View Full Version : How are the "original" equipment nameplates made?

Mike Burdick
06-27-2004, 12:20 PM
How are the "original" equipment nameplates made, do they use a silk screen process, and if so, what kind of paint do they use - is it baked on?



[This message has been edited by Mike Burdick (edited 06-29-2004).]

Ian B
06-27-2004, 12:38 PM
...and while we're on those machine nameplates, does anyone have a demon method of getting the fast helix threaded rivets out that often hold them to castings? They seem to be hardened, and have no slot in the head; once hammered in, they're a pain to remove (without chewing the nameplate up). Tried pliers, they just slip off.

Any tips?


Mike Burdick
06-27-2004, 12:52 PM

This is the way I have removed the drive screws:

Most of them are installed in a thru hole so if you are lucky, and can get to the back of the casting, you can punch them out. But if you can't, I use a small knife or thin screwdriver to get under the head and lift them a little so that a small vice grips can grasp them.


[This message has been edited by Mike Burdick (edited 06-27-2004).]

06-27-2004, 01:15 PM
When I worked in a guitar amp factory, the name plates were cut to size, drilled, silk screened, then oven baked, in that order. It wasn't my department, but I got involved when I 'wrecked' the drill press setting, which was set up for countersinking the holes. We changed from push pins to screws to mount the plates.
I'm just now involved in a job where those pesky pins had to be removed. We used a chisel to pry under the heads until a face cutting plier could get a grip. Chisel is damaged now, need regrinding.

06-27-2004, 02:58 PM
I normally use end nippers to grap on to them. You need some sort of cutters that are sharpened to cut right at the end so they don't slip off. It all depents on the quality of pliers you use also. Not to push Snap-On but they do have some pliers that won't slip off anything. I saw a Snao-On dealer once demonstrate picking up a Canadian penny by the thin ridge. A chisel or screwdriver also will work but I put a thin piece of aluminum or CRES under it so I don't damage the nameplate or machine.


06-27-2004, 05:11 PM
Vise grips are what I use,grind a sharp "parrot beak" like profile right out on the edge,be careful to set the edges to the size of the shanks before clamping,otherwise it will clip them off.If the holes do go thru,I gring the heads off and unch thru with a short pin punch.

John Foster
06-27-2004, 05:48 PM
On the bigger ones I have used a seperating disc with a Dremel and cut (carefully) away two sides, leaving a "T" shaped piece, allowing me to get vise grips on them and twist them out. No good for the little ones.

Milacron of PM
06-27-2004, 06:37 PM
In the old days they were either screen printed or lithograph. These days many equipment makers used plates that are reversed etched in zinc. The zinc plates can be quite complex designs, many different colors on one plate, and smaller quanities are cost justifable.

For a one off reproduction that involves just one color and base metal, some trophy shops have small lasers that do a great job. I had some new plates made at "Buff's Trophy Shop" here in Beaufort via the laser process that looked better than the originals. Mine were blue paint over aluminum, such that the laser etches away the paint where the letters and logos go with such precision that it looks screen printed, execpt with even sharper edges and definition. Alternatively, the background can be laser etched away such that the letters and logo are the painted surface that is left. Or any combination of that.

Milacron of PM
06-27-2004, 07:32 PM
If you need more than one plate, VisionMark is one of the leaders in the etched type nameplates. I used to order fairly small quanities for our tapping machines, maybe 50 at a time, and prices were reasonable even for fairly complex designs with multiple colors.

www.visionmark.com/home.html (http://www.visionmark.com/home.html)

Dave Opincarne
06-27-2004, 08:47 PM
One method I've seen recomended but have not tried is to grind the end of a piece of drill rod to a shallow angle. With the newly ground face flat against the plate tap the drill rod under the rivet.

06-27-2004, 08:51 PM
Used to be, jewerly was enameled, baked in a oven.

Badges were. Some legend plates.. SOme are acid etched after being silk screened. Same method as making circuit boards. Taught to me by someone who went away for the second counterfeiting offense. He'll never get out in his lifetime. And the DA was so talented.. Just greedy and lazy..


06-28-2004, 07:00 AM
Seems there was a link posted here once to a guy who did it using photo resist and acid,anyone remember?

06-28-2004, 07:52 AM
The South Bend Lathe gear plate has raised numbers on brass plates. This is one way you call tell those cloned plates that are only silk screened and do not have raised letters. Because of the raised numbers it is possible to salvage original SB plates by painting and removing the paint on the top of the numbers leaving sharpely defined numbers.

06-28-2004, 08:31 PM
wierd was right, check this out. Posted by Peter S.


[This message has been edited by rockrat (edited 06-28-2004).]

Mike Burdick
06-28-2004, 08:42 PM

Now I remember it! I was looking for that article but couldn't remember where I saw it. Thanks for posting the link again - sure appreciate it!

- Mike

Ian B
06-29-2004, 02:14 PM
Thanks for the tips on getting those evil little rivets out - I guess my pliers were just not square enough on the jaws. I managed to punch a couple out from behind, but that (obviously) only works on thin castings etc.