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Thread: Brass builders plates

  1. #1
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    Default Brass builders plates

    I have having rather bad luck finding a place that will make a engraved brass builders plate for my boat. Any Ideas? I thought USBrass would be suitable, but they claim theirs are not suitable for outdoor use, even though they are engraved.

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Brass builders plates

    Quite a few years ago I had a trophy shop custom engrave some material. They had a computer controlled engraving machine. They told me they would do anything as long as it fit into the machine and was a material that their bits could cut. Based on this experience, I'd make my own bronze plate and have it engraved at a shop like that. Ask them first, of course.

    Jeff

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Brass builders plates

    Some of the best remaining engravers in the world are in the firearms industry. You could search that field or look at a foundry to cast you one.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Brass builders plates

    Our hosts sell brass oval builders plates in their online store.

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Brass builders plates

    In the not-too-distant-past I recreated a builder's plate from a well-known builder of old. The art work was based on actual photos of real builder's plates. That led eventually to a CNC file that could be scaled to suit the plate size, either for a boat or a desk paperweight, in oval or rectangle Once it's in CAD as a part file, it can be machined by CNC methods using a small ball cutter. The material used, aluminum, bronze, brass, german silver (a copper alloy that looks silvery), or any other alloy could be used. The prototype was done in aluminum because that's what you do before you commit to the real metal. Any machine shop with a CNC mill can do this work, but it helps to make your own file to start with, so you pay the machinist to cut metal, not to do computer work. The only tricky part was replicating the font used for the numbering. As I recall a "modern 20 font" was quite close to the stamping dies used for the original 100+ year old item, but that hasn't yet been put into CAD. HTH.

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Brass builders plates

    You'll have to find a good artist or sign shop with a CNC machine, They should have no problem carving or engraving a brass plate. I have an artist near me in NJ. He can engrave metal , glass or wood in his machine.
    David Satter www.sattersrestoration.com
    "The bitterness of poor quality remains long after the sweetness of low price is forgotten" Ben Franklin

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Brass builders plates

    https://www.instagram.com/tv/CcQEq7CANWt/?utm_source=ig_web_button_share_sheet

    First time sharing something from insta, hope it works

    /Mats

    Diagnosed with autism. Sorry, not much I can do about it.

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Brass builders plates

    So, I had to fit a plate to my home built boat here. Asked a place and got a really over the top quote.. As I had some brass plate and a vibrating air driven engraving tool (left here by a friend..) I did it myself. Not like a CNC job, but good enough to satisfy the registration mob.

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Brass builders plates

    https://www.woodenboatstore.com/prod...ders-nameplate

    $24.95 for an 1/8" thick bronze oval, seems like a reasonable starting point.

    What sort of information should go on such a plate? I've got 4 (and counting) boats that could use a bit of bling going into the 2022 sailing season...
    Steve

    If you would have a good boat, be a good guy when you build her - honest, careful, patient, strong.
    H.A. Calahan

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Brass builders plates

    I have (somewhere in the basement) a set of letters with stems for stamping metal with a hammer. Such a thing may still be made or found on Ebay.

  11. #11
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    Default Re: Brass builders plates

    I cut these eliptical rudder gear phosphor bronze backplates from 1” x 5mm bar stock with a jigsaw (slow speed/ bosch metal cutting blade and pre glued a paper elipse template cut out from a print out). Then filed the rough surface smooth. You could do the same and have it engraved with your build info. The rear lower transom frame joint is half lapped not end butted in case you’re wondering.

    44D41F9B-305B-4F1F-BC40-9E56AC894D1F.jpg

  12. #12
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    Default Re: Brass builders plates

    My motor boat is missing it's brass builders plate, unfortunately during their hire life it was quite common for them to be stolen.
    I'd love to get another one. But they weren't engraved, the letters and numbers stand proud of the main plate, so I believe the originals were cast... Some time one day I'll make a plastic copy, and paint it brass...
    Just an amateur bodging away..

  13. #13
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    Default Re: Brass builders plates

    Forgot to mention...best laid plans and all that...the heat from jigsawing bronze 'unstuck' my ellipse paper template before I was all the way around with it. The fun of boatbuilding really is never ending.

    There's also an industry selling brass dog tags on ebay. Some would be big enough to hold name plate info. £7.

    https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/121311721...YAAOSwJcZWd9Cj
    Last edited by Edward Pearson; 04-22-2022 at 04:58 AM.

  14. #14
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    Default Re: Brass builders plates

    Why brass?

