Who makes zinc cuts nowadays?

It’s been a long time since I have been in the hobby. Are there any companies continuing to make zinc cuts?


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Standard Engraving
1134 W. Main St.
Oklahoma City, OK 73106

Still makes them but their quality varies sometimes. I don’t know if they can accept jpegs. I just send them black on white prints.

Owosso Graphic Arts
800-444-5552 (U.S. & Canada)

I thought Owosso had switched entirely to magnesium — the last time I checked they didn’t make zincs any more. I haven’t ordered from them for several years, though.


Will magnesium work in in an older press, Golding?

Your press doesn’t care what material the cut is made from as long as it is type high.

Daniel Morris
The Arm Letterpress
Brooklyn, NY

Owosso makes magnesium and copper cuts for letterpress.

The only photoengravers who can make zinc plates are those that were grandfathered when restrictions on processing (and disposing of) metals were put in place. This was some time ago.

Back in the early 1980s I was working out of St Paul and the photoengraver in our building (Twin Cities Engraving) moved. They were no longer allowed to process zinc upon doing so. They made great plates.

In terms of grade, copper is the best, magnesium is the low end. Zinc sort of fell somewhere in between. I always loved the smell of it.

One of the primary suppliers of industry grade magnetic bases, Bunting Magnetics, will make special purposes bases out of zinc rather than aluminum upon request. These are specifically for processes that exceed 350 degrees F.


It’s been forever since I have ordered a cut. For a Golding press do I want

16g (.064”/1.63mm)
.080 (2.032mm)
11pt (.153”/3.86mm)
1/4” (.250”/6.35mm)
3/8” (.375/9.525mm)

? Is this thickness, I don’t even know.



If you ask for a mounted plate, it will likely come type high. Usually the ordering parameters indicate the correct choice.

If you are using a base and ordering unmounted plates, then you need to get a bit more specific.