Beginner Practice Plates Questions

ShaneMac

Member
Joined
Dec 10, 2020
Messages
18
Location
Newark, Delaware
Greetings,

Just invested into the Lindsay Sharpening System (4 basic templates with sharpening stones), and realized I need to get some practice plates. I'm planning on engraving steel (mild and/or carbon). As a beginner, would it be better practice for me to start on harder metals such as steel (since I mostly want to engrave this metal), or start with softer metals such as bronze (since it would be easier to engrave as a novice)? Does the thickness of the metal matter much?

Also, where do you guys get your practice plates? I live in the tri-state area of DE, if there are any affordable places to get practice plates, do tell, I would greatly appreciate it. I don't mind buying plates from GRS for the first few plates, but it might get rather expensive long term.
 

papart1

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May 23, 2015
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888
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Michigan
if you have a home depot/lowes near by, go their steel section and get a strip of mild steel 3 feet long and cut whatever you want for sizes.............around $14.00 thats 2 (two) inches wide ad approximately 3/16 thick, I do it all the time
 

pmace

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Nov 18, 2010
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Arizona City, AZ
The problem I find with buying from an online metal supplier or a local fabricator is that you need to do a lot of work to the plate before it is suitable for engraving. If you don't mind filing and sanding the plates to get mill scale off then online is definitely cheaper. I picked up a cheap belt sander and dress both sides of a 2" x 4" x 1/4" 1018 cold rolled plate in a couple of minutes. I use speedymetals.com.
 

tdelewis

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Joined
Oct 10, 2010
Messages
526
Location
Volant, PA 60 miles north of Pittsburgh
I get my steel at Tractor Supply, hardware store, anywhere I can find it. It comes in strips 2, 3, and 4 inches wide. Buying plates from GRS is expensive. I have a belt sander and use it to bring the steel to the polish I want. It will have some gray scale and needs polished to about 320 grit. It cuts very nicely. I get bronze from onlinemetals, it comes in square foot sheets. They also have copper and other metals as well. The price depends on the market and the thickness. I usually get 16 gauge. You do the pricing. Just look around at places like Lowes and Home Depot as well and any other places like that.
 

papart1

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Location
Michigan
I pretty much s use speedymetals also for specialty stuff............say 6" dia. 6061 for power hone backer plates. They cut them within .004 in flattness..not bad for a band say that can cut your car in half............. ............well almost.
 

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