    I know a farrier who has a CNC laser which can cut or etch on command.....

    Stainless, bronze, hell there's not a lot wrong with silver.
    I'd much rather lay in my bunk all freakin day lookin at Youtube videos .

  15. #15
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    Default Re: Brass builders plates

    You can have a small art foundry cast one (lost wax) with raised lettering in bronze (The pattern sourced from a rubber stamp maker) it is done all the time...

  16. #16
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    Default Re: Brass builders plates

    Making a mold to cast a builder's plates sounds like a nice entry-level 3D printer project.
    Steve

    If you would have a good boat, be a good guy when you build her - honest, careful, patient, strong.
    H.A. Calahan

  17. #17
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    Default Re: Brass builders plates

    I found a place to buy them: US Brass Shop. I ordered two engraved builders plates, one by three inches square. Two lines are 1/4 inch high characters: top line, "BUILDER MY NAME 2021" and bottom line is the 12 character hull identification number. The service was quick and the cost for the two, $37.25.

  18. #18
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    Default Re: Brass builders plates

    Glad you found some. Been mulling over something for mine, if only for future owners to to know when she was built.


    Found this guy on ebay doing professional looking engraved aluminium boat specific VIN plates for anyone needing something...

    https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/294440494...MAAOSwCmthXDeI


    and this guy selling 3mm thick pure copper plate 10cm x 10cm at £9 that would be easily shaped to size, stamped with lettering (about £10 for a set) and rebated into the transom with a hand router plane.

    https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/124245682...3ABFBM5s_rxItg

  19. #19
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    Default Re: Brass builders plates

    I suspect that if you found a group of model engineers in your locality,they might know of somebody with a small CNC machine and a willingness to use it.Small pieces of brass sheet can be found on ebay or similar.

  20. #20
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    Default Re: Brass builders plates

    Put her name on this month. I used Funky Monkey boat names then over (spar) varnished for the make and model on each rear quarter. Figured Iain wouldn’t mind. I matched the cream signwriting to the Toplac cream on the spar ends for continuity. I’m nearly there with her.

    695BD474-BE02-4C66-A3D3-615C0A68400D.jpg

    FD3DBB27-AD0C-404F-B1CC-F16D58CCE35B.jpg
    Last edited by Edward Pearson; 04-24-2022 at 05:14 PM.

  21. #21
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    Default Brass builders plates

    Quote Originally Posted by ahp View Post
    I have having rather bad luck finding a place that will make a engraved brass builders plate for my boat. Any Ideas? I thought USBrass would be suitable, but they claim theirs are not suitable for outdoor use, even though they are engraved.

    I would look at making a builder's plate via electrolytic (galvanic etching).

    You can get brass or bronze from Alaskan Copper & Brass. They have CNC controlled water jet cutters that can cut whatever shape you might want.

    Basically you need:

    - a DC power supply (e.g., cheap 12 VDC auto battery charger, not the "smart type"). The more amperage, the faster the etch.

    - an electrolyte bath. That should be a solution of a metallic salt of the same metal as your workpiece. The stronger the solution, the faster the etch.

    - a sacrificial anode of the same material as your workpiece, and roughly the same size.

    - and a cathode — your workpiece.

    Apply a resist that exposes the bits you to be etched away, place it in the electrolyte bath, ensuring it is not in direct contact with the anode. The side of the workpiece to be etched should be parallel with the sacrificial anode and as far apart as possible.

    Power it up and let it go. Etch speed varies with voltage, amperage, and electrolyte strength. Etch depth is a function of time

    https://www.instructables.com/How-To...-Metal-Plaque/



    http://steampunkworkshop.com/electroetch-shtml/



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  22. #22
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    Default Re: Brass builders plates

    One doesn't need any special electrolyte bath in order to etch. Ordinary salt water will do. Probably not as fast nor as smooth, but it works just fine for me.

    A resist can be as simple as a couple of coats of shellac. Let dry well then scratch through it with a sharp pin, awl, knife tip... whatever. The more surface area to etch, the longer it takes. More power will increase the speed but at the expense of surface smoothness. Also a fast etch can go through the shellac if used. Computer cut vinyl makes a better resist.

    Jeff

  23. #23
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    Default Re: Brass builders plates

    I just added the brass plaque to the half model of Herreshoff's Araminta that I have had on my list of things to do for a very long time.Begun in the 80's and waiting for a backboard and plaque since the late 90's and now I have the (very) basic technology to engrave the name.

    Araminta plaque.jpg

    Araminta half model.jpg

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