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Shadow mark when using basketweave stamp

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Hi! I am fairly new to the forum and leatherwork in general. I did the genius thing of buying a basketweave set as my first stamping tools thinking it would be easiest to learn. Yes, I now know better. lol Good news is that I have been practicing quite a bit which is in turn giving me lots of casing practice as well. My problem seems to be that I am sometimes getting what I would call a shadow mark. I assuming that I am somehow allowing the stamp to bounce while striking, so it creates a very faint impression near the impression I purposely made. I have been concentrating and trying to catch what exactly it is that I am doing when this happen and am having no luck in catching myself in the act. Does anyone have tips on how to get away from doing this? My fear is that I will end up doing it on a real piece that I am making and have to scrap a project.

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I am no stamper bit here are a few things. Have a solid striking surface. Granite, quartz and the like. You may want to switch to a heavier mallet. 

Good luck.

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Thanks for your reply!

I do have a solid surface, but I am not sure if my mallet would be considered heavy or not. Its a large head size poly mallet from Tandy. Not sure what the weight is on it.

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If you are talking about the yellow one. I find it to light for me. I use a 2lbs maul.

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The 'shadow' or 'ghost' is caused by the tool bouncing. Its all in how you hold the tool. Grip it fairly tight and hold it tight against the leather, pushing it down slightly. A loose grip or not holding it really tight against the leather allows it to bounce, and your reaction is to then increase your grip and push it against the leather, making the ghost

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Thanks Matt! I will raid hubby's toolbox and see if there is anything I can borrow for a maul to see if that helps.

Thank you Fred! I will place more focus on my grip the next time and see if that is my culprit.

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A light tap to set the stamp followed by the heavy hit to get the impression can help sometimes also.

YinTx

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11 ounce garland rawhide mallet

 

Edited by JLSleather

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I just had this problem on a belt I was tooling and, boy, did it tick me off. I'm a newbie but this is what I observed:

  • I had the worse problem when I hit the hardest. When I backed off and didn't hit quite so hard, I didn't have a problem. As someone said above, I started doing two taps instead of one and that seemed to work.
  • The tool in question is a Tandy veiner. I just got a couple Barry King stamps for my birthday and I notice the checkering is far more distinct than the Tandy's; e.g. the tool I was using is slipperier and harder to hold when I was hitting hard.
  • This time I wet the surface and didn't fully case the leather. I wonder if the inside of the leather being harder also contributed to the bounce back.

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Thank you all for your suggestions. I am getting a little better with each practice and feeling a little more encouraged. I am about to be thrown in the fire on it though. Have a guy that wants me to make him a knife sheath with basketweave. Lord help me. 

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I will throw my hat in with some of the others and suggest a heavier tool. Of course you want to grip the stamp tightly and work on a surface that doesnt bounce but I find with a light hammer you have to strike it a few times or the hammer itself bounces. My maul is a touch under 2lbs but I have worked quite well with the 1lb garland. Once you set your stamp in place .... give it a WHACK! Being tentative about it I find is the worst culprit to shifting stamps and ghosts.

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Something else that you may want to try which was suggested to me by someone here on the forums...get some of that elastic bandage wrap like they use in a doctor's office to wrap you after they stick you with a needle. Get it in a 1 inch width and use it to wrap your tool handle to make the stem of the tool fatter and easier to grip. It is also less tiring on the fingers. I am here to tell you that it works great for me. You can find that elastic wrap at any pharmacy chain store. Good luck :)

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On 4/24/2018 at 12:34 PM, Boriqua said:

I will throw my hat in with some of the others and suggest a heavier tool. Of course you want to grip the stamp tightly and work on a surface that doesnt bounce but I find with a light hammer you have to strike it a few times or the hammer itself bounces. My maul is a touch under 2lbs but I have worked quite well with the 1lb garland. Once you set your stamp in place .... give it a WHACK! Being tentative about it I find is the worst culprit to shifting stamps and ghosts.

Just now seeing this reply. Believe it or not, that is how I just stamped my new project. I held the stamp somewhat firmly and whacked the stamp with commitment. I also held the stamp down low so my fingers were resting on the stamp portion itself. Seemed to help my problem some. Thank you so much for your input!

On 4/24/2018 at 3:25 PM, JMcC said:

Something else that you may want to try which was suggested to me by someone here on the forums...get some of that elastic bandage wrap like they use in a doctor's office to wrap you after they stick you with a needle. Get it in a 1 inch width and use it to wrap your tool handle to make the stem of the tool fatter and easier to grip. It is also less tiring on the fingers. I am here to tell you that it works great for me. You can find that elastic wrap at any pharmacy chain store. Good luck :)

I think you are referring to Vet Wrap and I actually thought about using that, but wasn't sure how well it would work. Now I am going to give it a try and see how I like it. Thank you!

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