When construction is your game, a plate is a rectangular piece of metal, usually structural grade ASTM A924 coil steel, with a whole crap load of metal teeth, about a quarter inch long, sticking out of one side of it. They are used to hold together the joints in wooden trusses. Newer plates are coated with an oil to deter rusting.

Plates are sold by the box or by the bundle. A box of plates is sold by weight rather than count, though it's almost always the same. Bundles are held together with plastic bands, and hold twenty plates.

A plate's size is given in inches by inches. For example, the smallest plate I've seen is the 2x3. Let's say you need to know the size of a plate you've found, but you've got no measuring tape. The simplest way is to look at the holes in the plate. Wherever there is a tooth in the plate, there is a hole, rectangular in shape, about two-thirds of an inch long and an eighth of an inch wide. If a plate is a 2x4, there will be four holes length-wise, down the plate. In other words, there will be four rows of teeth in the plate. As for the width of the plate, about 5 holes width-wise equals an inch. After working with plates for a couple of months, you should be able to identify any commonly used plate by sight.

The most commonly used plates are stored in boxes. With boxes, you get more volume than with bundles, so you get more plates. Plates sold in bundles are not usually used on residential projects, and are usually very large.

Caution must be exercised when dealing with plates! These are metal plates of pain with hundreds of tiny pokey metal gougers on them, and they're coated with oil, which stings a lot when you get it in a cut! It is a good idea to wear strong leather gloves when dealing with plates in bulk. Never throw a plate in the direction of another person, and yell at anyone who does. Always pick up unused plates at the end of a project. You don't want your table man to take a knee on one of these bad-boys. Also, plates are not inexpensive. You may just see some metal lying around, but your supervisor sees dollar bills.

In conclusion, plates are your friend. If you use them properly, you can make some sweet cash. Oh yeah, buddy.

Plate (?), n. [OF. plate a plate of metal, a cuirsas, F. plat a plate, a shallow vessel of silver, other metal, or earth, fr. plat flat, Gr. &?;. See Place, n.]


A flat, or nearly flat, piece of metal, the thickness of which is small in comparison with the other dimensions; a thick sheet of metal; as, a steel plate.


Metallic armor composed of broad pieces.

Mangled . . . through plate and mail.


Domestic vessels and utensils, as flagons, dishes, cups, etc., wrought in gold or silver.


Metallic ware which is plated, in distinction from that which is genuine silver or gold.


A small, shallow, and usually circular, vessel of metal or wood, or of earth glazed and baked, from which food is eaten at table.

6. [Cf. Sp. plata silver.]

A piece of money, usually silver money. [Obs.] "Realms and islands were as plates dropp'd from his pocket." Shak.


A piece of metal on which anything is engraved for the purpose of being printed; hence, an impression from the engraved metal; as, a book illustrated with plates; a fashion plate.


A page of stereotype, electrotype, or the like, for printing from; as, publisher's plates.


That part of an artificial set of teeth which fits to the mouth, and holds the teeth in place. It may be of gold, platinum, silver, rubber, celluloid, etc.

10. (Arch.)

A horizontal timber laid upon a wall, or upon corbels projecting from a wall, and supporting the ends of other timbers; also used specifically of the roof plate which supports the ends of the roof trusses or, in simple work, the feet of the rafters.

11. (Her.)

A roundel of silver or tinctured argent.

12. (Photog.)

A sheet of glass, porcelain, metal, etc., with a coating that is sensitive to light.


A prize giving to the winner in a contest.

Plate is sometimes used in an adjectival sense or in combination, the phrase or compound being in most cases of obvious signification; as, plate basket or plate-basket, plate rack or plate-rack.

Home plate. (Baseball) See Home base, under Home. --
Plate armor.
(a) See Plate, n., 2.
(b) Strong metal plates for protecting war vessels, fortifications, and the like. --
Plate bone, the shoulder blade, or scapula. --
Plate girder, a girder, the web of which is formed of a single vertical plate, or of a series of such plates riveted together. --
Plate glass. See under Glass. --
Plate iron, wrought iron plates. --
Plate layer, a workman who lays down the rails of a railway and fixes them to the sleepers or ties. --
Plate mark, a special mark or emblematic figure stamped upon gold or silver plate, to indicate the place of manufacture, the degree of purity, and the like; thus, the local mark for London is a lion. --
Plate paper, a heavy spongy paper, for printing from engraved plates. Fairholt. --
Plate press, a press with a flat carriage and a roller, -- used for printing from engraved steel or copper plates. --
Plate printer, one who prints from engraved plates. --
Plate printing, the act or process of printing from an engraved plate or plates. --
Plate tracery. (Arch.) See under Tracery. - - Plate wheel (Mech.), a wheel, the rim and hub of which are connected by a continuous plate of metal, instead of by arms or spokes.


© Webster 1913

Plate (?), v. t. [imp. & p. p. Plated; p. pr. & vb. n. Plating.]


To cover or overlay with gold, silver, or other metals, either by a mechanical process, as hammering, or by a chemical process, as electrotyping.


To cover or overlay with plates of metal; to arm with metal for defense.

Thus plated in habiliments of war.


To adorn with plated metal; as, a plated harness.


To beat into thin, flat pieces, or laminæ.


To calender; as, to plate paper.


© Webster 1913

Plate (?), n.

1. (Baseball)

A small five-sided area (enveloping a diamond- shaped area one foot square) beside which the batter stands and which must be touched by some part of a player on completing a run; -- called also home base, or home plate.


One of the thin parts of the bricket of an animal.


A very light steel racing horsehoe.


Loosely, a sporting contest for a prize; specif., in horse racing, a race for a prize, the contestants not making a stake.


Skins for fur linings of garments, sewed together and roughly shaped, but not finally cut or fitted. [Furrier's Cant]

6. (Hat Making)

The fine nap (as of beaver, hare's wool, musquash, nutria, or English black wool) on a hat the body of which is of an inferior substance.


© Webster 1913

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