I have a need for different size wire from time to time but can't justify the cost of the high price plates for occasional use. Can any one tell me what the trade offs are, and sources for drawplates.
Basically, we’ll only talk about steel drawplates. There are
drawplates made with carbide & diamond inserts as well, but they’re
used mostly in industry for drawing difficult material or thousands
of miles of wire.
The main difference between the cheap & expensive drawplates, other
than country of origin, is the finsih of the holes. The expensive
drawplates tend to have a higher finish applied to the holes. An
other common difference is the size variation between holes. The
size variation is more uniform in the expensive plates. I’ve seen
cheap plates where 2 or 3 side by side holes have had the same
If the holes are other than round (square, oval, etc), the shapes
sometimes vary from hole to hole & the smallest hole may be to large
to be very practical. The hole finish also leaves something to be
If you aren’t afraid of doing a little finish work on your own, the
holes in a cheap drawplate can be polished using round toothpicks, a
flexshaft & diamond grit. The diamond can be purchased from folks
who sell faceting supplies. It’s available from 100 to 200,000 grit.
Mixed with a little oil & appiled to the tooth pick it does wonders
for polishing the holes.