Davm

Repetitive leather stamping

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Hi, I'm making a an old west cartridge belts.  These often have a line of stitching, then a groove, then a stamp mark that is repeated all along the edge.  I'm using Tandy stamps.  It requires some skill in using these stamps.  One stamp may be higher or lower (along the edge) from the others, or the spacing between the stamps could be off.  Then the stamp itself might be slanted left or right.  A lot to go wrong.

I epoxy glued a popsicle stick on the shaft at right angles to the mark.  That helps me in not slanting the marks left or right.  I thought maybe I'd clamp down a straight edge to keep all the stamp marks even on an up and down along the edge and maybe mark the guid to keep the spacing even.

I'm sort of new at this.  How do the rest of you do this type of stamping? Just eyeball or do you use some sort of guide?

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Lots of practice on lots of scrap leather. You get better with time. I'm still nowhere close to where I want/ought to be.

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great tip on the popsicle stick. it seem like what battlemunky said "lots of practice" I am working on getting better at lining up my basket weave and tri weave stamps. even with the regestration marks i am still having a hard time getting them how I want.

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2 hours ago, Davm said:

How do the rest of you do this type of stamping

With bad grace and swearing...

Oh and using a cutout board guide.

Oh and has anyone mentioned practice, practice, practice

I like the outcomes, but its like doing piano scales you keep practicing until it feels easier.

If anyone has a tip to make it easy from day one, please PM me and we can set up a business... :P

 

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If you do a light groove, then stamp, then go over the groove after, the heavier groove will hide any slight mis-alignments of the border stamp. Try it on some scrap to see what I mean.

Jeff

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Watched a video of a guy using a arbor press with the stamp shaft held in the arbor so he only had to move the leather and use the arbor handle to press the stamp in

Results indicate a steady inprint and easier to position the leather than the stamp

I guess there is no correct way just what works best for you and all need some practice

Given it some trials myself in a little way and looks OK and using 3D printer it seems no reason you are limited to single stamps, maybe put 3 or 4 baskets in one stamp if the press is powerful enough

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If you use a press for stamping, make sure the stamp bottoms out mechanically. You won't have much in the way of tactile feedback, and can end up with wildly varying stamping depth.

Jeff

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For setting up multiple lines of stamps, such as along the edge of an article where there might be a groove then a line of stamps then another groove then a serpentine, you can use a set of dividers to mark a slight scratch on the face of the leather to align each groove or stamped line. After marking a line, take your time and carefully line up each stamp. If you are not sure of the positioning of your stamp, give it a very light tap, then check to see if it was perfectly placed. As you become more accomplished, you will find you do not need to check stamp positioning so much - just place it and hit it, rinse and repeat!

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On 12/28/2018 at 4:14 PM, alpha2 said:

If you use a press for stamping, make sure the stamp bottoms out mechanically. You won't have much in the way of tactile feedback, and can end up with wildly varying stamping depth.

Jeff

Invest $15 to get a stop collar for the press. Adjust it to the perfect depth on scraps, then press until the stop engages.  

I’ve unfortunately cut through leather with a stamp that had thin details when trying to bottom out without the stop collar in place.

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I've got the Tandy Pro press, it has an adjustment for stroke. I had gone through leather also with the Harbor Freight arbor press.

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Scribe a light line where you want your stamping and then align the stamp with the line while also making sure that the edges of the stamp just barely touch each other as you move along your line.  Try to not to overlap if you can as it can create a visual alignment issue that can be quite noticeable sometimes.  It all takes practice and we have all been there at one point in time so just keep working on it and it will become second nature to you.  

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Very light pencil marks help too. And they can be easily erased!  Use a softer lead if possible and don’t press on the pencil. Just use the weight of the pencil and draw the line a few times until it’s visible. Another trick I use is painters tape. It leaves little to no residue. One tip, I always stick the tape to a piece of paper first, peel it off, and then stick it on the leather. Great for lining up letters and so on, anything you want in a straight line.  Any residue can be removed with an artists eraser, the white ones.

 

Dave

 

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Well, not to reply to my own question but I figure we are sharing ideas.  I took a pair of dial calipers and set the spacing and used the sharp points to mark out-lightly- both the spacing between stamp marks and the distance of the stamp from the grooved line.  I then put the corner of the stamp over the mark which then disappears when the stamp is hit.  That's about the best I have come up with so far.

My idea about clamping a ruler had troubles.  You clamp at both ends but the middle is unsupported and the leather can bend in and out.  I did a row with the clamped ruler and when I took the ruler off the marks were bowed away from the grooved line.

   Some stamps are easier to use.  An arc or crescent has two points and you can line them up pretty good.  A triangle with a flat base, any little error in any direction is very noticeable.   I may try that pencil idea.  As recommended, I'm practicing on scrap pieces.

Edited by Davm

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