down on the plate. Your metal should start to release making it easy to get the rest of the metal detached. (See photos below.)
If you have any questions or concerns, don’t hesitate to contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org!