This tool is used to prepare metal plates for mezzotints. By repeatedly working the tool over the surface of the plate in a rocking motion, the printmaker can create a smooth carpet of burrs, which will hold ink and show up as a dark area when the plate is printed. This rough surface can then be smoothed with a scraper or burnisher, which will lighten the print in those areas.
EC Lyons rockers are known world wide as the finest mezzotint rockers available. Lyons rockers have handles of stained birch and a tool surface of high carbon tool steel. The density of teeth for a rocker is measured in LPI or 'tooth count', a measure of the number of lines per inch on the cutting face of the tool. This is a fine gauge rocker with a 4 inch blade and a tooth count of 100.
Please take care when using this tool near the edge of your plates, as unless you have bevelled the edge of the plate it is possible that the tool may slip off or be damaged by the sharp edge.
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