BillinTR

Another Getting Started Question-Stamps

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I am just beginning to research the purchase of my first stamps. I am planning on doing some figure carving as well as some patterns and floral designs eventually. I have a couple of questions that may have been asked before but I haven't found anything specific to my questions so far.

1. Stamps, stamp sets, quality vs cost. I have read all the comments about getting the good stuff in order to do quality work.  But I am on a fixed income with a limited budget so I need to keep costs in line. The problem is that there doesn't seem to be anything in between the $8 stamp and the $40 stamp. People say the latest Craftool stuff isn't good quality. They point you at Barry King or some of the other high priced stuff. Isn't there something intermediate that an amateur hobbyist can do decent work with and still afford to buy some leather to work on?

2. If there is an affordable source what stamps would be recommended to start with if I bought individual stamps as opposed to a set. If I have to spend a little more then I will be forced to acquire stamps one or two at a time so I would be looking for stamps with the most widespread useage initially. SLC sells a basic set of 9 stamps for about $60 but I believe those are the modern Craftool stamps people advise against. I am just a hobbyist as I said but I would like to be able to produce decent quality work once I learn and practice. Perhaps 3 or 4 fundamental stamps of higher quality are the way to start but which stamps.

 

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Kinda need to know what you want to do to tell you what need to do it with

tooling around the edges of a pattern?  camoflagers  c prefix stamps

Sheridan style you'll need lots of bevelers

If you have time and steady hands you can make backgrounders and seeders from square head masonry nails and nail sets

not BK quality but can be dones

Get the Tandy catalog as a reference even tho now they only show a fraction of what they used to make

Look at their patterns too to see what's used where maybe see if your library can infer loan you a stholman book of two for ideas

watch c list and eBay sometimes good stuff like rbs shows up mixed in with Tandy

older Tandy isn't all bad but it's impossible to tell how good it is without trying it on leather

my understanding is low bidder got the contracts and in later years price ruled and quality suffered

Even Tandy has two quality tiers now

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I do very, very little decorative stamping. For me the Tandy tools are fine

BUT shop around for them. I bought a 20 set off ebay for less than the price of 1 from Tandy - they have the same Tandy numbers and I reckon they came from the same factory. [these were bought for grinding to other shapes] Also Le Prevo sells the Tandy stamps for 2/3 the Tandy price

I'd say, buy the cheap ones first, do some decorative work and see which ones you use most, then invest in better quality ones of those one first

example of a starter set

https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/20Pcs-Leather-Working-Saddle-Making-Tools-Carving-Leather-Craft-Stamps-Set-/282660163755?hash=item41cfdbd0ab

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I use Tandy stamps, as I'm in Canada, and import duties jack up the prices of more expensive stamps. They are perfectly adequate for the work I do. The only stamp I ever bought that had a defect was quickly replaced by Tandy, no questions asked.

The more pricey stamps may make cleaner, crisper impressions, but I've done some pretty nice work without them. Some people have talked about stamp handles bending in the middle, due to being made of such cheap metal. This is not something I've had a problem with.

Tandy often has sales, especially around Christmas time, when you can buy their stamps for just a couple of bucks. Also, I recently heard they are discontinuing their Craftool Pro line, and have those stamps on sale right now for $10.99 Canadian. They are very decent quality stamps, and once they are sold out, that will be it.

Here's a few of my better pieces:

The only thing I have to complain about was when doing the paisley pattern for the tote bag, it was hard to get the larger stamps like the heart and flower to give a crisp impression, no matter how hard I hit the stamp with the mallet. I didn't have much of a problem with the Celtic design stamps, though.

20728086_10155970477984026_1468988996906811810_n.jpg.93aaad80bbb0cdd19e3387ad1066ac4e.jpg

beltbetter.jpg

Molly tote resolene and antique.jpg

horse resized.jpg

Edited by Sheilajeanne

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Fred, one problem I'd have with buying stuff off e-Bay is not known where it was made. Those COULD be Tandy stamps, or they could be some really cheap knockoffs with metal so soft the handles will bend in the middle!

If you can find Craftool stamps that are older, say 15 years or so, I understand they were better quality than what Tandy has now.

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Jbinpa59,

I haven't figured out yet what Sheridan style means. I want to carve wildlife images into projects such as archery items, purses, cases of one kind or another. Also carve/stamp patterns onto belts, holsters, sheaths, etc. It sounds like maybe for hobby work the Craftool level of quality may get me by. Springfield Leather Supply sells a basic 9 piece starter set of stamps. Maybe that is the way to start and build from there.

