ghstrydr164

making my own Stamps

125 posts in this topic

I have started making my own Stamps and would like to share and have others that make their own Stamps share "How and What" they have made and are making.

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I started out altering my Craftools after taking some leather carving seminars and getting to see and use quality stamps and experience the difference they made in my tooling. Not all of the hand tools I use are necessary to make stamps and none of the power tools are needed to make most of the stamps. So even on a limited budget you can make or alter stamps for better tooling results. I make my stamps 4¼" long because I have large hands and I find them more comfortable to hold for long periods of time. At first I did not finish the stems but I am starting to do that now. I texture the middle section with 36 grit abrasive belts, spin the stamp in the drill press and cut the groves with a hacksaw blade and polish both ends. The texturing is easier on my fingers over long periods and grips as well as checkering. I keep the striking surface square for better strikes.

Some of the stamps look lope sided in the picture but they are not, it's just my poor pictures.

st4.jpg

For my blanks I use Stainless Steel Bolts (304 stainless) diameter ¼" 5/16" 3/8" Head sizes 7/16", ½", 9/16" with long unthreaded shanks and Stainless Steel 1/4 " rod.

st1.jpg

Some of the hand tools I use are small jewelers files, checkering files 20, 30, 40, 50 and 75 lines per inch, mill and smooth bastard files, jewelers saw, hack saw, vise and sand paper. Power tools include a drill press, belt sander (Burr King 870 with knife makers attachments), Dremal tool, Dental hand-piece and a buffer (3/4 hp. Baldor).

st2.jpg

Latter I will post some special stamps that I made to assist me in tooling.

I would like to here what you are making and any tips you have for making them.

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This topic will be VERY useful for me.

Here in Brazil there is no factory that made this tools. I boght mine from Tandy, and, besides these tools are not very expensive, adding the shipping, the taxes etc, the final cost goes to the space !!!

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Yes! Excellent topic! This kind of information is rather difficult to come by. In some places (such as the LCSJ, but not to be discrediting them), the topic is more or less banned because the tool vendors who sponsor the venue consider it detrimental to their business for crafters to learn anything about making their own stamps or other tools.

I know that would not be the case on this forum, so I've been hoping someone who has had some success in this area would come along and post some how-to information on stamp making.

My first question: Where is the best place to get your checkering files? I could just kick myself now, because my dad was an amateur gunsmith (as well as a leather crafter), and had a whole set of those files.

Thanks so much for bringing up this topic!

Kate

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Brownells Gunsmithing Supplies

Metal Checkering Files, not inexpensive but you don't need them all at once and compared to custom stamps very affordable. Maybe start with a 50 LPI for smaller fine stamps and maybe a 30 LPI for larger stamps. You can also make smooth tools to try your skills and checker them later if you like making them. Using the checkering file takes some practice so don’t expect to get it right the first time but you will get it with some practice. You can always sand off the mistakes and try again. Once you get the lines started you just ride in the groves and deepen with each stroke until you get them where you want them. Keep a scrap of cased leather close through all of the stamp making process to test the impressions.

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candyleather

Very nice stamps and impressions, you have already given me some new ideas. How about sharing the techniques you use to fabricate some of the non cast stamps.

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Nice work ghost

I like seeing 'homemade' items. Been thinking about trying some simple stuff. Some of the tools mentioned in the older Stolman books are not available. Keep showing your work.

Jim

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candyleather

Very nice stamps and impressions, you have already given me some new ideas. How about sharing the techniques you use to fabricate some of the non cast stamps.

Thanks Cyrus!, no problem. Sometimes I use an old laser engraving machine for metal, sandpaper, another tools, a dremel and patient. I can make any pics for to show you next time.

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Nice work ghost

I like seeing 'homemade' items. Been thinking about trying some simple stuff. Some of the tools mentioned in the older Stolman books are not available. Keep showing your work.

Jim

Please, could you show me a link for to look those old tools not available in the older Stohlman books? Thanks

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very nice work, how did you lay out the sunburst or camafloge tool, and what did you cut the lines with.

Thank You

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thanks Gray, and Candy for sharing and starting this tool making topic..i'm a engraver by trade and would really like to try to make some of my own stamps..i have been thinking of how i could use (new to leather work) some of my what we call masters. design work cut in plastic sheets.. i then use a hermes engraving machine to put the line work from the masters on to what ever i'm engraving.. and make the design what ever size i need. i use this when i need more than one of the same think..over the year i have made lots of masters lettering, crast, kamons, and scroll designs.. just thinking how i can add it to my leather work.. must be a way just thinking out loud i love this place...

Edited by hiloboy

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wow... very cool. i make some of my own, but nothing as nice as is here. i already learned some great stuff - i have never finished the stems because i couldn't figure out how to do it that looked nice, but you have given me something to shoot for. I follow the same basic methods - using stainless bolts for stock, then i use a bench grinder to rough shape them, then a series of files, emory cloth and wet-dry sandpaper, followed by lining files. I dont have a belt sander or drill press. The 75 line per inch tools match what many custom makers use on their lining or checkering - so if you already own some good tools, you can "match" your existing tools.

Here is a pic of some of my tools. I am really interested in learning how to get the cam tool even - mine is very crude.

