preservation of magnesium cuts

Magnesium based printing blocks mounted on wood base are beginning to oxidize and turn powdery white, despite being wrapped in Saran plastic wrap and plastic bags..

Any suggestions? ? ? ? ? ?

Will ordinary white vaseline, or WD-40 liquid protect the magnesium printing blocks from still further decay?

Any Suggestions ? ?

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oil works. also note mag dies are not made to last like copper or brass. most foil suppliers sell a fibre glass tool for fixing up mag dies when they get pitted.

Vaseline will do the job. Couldn’t hurt to wrap the blocks in Saran wrap afterwards. WD-40 will evaporate way too soon. CP90 is a fantastic long lasting press lubricant (developed for the auto industry). The Navy uses it. Sold by the folks who developed Evapo-Rust.


A light spray of PAM, and stored in a zip lock bag. I have some that are 35 years plus. Vaseline can get into the detail of the cuts and mix with ink if you miss any and cause problems. Otherwise, a quick wipe with a shop towel is sufficient.

mag plates I seldom print with them most for foil emboss Pam(Kluge recommends) is handy for putting on embossing dies when cooking up a counter, compound does not stick to the die. good business expense for the taxman.
Tip fingerprints can cause decay on a mag plate so keep them clean and the air off them when stowing away.

I hate magnesuim cuts….. just for that reason. Plus they never seem as crisp as a good copper cut.

BUT if you do have magnesium cuts, the best way to keep them from getting furry is to block the air from getting to them…. as mentioned above. I use ‘BreakFree” on mine… .which is a gun-cleaning spray oil. ( It tends to stay on the surface longer than WD40 or PAM.) Then I zip-lock bag ‘em, and put them away. Treated like that, they’ll last a long time.