 

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1 hour ago, Sheilajeanne said:

Fred, one problem I'd have with buying stuff off e-Bay is not known where it was made. Those COULD be Tandy stamps, or they could be some really cheap knockoffs with metal so soft the handles will bend in the middle!

I really believe they come from the same factory. The packaging for them was almost identical, they had the same bar code and a very similar card insert, only the Chinese ones were written in Chinese. The Tandy card insert says their tool is made in China. I've not had a bar bend yet and I whack with a brass headed mallet

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Billin, Sheridan style would be what's carved on that belt I did above. It's a combination of leaves, scrolls, flowers, seed, etc. 

This cell phone case I did is a good example. See the link for more examples. The figures always flow outwards from an imaginary central point in the design.

If you want to do figure carving (animals) you REALLY need to get Al Stohlman's book on figure carving. You can download it directly from the Tandy library, buy a paper copy from them, or search the web for a used copy: https://www.leathercraftlibrary.com/product/1140/figure-carving-finesse-by-al-stohlman

That starter set of 9 stamps sounds like a good deal! 

Fred,  you are probably right about the stamps. But I've heard enough reports about tools bending that it's made me cautious! 

Hmm...need to go back and burnish some edges! I didn't know how to do it back when I made that case!  :unsure:

 

https://www.google.ca/search?q=sheridan+style+carving&tbm=isch&tbo=u&source=univ&sa=X&ved=2ahUKEwiG96XLg_jdAhXF6IMKHTvXAGQQsAR6BAgBEAE&biw=1236&bih=562

IMG_2290_crop.jpg

Edited by Sheilajeanne

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13 hours ago, Sheilajeanne said:

you REALLY need to get Al Stohlman's book on figure carving.

I have one of Stohlman's books on carving, just not that one. The one I have wasn't as useful as I would have hoped. It was just not as good a tutorial as I thought it would be. I will look into getting a copy of the one you pointed out.

 

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I like Ebay for that.  I had a burglary years ago (and also a fire, but that's another story), and a lot of my tools were stolen.  Insurance check isn't worth all that much when the tools are no longer available.  Sad part is.. some crack head probably got $50 for the lot.  My wife's friend showed up once, must have been a couple years ago.  They buy stuff at auctions and estate sales, much like you'd see on tv show "storage wars",.. walked in and said "we didn't know you use those - we just threw out about 100 of em cuz we didn't know anybody who used them" :o

Back to the point - I managed to replace many of them (the same version I had) on Ebay.  Cost more than they did "back when", but the same quality, so no worries.  Many people on there selling them, but you might start wth this guy ...

https://www.ebay.com/str/proleathercarvers?_trksid=p2047675.l2563

I never met the guy (might not even be a guy). Havent seen ALL their tools, but i have purchased tools there which arrived in very good condition. 

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16 hours ago, Sheilajeanne said:

Fred,  you are probably right about the stamps. But I've heard enough reports about tools bending that it's made me cautious!

Cautious is good, but at £6.50 for 20, thats 33p [about 55c ] each! they are worth a punt as we say here

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JLSleather,

I tried that Ebay link and decided to give him a try. He has a swivel knife that seems to be a good value. I also ordered a set of smooth bevelers. He seems to have a range of price/quality. I will see how these tools turn out to be before I order anything more. I figure a swivel knife and bevelers ought to at least get me started with some very basic carving.

Thanks for the heads up.

 

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On ‎10‎/‎9‎/‎2018 at 9:59 AM, JLSleather said:

I like Ebay for that.  I had a burglary years ago (and also a fire, but that's another story), and a lot of my tools were stolen.  Insurance check isn't worth all that much when the tools are no longer available.  Sad part is.. some crack head probably got $50 for the lot.  My wife's friend showed up once, must have been a couple years ago.  They buy stuff at auctions and estate sales, much like you'd see on tv show "storage wars",.. walked in and said "we didn't know you use those - we just threw out about 100 of em cuz we didn't know anybody who used them" :o

Back to the point - I managed to replace many of them (the same version I had) on Ebay.  Cost more than they did "back when", but the same quality, so no worries.  Many people on there selling them, but you might start wth this guy ...

https://www.ebay.com/str/proleathercarvers?_trksid=p2047675.l2563

I never met the guy (might not even be a guy). Havent seen ALL their tools, but i have purchased tools there which arrived in very good condition. 

I have bought quite a few vintage Craftools from Pro Leather Carvers Supply. He also has a website you can order from. Most of the tools I have from them are pre 1968 Craftool, but I also have a couple of his James Linnell stamps. I have never been dissatisfied with their products. I am also a big fan of Barry King tools, and highly recommend them.

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