Magnesium Letterpress Plate Restoration

Hello - I have a letterpress place that a client would like me to print for them but it has some damage from a gauge pin in it. Does anyone restore these plates? Or know where to have them remade? I’d like to keep it original-looking rather than use photopolymer.

Log in to reply   4 replies so far

I don’t know that anyone can restore them. will make new ones. You will probably need to recreate the artwork though.

Concord Engraving had great advice when I asked about oxidized plates. If anyone knows how to repair one it would be them.

On occasion I have used an epoxy called KwikPlastic that I bought at a hardware store to repair a broken rule line on a polymer plate. It’s a 2 part epoxy, about like moist clay that you mix together and then push a small amount into the area to be repaired. I used a flat object to level the surface with the surrounding image, let harden and then cut with an exacto blade to shape. It might stick to magnesium, or you could try one of the other epoxies that they make for metal repair. I would try to roughen the surface first and then clean it well. I would’nt try to use it for a letter or complicated shape though.because it is too difficult to cut like that. But for a small line repair I have had good results and saved time.
For copper cuts in an emergency it is sometimes possible to tap up the copper from behind with a nail set, emory the surface flat and recut the image with a burin but this doesn’t usually work very well with magnesium because it is fairly britle and may crack. It’s also more difficult to cut smoothly.

For minor plate and type repair I have used automotive glazing compound, a product used to fill minor blemishes before painting.