Plate Finisher

Set up and operate power cutting tools to trim electrotype plates.
picture of Plate Finisher

Quick Stats

Salary Range
$22,000 – $57,000

Data from U.S. Department of Labor

What do Plate Finishers 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.

Should I be a Plate Finisher?

You should have a certificate degree or higher and share these traits:
  • Persistent: You keep pushing through, even when faced with tough obstacles.
  • Detail Oriented: You pay close attention to all the little details.
  • Calm Under Pressure: You keep your cool when dealing with highly stressful situations.

  • How to become a Plate Finisher

    Most Plate Finishers have an Associate's degree or a Certificate. Chart?chd=s:g9daaa&chl=no+college+%2826%25%29|certificate+%2850%25%29|associate%27s+%2824%25%29|||&cht=p3&chs=466x180&chxr=0,26,50
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