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How did I, Phil Michel, Make the Replica of the Book of Mormon Plates?


Replica of the Book of Mormon Plates, by Phil Michel

I tried to make my plates as close to the recorded information from various witnesses who saw and/or handled the plates.
But there are few differences.
The letters should have been black on my plates and the three rings shaped different.

Each plate can be engraved on each side of each plate.  I used an electric rotary engraver with a very small round tip. 

The plates that I have made, weigh 46 lbs.

Width, length, and thickness of each plate.
Each plate is 6 inches wide and 8 inches long and .02 inches thick.

Total depth of all of the plates
6 inches deep.

How many total plates are there?
There are 94 plates.

How many plates are sealed?
About one half of the plates are sealed.

What are the plates made out of?
There is no gold and no gold paint sprayed on the plates that I used.
The medal is a special engraving brass, (a mixture of lead and copper) sheets. 
The material came from Alaskan Copper & Brass Company in Seattle, Washington State.
20 gauge (.032”) UNS C35300/C35600, HO2 Temper (half Hard) Free Milling Engraver’s Brass Sheet X6” RDM X96” 

The rings are made out of stainless steel.
The plates, the sealed band and the holes for the rings had to be cut and punched with special cutting, punching and bending machines.  I had a friend who is in that business, who did it for me.  You could perhaps use a drill to drill the holes?
After I had made each plate rounding each edge and engraved on only the first leaf.  Each plate needed to be polished first before spraying on Varathane spray paint.  I had to spray each plate three times with clear Varathane spray paint, let it dry each time before spryaing.  If you do not spray this these plates, they will oxidize and turn lead color.
I made a copy of the reformed Egyptian copied the lines over and over again on the same paper so as to fill up the page. I then used double-sided scotch tape to tape the paper on to the plate so that the paper would not move while I carved.  Then I used the electric engraver as I carved engraving through the paper into the plates.

It cost me about $500.00 in 2001 to buy the engraving brass and make these plates.  And even with an electric engraving drill and the machinery to cut, drill, bend, grind each edge, carve, and spray each plate I spent many, many hours and days working on this just to shape each plate and engrave on only one side of one plate.



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