View Full Version : Plate Paint Flaws

R. A. Mitchell
05-08-2009, 12:40 PM
Not having a lot of experience with doing plaques and lacquered brass, I'm wondering how often you come across product with paint flaws. I made an engraving mistake and bit the bullet on one plaque plate which I thought was pitted but still salable. The replacement came, and after I engraved it I saw a very noticeable paint bubble and a hair in the lacquer that I first thought were dirt but clearly are flaws in the paint. Does this happen frequently to you guys?

I'm intentionally not posting the name of the vendor because they are providing good service and have sent me a third plate without charge. Even so, I have a customer that is getting agitated because of the delay, and I'm trying to figure out whether this kind of product flaw is a common occurrence.



Jacob Hebert
05-08-2009, 12:53 PM
I have had similar problems with black brass steel, where there might be a paint bubble or scratch, even though the cover is still on, and shows no sign of damage until you take off the cover. I thought it was just a random occurence until I saw that a couple of sheets following had similar blemishes or marks on them. Well, at least I know I'm not alone on this.

Scott Shepherd
05-08-2009, 1:27 PM
Have seen the same things. Alumamark has given me similar problems in their gold colors. It'll engrave black except for a small dot in the middle of something. You look at it and can see something raised in the material coating.

Mark Winlund
05-08-2009, 2:17 PM
You will be lucky if you can get 75% usable material out of a sheet, due to flaws, bends, etc. You need to calculate this in your material pricing. It's the nature of the business.


R. A. Mitchell
05-08-2009, 2:25 PM
I understand your point. The plate I was using had a decorative border on it and was cut to size. I didn't get the large sheet and cut it myself. I assumed the "finished" plates would be of a higher quality than I apparently should have.

Mike Null
05-08-2009, 2:56 PM
Yes, that will happen. I'd estimate 5% of the time . That may be a little high. But you'll learn to check them before you engrave.

R. A. Mitchell
05-08-2009, 3:03 PM
You can't really check them until you take off the protective mask, can you? By that point, unless you have extra stock, there's not much you can do.

Gary Hair
05-08-2009, 3:55 PM
I have seen a small number of plates unusable. I'm pretty impressed that it's not a higher number considering how difficult it is getting a blemish free finish with gloss black. I always order about 10% extra when I use them, for my mistakes and their flaws.

Perhaps you could show the customer what you rejected, on their behalf, and stress to them the importance you place on their order by not accepting sub-standard parts.


R. A. Mitchell
05-08-2009, 7:30 PM
Gary - I agree with you. I have a gloss black car that I dote on, and it is very difficult to keep it clean and protect it from marks. Everything shows on it. So I understand the difficulty in producing glossy black plates.

Even so, glossy black plates aren't anything new, and the people who sell them must know what others expect in an end product. Reject rates running anywhere from 5-25% based on what people report in these posts is a pretty high failure rate. Perhaps it is unavoidable, but it is valuable to know that such a problem exists.

Mark Winlund
05-08-2009, 7:33 PM
The plates with the screen printed decorations are quite delicate... our biggest problem with them is how easily they are scratched. The screen printed decorations (and the black centers) are done with poor quality inks... no where near the quality and durability of the roller coated inks applied when the metal is finished at the factory. You will also see this frequently when drag engraving... the decorative inks will chip out, leaving a rough line. This gets worse with age. I have a big stack of them that are pretty much worthless except for the brass in them.

They cost about $4 each when I was buying them, many times the cost of a plain plate.


Bill Cunningham
05-09-2009, 11:14 PM
I have not seen any flaws in the black brass coated steel I have been getting, the only surface problem I've had was due to mishandling at the suppliers. I had one sheet where it look like it had been pulled from a stack, and even the plastic was rolled back by the friction, and the plate was all scratched. The plate was replaced right away by my supplier, but I can't see how someone could actually pack something that looked like that and not notice it.
I had one problem with some mystery engraving plastic substituted for the Romark I actually ordered from a supplier I no longer use, (it smoked black while engraving, and was covered in black marks under the protective plastic)they charged me for the replacement sheet of Romark, along with shipping charges, and refused to credit me for the sheet of crap they originally sent. I blessed them with a chargeback for the replacement sheet and shipping charges, and have never used them since.

Mike Null
05-10-2009, 7:09 AM
I occasionally get small bubbles or contamination. JDS always replaces them without question. I just ran about 50 and don't recall having any flaws.