Re : Draw plate cleaning

One question I’d want to ask before cleaning like this is
whether the die used to be the correct size. Some drawplates,
even expensive carbide ones, are not quite as accurately made as
one might wish. Also, if you’re using a drawing machine with
individual dies (which are much more likely to be accurate) be
sure that the machine is correctly mounting the dies
perpendicular to the axis of the wire. If it’s somehow being
blocked, so the wire is pulled at a slight angle to
perpendicular, the exact measurement of the resulting wire will
be affected. If indeed, you’ve got build up in the plate, by the
way, you should also see some serious deterioration of the finish
of the wire produced as well. If the wire is still coming out of
the die nice and mirror bright, as such dies should produce, I’d
doubt a buildup. I’d then look, instead, to the machine holding
the die, or even the measuring tool itself… Also, it seems to
me that except for very tiny sizes, it should be easy enough to
actually see, with a stong light and a good magnifier, the inside
surface of the hole, and tell easily enough, whether there is
actually any metal adhering to the carbide. And, as to the
suggestion to use diamond grit to clean these dies, think
carefully before you take a relatively coarse grit diamond
powder, like 360, to a carbide die that may have been originally
finished out to a mirror bright surface. I routinely repolish my
various carbide hand burnishers, for finishing and working with
platinum. In order to get the best surface on the platinum,
those burnishers need to be polished out to at least a 14,000
grit compound, and I often take em up to 50,000. The difference
is actually noticable in both the feel of the tool, and the
finished look on the platinum. I’d expect the same differences
in a carbide draw plate, in both the drawing ease and the finish
on the wire.

Hope this helps.

Peter Rowe