You bring up an interesting point about first getting the practice plates to 400 to 600 grit, so that the engraving shows up well and similar to what it would look like on a finished article. I have been using a Magswitch switchable magnet I got at Woodcraft to click onto steel plates and scrap to rub the plates across oiled sandpaper. It works like a charm. Unfortunately, this doesn't work on brass or some types of stainless steel or other metals to which a magnet will not adhere. Do you have suggestions for how to polish flat practice plates without a lot of fuss and bother?generally....it's o.k. but I am no position to critize. I leave the real consructive stuff to the big boy's. The biggest thing I see is your practise plate, surface needs to be 4-600 all over, too many nicks, scratches and inperfections, I kept learning the hard way to. Some times I feel I still am. paps
Great point about double-stick tape issues. Thank goodness WD-40 will remove most glues from glass, metal, or plastic.Cover the back of the plate with blue painters tape, then use double-stick tape to stick it to a block of wood and sand away. Hit it with a heat gun for a few min to get it off. The blue tape is not required, but the really good double-stick tape can be a B#$%& to get off.