Thanks for the info on this post - this is really helpful.

IMG_4323.JPG

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The Cams were done as an experiment with casting. I have a friend who owns a Dental Lab and we took impressions of some very high end stamps and cast them with a dental alloy that is harder than the 304 stainless and soldered them to shanks. We silver soldered straight to the shank and some had pegs cast to the bottom of the head and counter sunk into the shank before silver soldering. We tested for strength and found both to be impossible to break off the shanks.

The process seemed to much trouble to be bothered with and I am now trying to come up with a better way to make them easily and well. I did get som nice stamps from the experment though.

c1.jpg

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Robert

Judging from your carving, your stamps are doing a fantastic job for you. Very Nice!

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Some time back when I was doing a long straight border on a piece and I wanted the border to be checkered and have some depth so I decided to make a special stamp for other similar tasks to speed up the process and give good depth without much effort.

I call it "El Coyote", 7/8" face made from a 5/8" Stainless Steel Bolt

ec1.jpg

ec2.jpg

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Having Fun

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This is something I've been thinking about trying, too, but alas I know nothing about engraving.

Kate

...i'm a engraver by trade and would really like to try to make some of my own stamps..i have been thinking of how i could use (new to leather work) some of my what we call masters. design work cut in plastic sheets.. i then use a hermes engraving machine to put the line work from the masters on to what ever i'm engraving.. and make the design what ever size i need. i use this when i need more than one of the same think..over the year i have made lots of masters lettering, crast, kamons, and scroll designs.. just thinking how i can add it to my leather work.. must be a way just thinking out loud i love this place...

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Robert

Judging from your carving, your stamps are doing a fantastic job for you. Very Nice!

Thanks! Several years ago, I taught some classes at the local Tandy store (back when Tandy carried Barry King tools) and there were always students that thought that if they had a rack full of Barry's tools, they could tool like the masters. I decided to make and use some tools to show them it takes practice, not expensive tools. The first tools i made were crude - mostly from carriage bolts and nails. But I kept making and improving, and this notebook was the first thing (and maybe last...) to be completely done with my tools. Some of my homemade ones are not near as good as my others, but now I try to make things like shaders and bevelers so that I have more money for those tools I can't make.

I have a stamp addiction, i must admit... I use some old RBS stamps, some pre-letter Craftools, some from Jay Gore, B. King, Chuck Smith and just bought an old McMillen. Making my own doesnt save me any money, it just re-allocates it... :biggrin:

How do you polish your tools? i do the tool head with 600 grit paper then 1500 then rouge on a dremel, but by the time I do that by hand, I have no interest in doing any more than the minimum. Is there an easier way, or am I just impatient?

And cool info on the cam tool... I was stumped!

BTW, I found a place a few years ago that sells a hand tool that will knurl small items and I think would be perfect for stampls - It looks like a c-clamp with a handle... It was too much money for me to justify for my few tools ($225 or so as I recall), but if you are interested, I will find the info.

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Robert

I polish my tools with a 3 /10†sewn rag buffs stacked together. Green rouge works best on stainless steel. You have to be carful not to round corners off on rag buff. After I checker I use a small soft stainless wire brush to clean any filings out of the lines and smooth them up and then I do a light stropping on a piece of leather charged with Green rouge, clean with 409 and a tooth brush. Not the one I use on my teeth.

I don’t care for knurling, the 36 grit is a great griping surface and is much kinder to the fingers over a long stamping session and it looks great also, better than the pictures show.

I took a couple of the one week long carving classes at the Gene Autry Museum taught by Chuck Smith and other guest carvers and tool makers, great learning experience.

One old timer who taught at the class could free file a cam like it was child’s play and made his differently and nicer than any others I have seen.

The lines in the center were cut deeper and wider and they got progressively closer and shallower toward the ends. Makes for a great and more natural look when running the tool.

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Great info... it gives me something to shoot for.

I have learned this by trial and error, so this topic has been very helpful. You have inspired me as to what can be done without having a machine shop!

Thank you.

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Ghost:

I am advanced enough in age that I have no desire to make my own tools.......BUT, I sure would be interested in getting a few from you if you decide to go commercial on the venture. If you are interested, please contact me privately and we'll hash it out. thanks.

Paul

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Has anyone tried to make Bar Grounders.

Ashley

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Has anyone tried to make Bar Grounders.

Ashley

nope... the closest I have come is to make a single seed stamp. I used a diamond point bit in a dremel and free-handed a hole. I think for a bar grounder, you would want a drill press to hold the tool still and align the drilling point.

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I haven’t tried to make any bar grounders because I hate to run them and I don’t really much care for the way the make a background look. I will take a run at making some and you know how they come out.

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Stamps and tools for leathercraft in Argentina, he is a maker. The website is not writed in english but you can look at the models.

http://www.herramientasdobleg.com.ar/produ..._mateadores.php

http://www.herramientasdobleg.com.ar/produ...do_rodillos.php

Be careful! They have a low price for Argentina and another very high price for foreign.

:eusa_naughty:

Edited by candyleather

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I don't know if I missed this, but has anyone tried improving their tools rather than start from scratch?

SkipJ

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