ghstrydr164

making my own Stamps

126 posts in this topic

Great subject. I have made two stamps so far. This is my second one. It was a bugger to make, but the result is a nice 3D textured hibiscus flower. Stainless carriage bolt. Finished stamp measures about 1/2"

I used various files, a carbon scribe and diamond coated bits in the dremmel tool

Dont be afraid to try anything. Just do it in stainless, you'll be glad you did after investing all that time

Aloha,

Gretchen

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Certainly not perfect, but I really needed a mark. My shop is called Omega Leather.

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5KqTrwH.jpg

Edited by StrigaMort

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Hi Clair,

Thanks for your reply.... even if it's a sad story for that stamp : )

I was looking at shapeways for a bigger stamp (almost 2"x2") and I have ordered a plastic one before you had replied. At that size the stainless steel is not too affordable : ) But I can't wait to see how it's going to perform - even if I only get a couple good impressions out of it, it's going to have paid for it self and may get the stainless steel version when the plastic one is destroyed.

I can update this thread with the result of that stamp once I get it - I know I've been searching for this kind of information for a long time. : )

Hi Fullmetalsam

care to share some photos of your stamp and results ?

best regards

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This is a great thread. After reading it I went to my favorite hardware store to check out the stainless bolts. The owner didn't know what the steel was but looked it up. It is 18-8.

Another place also sells 18-8 and some that are 316.

I looked up 18-8 and it said it was another name for 300 series steel, but wasn't specific on the actual number, like 304 used by the opening poster of this thread.

I don't really know if either one is good for making something like bevelers and shaders.

Edited by steelhawk

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Any of the 300 series stainless will work fine. If you were going to be making something like a knife blade you would want 440, 440c or AU8 stainless.

Edited by camano ridge

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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.

I plan to do some, when I can force myself to stop doing leather long enough. What I plan to make first are some larger and smaller versions of Tandy's double beveler. It saves a lot of time and tapping.

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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.

st3.jpg

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.

I would very much like to see a single impression on leather of the stamps together with a picture of each stamp. Yea, I know I'm a lot of trouble. If I'm too much, ignore

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How were you able to get the "cross thread" or "small diamonds" on the bottom?

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What are the proportions on a basketweave stamp, length to height, and how much of the width (%) should be devoted to the center section vs the two sides?

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A very easy tutorial with pics for beginners in this link

http://www.knifenetwork.com/forum/showthread.php?t=44932

dead thread as of 2007, no pics that I can find

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Really nice stamps,

I just bought a bunch of craftool stamps to add to a small collection of vintage stamps i bought on Ebay,

Not impressed,

The new stamps sort of suck, really disappointed, especially at almost 10$ a piece, feel like that was the worst 450 i have spent in a long time, basket weave stamp is shallow, the other border stamps same thing, just dont have the detail, just look like more cheap chinese crap

So whenever i can get some money again i guess im going to hit Barry King or find some others, just hard to spend 30-40-50+ on one stamp

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How were you able to get the "cross thread" or "small diamonds" on the bottom?

The cross hatching is called checkering, and is done with a special file, a checkering file. available from places like Brownell's, Indian Jewelers Supply, Rio Grande Jewelers supply and some of the larger machine shop supply companies.

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Has anyone made any YouTube videos on the stamp making process? I've looked and haven't really found any

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NICE!! Well done ghstrydr164.

Off to the hardware store....

I'm thinking about a big rubber handle for stamps, large enough to make holding the stamp a little easier on the joints but not so big to obscure my line of sight.

And make several of them with different size holes for all the sizes of my stamps.

When done just pull it off and put it on the next stamp.

Has anyone seen a stamp handle on the forum?

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.



st3.jpg

st4.jpg

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Doc

I used a file to make a dagger. After I heated it in the forge to a dim red, which I no longer have access to, I quenched it in water. No idea on the temp because it was fifteen years ago. It's so hard that I cannot sharpen it.

Will more heat treating anneal it? If so I will probably use an acetylene torch and instead of a cutting tip, use one of those heating tips that has a humongous flame, does it need to be quenched after?

If so, in water or oil?

Thanks

Gene

This is an interesting thread, as I am a tool maker for a screwmachine shop. To just
touch on a couple of things here.

I have seen several old tools made from plain steel. The staining you mention may be
from the type of tanning done on the leather you have IE: Veg vs Chrome.

Stainless vs mild vs carbon steel. All steel has some carbon in it. Cast iron has
more than steel. To make steel the carbon is removed from the iron, then added
back in at a certain percentage to get the correct alloy. Steel is graded by the
major alloying element IE; 10xx, 4xxx, 8xxx, etc. The last 2 digits tell you the
carbon content in points.

1000 series steels are plain carbon steels.

What you find a a box store is usually 1018 which is considered a low carbon steel.
You generally need around 25 points of carbon to get any hardening effect. Files,
some springs, etc are made with 1095 which is considered a high carbon steel. With
different heat treating you can have a piece of 1095 be as brittle as a file, or
flexible as a spring-cool how that works-huh?

Chrome-moly steels like 4140 have 40 points of carbon, but the major elements being
chrome, and molybdenum make them very tough. These are used for things like shafts
for equipment.


