How to cut printers plates January 10 2011, 0 Comments

How do you cut aluminium print plates?

I was shown this really cool technique for cutting down aluminium litho printer plates. As the metal plates can be very sharp use extreme care, I can only imagine it will hurt more than a paper cut!

I wished to cut down all my printers plates from my recently 1st published book, Edinburgh Reflections. I've placed one of the printers plates into a 70x100cm frame. I really like the anodised aluminium effect you get on the metal, plus it's got sentimental value to me.

1. Use a metal ruler and sharp scalpel blade, you DON'T need to apply much pressure, just enough for the blade to score the metal surface. Do this the full length of the aluminium sheet.

2. Then start to waggle/bend the edge up and down (3rd image on right) - you should feel the metal fatigue, basically, the point of least resistance (where you made the slight score) should break apart/split as shown above.

3. Now, place the slightly scored part just over the edge of a table (first image) and pull down slowly on the aluminium piece that has split apart. it should come away fairly easily, you don't need to pull down too hard. if it's not working then you may not have scored deep enough and I suggest you go back and apply more pressure on your scalpel.

I cut down all 4 sides of 10 sheets and it worked every time with no problems. I've also got all fingers and thumbs intact, so please be careful as I take no responsibility if you end up having to count with your toes as a result of losing fingers.