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Plate Finisher

Set up and operate power cutting tools to trim electrotype plates.

What does a Plate Finisher do?

Sets up and operates power cutting tools to trim electrotype or stereotype plates and mounts them on wood or metal blocks, according to specifications, for use in printing press: Operates metal cutting tools, such as saws, plate milling machine, shaving machine, and radial or straight line routing machine, to remove surplus backing from plate, shave and smooth plates to specified thickness, cut out metal from nonprinting areas, and cut plates to size, and bevel edges. Sets plate on surface plate and taps with hammer and block to flatten plate. Rubs face of plate with finisher’s rubber or magnesia to determine low and high spots. Taps low spots with punches and hammer to raise and level them to printing height. Operates plate curving machine that curves plates to fit plate cylinder of rotary printing press. Examines plates with magnifier or microscope to detect flaws in halftone dots and lines and raises, lowers, or repairs imperfections with engraver’s handtools. Mounts finished plates on wood or metal blocks, using hammer and nails or thermoplastic adhesive and heat press. May operate hand or power single color proof press to print proof of plate, observing printing quality of plate and conformity of image on copy. May modify plates for other than rotary type presses.