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  1. So I bought a pretty cool heat press off of eBay. It was advertised as a Kingsley but after talking to the seller on the phone it came out that the press is actually a Gold-Magic Robotemp 315 and it comes with 5 sets of Kingsley letters and a huge tub of foil. I won it for only $100 and I'm driving up to Maine next week to pick it up. Even though I am a bit bummed it isn't a Kingley, for $100 I am not going to hold a grudge. Here are some photos of it that came off of the listing. It doesn't come with a manual since the seller got it for free off of a gentleman that used to work for the State of Maine. The original owner used the press for fancy invitations for state functions, and the seller I bought it off of used it to monogram leather guitar straps. I'm hoping someone here knows where I can find a manual for this machine or has any insight whatsoever. Thank you -Bear
  2. I have been fabricating a hot stamping machine in my spare time. My goal is to build an air operated unit at least as competent as the $3,400 Kwik Print 86A/A. Time will tell. Phase One consists of building the heating unit. I will not be held responsible if you attempt to build one of these yourself, which you absolutely shouldn’t do. Heat embossers are made of electricity and extreme pressure and heat and danger and you can burn your house down, maim yourself, and/or electrocute yourself if you don’t know what you’re doing. Don’t do that. Phase One — the heater The Kwik Print 86 A/A uses an air circuit to deliver up to 1 ton of pressure through a Bimba air cylinder to an OEM ram to which the chase and heater are attached. The machine uses a 400W strip heater and Ulanet Robo Temp. I suspect Kwik Print uses Ulanet heaters and the Ulanet Robo Temp pulsating on/off controller because they’re American made. They’re expensive and I don’t care where my components were made. Maybe you do. My machine uses a 300W cartridge heater and Inkbird PID with solid state relay and thermocouple. The advantages of a PID and thermocouple are that (a) they’re cheap as dirt ($37 delivered from Amazon Prime), and ( once tuned, they’re very stable. My cartridge heater was less than $8 delivered from Amazon Prime. 300W is probably over-spec’d. The arbor press Until I build the frame for the air cylinder, I’m using my Famco 2 ton to test the heating unit. I made absolutely certain to over tighten the press’s guides so that the ram will stay raised. ANY skin contact with the heating plate will result in a second degree burn. The ram has a ½” hole with set screw drilled into its end. The heater The heating plate consists of a stainless steel block large enough to accommodate any embossing die I can see myself using. It’s tapped for a ½” stainless rod that fits into the end of ram. I used a vertical knee mill to dimension it and drill/ream holes for a cartridge heater and thermocouple. The heater hole (red leads) needs to be accurate within a few thousandths for maximum efficiency. The thermocouple hole (silver lead) is tapped to accept the unit’s threaded flange. Mounting and registering dies The embossing die is attached to the heating plate with a piece of 3M heat activated tape. Registration is simple. When the heater is cool, place your work piece on the press with the tape-covered die positioned where you want it. Slight pressure will leave a non-permanent mark on the leather showing you where the die is. Use a pencil to mark the edges of the piece. Slide the piece out of the way without disturbing the die or you have to start over. Place the edges of straight pieces of card stock on your registration lines and hold them down with some hard drive magnets. Don’t worry about the magnets being tall enough to hit the heating plate. Foil stamping dies are taller. Turn on your PID and get the die up to temp. You’ll have to experiment with temperature settings based on the leather and foil you’re using. Gently lower the ram so that it comes in contact with the taped die — always make sure that the leather you used to register the die is under it so you don’t damage it. Magnesium dies are durable for thousands of impressions when properly cared for. Give the ram a little mash. Get ready to stamp by placing your piece against the registration guides. Stamping You can blind deboss (stamping without foil) or use foil. To use foil, cut off a manageable section and place it flat against your work piece. Stamp by lowering the ram in a deliberate manner — you will have to experiment with temperature, pressure, and the amount of time the die remains in contact with your work piece. It’s not hard to get consistently good impressions. Results on leather and paper are nice. Top to bottom left to right: W&C bridle grain, W&C bridle flesh, Brown Horween equine Chromexcel, W&C natural tooling, black Horween bovine Chromexcel, Mohawk 130# paper. Materials 8mm x 80mm 300W cartridge heater — $7.47 delivered — http://www.amazon.com/Mold-Heating-Element-Cartridge-Heater/dp/B00DN6BQCY/ref=sr_1_8?ie=UTF8&qid=1452723192&sr=8-8&keywords=300w+cartridge+heater Ink bird ITC-100VH+25A SSR+ K sensor PID temperature controller with K-type thermocouple and 25A solid state relay — $36.99 delivered — http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00RMDZVNO?psc=1&redirect=true&ref_=oh_aui_detailpage_o01_s00 Misc. Various lengths of wire, terminal blocks, spade and fork connectors, grommets, scavenged inline fuse, scavenged rocker switch, etc. Suitable enclosure — I had a nice extrusion and face plates 1 ½”+ ton arbor press Stainless steel square rod and round rod in whatever dimensions you want Access to a horizontal bandsaw, vertical knee mill, end mills, drill bits, reamer, taps dies, etc. Dies and tape 3/8” raised/wrong reading magnesium foil stamping dies from Owosso — https://www.owosso.com/Products/MagnesiumDies/FoilStamping.aspx 3M heat bonding film — $22 for 1” x 180’ from Owosso — https://www.owosso.com/3MBondingFilm.aspx Foil This is specific to your application so you’re on your own.
  3. Hi all, I bought a Heat Embosser from LW Leathers- https://www.etsy.com/listing/112736766/electric-branding-iron-for-leather-wood?ref=shop_home_feat_1 and am wondering if anyone has had luck foil stamping with it? If so, what are the tips/tricks to it? Any help will be much appreciated! Mandy
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