Stainless steels (stain less than regular carbon steel) have high chrome, and nickel
contents. To be called a steel they do have some iron content.

The 300 series are the most common; 303,304. 303 is a freer machining alloy than 304.
Stainless steels are tough, not really hard. Mainly used when corrosion
resistance/sterility is needed.

316 is used for high corrosion applications like tomato processing, cookware, etc.

400 series stainless steels are magnetic, and will stain faster than 300 series. 440C is used in
knife blades.


As for hardening. You can case harden bolts, nails etc at home by using a product
like Kasenite. Case hardening applies a shallow layer of extra carbon into the mild
steel allowing it to be surface hardened, This case will be from .003"-.010" deep depending
on how it is applied.

high carbon steels can be just heated past magnetic (when a steel reaches the
transformation stage it loses it's magnetic properties) then quenched in water, or
oil. Oil is a slower quench, and will cause less heat related cracking than water
will.

Only 400 series of stainless can be heat treated. 300 series can be work hardened.

Stainless can be passivated in a citric, or nitric acid bath to remove the surface
iron content left by machining, and improves it's corrosion resistance. Probably
not needed for leather stamps.



Now for the second half here. One of the byproducts of the company I work for are
bar ends. They run around 7" long, and are what is left over form the 12' bars we
start with. We run a lot of stainless steel parts, so we have lots of stainless
steel bar ends. The stainless is in diameters from .0625" (1/16)up to around .500"
(1/2") sometimes larger. I have bought bar ends in the past for resale to other
craftsmen. I can sell you more material for what you folks are paying for bolts,.
The USPS flat rate boxes work good for this. I am located in Southern Nevada. We
also machine copper, brass, some aluminum, and copper beryllium alloys. The Copper
beryllium alloys take special care when performing operations like grinding, and
sanding as it is a inhalation hazard. Chronic exposure can lead to berylliosis. On
the other hand it can be heat treated , and all manner of tools are made from it.


If there is some interest I can put some bundles together, and get current scrap
pricing.

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The dagger you made is currently very hard, but also very brittle. If you drop it on a concrete floor it may shatter. to make the blade less brittle you need to draw back the temper by heating your knife to 400 deg F. the blade will show a light straw color at which time you will requench to prevent overheating. The knife forums and sites will go into greater detail on the heat treating process. and you would be prudent to do a bunch of research before you draw back the temper.

On a leather stamp I would heat the tool to red hot heat at which the steel becomes nonmagnetic, quench, then polish off all of the scale and oxidization. I would then heat the stamp from the end which is struck with the hammer/mallett. the color will start at straw and then go to the darker colors. you will then watch as the straw color travels down the length of the tool when the straw color reaches the head of the stamp cease heating and quench. you do not want to overheat the struck end and it will end up a purple color, definatly do not heat to red hot at this stage.

You will end up with a differentially heat treated tool, the head will be hard with the shaft being softer.

ALSO YOU NEVER STRIKE YOUR TOOLS WITH A STEEL HAMMER, IT WILL MUCHROOM THE SHAFT ENDS.

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Thanks TLP!

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Sorry for the delay in responding, had some technical issues logging on.

Tempering can be done in a toaster oven, and makes it easy to hit the proper temp.

A file is close to W-1 tool steel - info provided by Nicholson's material guy who has 47 years with them. Heat treating covers austenizing (hardening) , tempering (drawing back), and annealing (softening).

Heating past critical temp then quenching will fully harden. Depending on the steel alloy quenching is done with one of the following; air,water,oil.

heating to a set temp after hardening will temper it. Tempering helps to reduce brittleness, internal stresses, and creates desired attributes. 1095 steel can go from brittle hard to being a spring with proper tempering.

Annealing requires the steel to be heated to a critical temp then cooled verrrrrry slowly, or in the case of some steels at a very controlled rate in a furnace.

For leather stamps I wouldn't even bother heat treating since even in a soft state they will be harder than wet leather. Plastic , and even wood has been used for some stamps.

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Not a problem.

Thanks Big Gun!

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I bought a large coil spring at the junkyard for about $3. I've been making a lot of punches and stamps, and I've barely used any of the steel. I just cut off, straightened and normalized another 15 inches, and can probably get at least another dozen stamps and punches from this piece of steel.

I've been annealing the steel in vermiculite, and then using a Dremel tool to make the design. I use the stamps on both steel and leather, so I harden and temper.

 

 

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Edited by Harry Marinakis

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Here's a nicely summarized "How To" found on Pinterest.

 

THow To Make Your Own Stamps.jpg

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Its actually a page from Indian Jewelry Making by Oscar Branson

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11 hours ago, TLP said:

Its actually a page from Indian Jewelry Making by Oscar Branson

Cool,thx.  Just now ordered a copy

 

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Just learned of a new book out at Amazon,  Making Jewelry Design Stamps, runs about fifteen dollars

 

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6 hours ago, TLP said:

Just learned of a new book out at Amazon,  Making Jewelry Design Stamps, runs about fifteen dollars

 

Excellent.  Copy on it's way.  Btw, just received the Oscar Branson book and I must say this is the best book on jewelry/silversmithing I have ever seen...and by that I mean far and away better that the rest.  Thank you for turning me on to this book.

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