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Topic: Metal Stamping -- HELP!!  (Read 702 times)
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Penguillama
« on: April 29, 2013 03:05:59 PM »

I purchased a couple sets of metal stamps, and I intended to make jewelry with them.

I didn't spend a whole lot of time looking for tutorials and resources, but I got myself the following supplies:
-raw brass stamping blanks in various shapes and sizes (thin metal, but brass should be fine.. right?)
-jewelry anvil
-brass hammer
-dampening pad underneath hammer
-sharpie

I just got my stamping blanks, and I tested out a letter from a 5mm alphabet set. the stamp didn't leave a deep impression, and some parts looked thicker/deeper than others; it was just looked wonky. Upon closer inspection of the stamp itself, I noticed that it wasn't a perfectly flat surface from the side view; there were chips and marks along the surface!

The other stamps in the set look fine, but the one I used looks godawful. I got them from an etsy store that makes their own stamps, and they have great reviews.. Is brass not a good metal to stamp with or something? Am I at fault for ruining the stamp? Basically, I want to know:

What can I do to prevent damaging my stamps?
Is it normal for stamps to get uneven/fractured with continual use? I mean that was the first time I used it, and it got messed up pretty badly........
What ruins metal stamps?

I'll upload a pic of the stamp later, but I'm curious if the fault was mine or not. I thought I bought all the right things, is there something crucial missing?
« Last Edit: April 29, 2013 03:07:39 PM by Penguillama » THIS ROCKS   Logged
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« Reply #1 on: April 30, 2013 05:51:05 AM »

I hope someone chimes in on this subject to help you out. I don't have any experience stamping metal. I guess the only way you can experiment is to use another letter stamp & see how that one turns out. Perhaps it will go well, but if not...then you'll know that stamping brass is damaging to your stamps. Have you contacted the manufacturer of the stamps for advice or suggestions?
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« Reply #2 on: May 03, 2013 03:51:09 AM »

I have done some stamping.  Brass is a fine soft metal to stamp, as is copper, or aluminum.  From what I understand from the stamps I have, what you don't want is to use a hard metal like steel.  If your stamps are getting damaged from being used on brass, then the issue may be your stamps.  Otherwise you may just want to practice to hold the stamp and how to hit it to get the impression you want.

Are you using one heavy blow or are you using several taps of the hammer - you may want to practice your technique for getting a deeper and even imprint.  Some people use one strong blow on the stamp, but you need to make sure that you have the stamp nice and straight on the metal before striking, and use a nice heavy hammer hitting directly over the stamp, not on an angle.  If you don't have the arm strength, you may want to give a couple of good strikes.  If you find that you have a problem with getting even impressions, you may want want to try the tilt/tap method. 

Try these resources - they are free:

http://www.beaducation.com/vids/detail/20

http://www.beaducation.com/shop/product-tip-pdf-tilt-n-tap-method-using-design-stamps-p-902.html

Also, when you say anvil - do you really mean the mini anvil or do you mean a steel bench block?  I have both, and I like the bench block as it give a broader work surface.  A too light hammer may also mean more effort/work on your arm too - I use a heavy work hammer as opposed to my riveting or nylon hammers.

Don't get discouraged, you may just want to get some scrap brass and practice first to get the technique right.  Also, don't forget that finishing will make a big difference.  It may not look very impressive until you do something to highlight the stamping, such as oxidizing, then sanding/ buffing, and sealing the finish.  Or you could simply highlight by runnying a sharpie marker over the impressions and sanding off the excess.
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« Reply #3 on: May 09, 2013 08:55:51 AM »

I've done some stamping too, mainly on silverware. I've had the same problem and found that I needed metals that were pretty soft to get a deep enough effect. I went through a couple of "A's" until I got it right.

One thing I did notice is that if I used tiny taps, my letters were off. I went with one heavy whack.
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PercyWiggins
« Reply #4 on: June 11, 2013 09:10:47 PM »

I've been stamping for a few years and have the best luck with older softer metals. I find most of my stuff, I've been doing mostly spoons lately, at thrift stores. I look for older tarnished metal because I've found it easier to get a good deep stamp. You can check my metalstampingblog.c om if you're interested.
« Last Edit: June 11, 2013 09:13:25 PM by PercyWiggins » THIS ROCKS   Logged
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