Author Topic: custom stamp  (Read 6362 times)

jlandis

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custom stamp
« on: January 30, 2009, 05:18:09 PM »
 I saw a steel stamp that Don Williams hand filed out of stock about 1"x1/4".
It was the logo that he stamped his wooden planes with. I would like to attempt the same thing- does anyone know if there are old antique tools used for this task? Engravers tools or such? If so could you tell me what types of instruments I would need and where I might find them?( they don't need to be antiques)

                                                  Thanks

                                                      Jim

rococojo

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Re: custom stamp
« Reply #1 on: January 30, 2009, 07:02:24 PM »

hello Jim, you can get any hand stamp made in Sheffeld, England.
 if you cannot find anyone in the usa. if you require me? I could find
 and send you there contact info.


                                                 Joseph hemingway

Antiquity Period Designs, Ltd.

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Re: custom stamp
« Reply #2 on: January 31, 2009, 08:33:05 AM »
Jim,

I believe Rockler and/or Woodcraft and/or Woodworkers Supply all have custom made stamps both electric and hammer.

Dennis Bork
Antiquity Period Designs, Ltd.
Professional period furniture maker since 1985.  Received a B.S. degree in physics then apprenticed and worked as a wood patternmaker for 12 years. Retired Dec. 2018.

jlandis

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Re: custom stamp
« Reply #3 on: January 31, 2009, 12:29:43 PM »
 Gentlemen,

            Thank you for your advice/offers. However, I am inspired with the idea

 of creating my own stamp, like Don has done. I did some looking on the internet

 and found some  HSS "gravers blanks". I think these might be what I need, but

I'm not sure. Appreciate any help.

                                                           Jim

lwllms

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Re: custom stamp
« Reply #4 on: January 31, 2009, 06:31:01 PM »
Jim,

Is it Don Williams or Larry Williams? If it's me, I used reverse letter stamps to stamp the impression in the final stamp. I made my own reverse letter stamps which I learned to do watching a former landlord work. That company folded after the death of one of its owners but here's an old article about them:

http://users.aristotle.net/~russjohn/mint.html

You can avoid the step of making reverse letter stamps, they're available from industrial supply places like MSC. The difficult part is maintaining proper spacing and vertical alignment. You can make a fixture to do that but only if you buy the expensive kind of letter stamps. The cheaper Pryor brand stamps don't have the letters uniformly placed on the individual stamps.

jlandis

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Re: custom stamp
« Reply #5 on: February 02, 2009, 09:24:06 AM »
 Larry,

   Sorrry for the mix-up. Yes, it was you I was thinking of. I took your plane- making class last year at Marc Adams. You showed the class the stamp you made.
    you say you made your own reverse letter stamps, did you just use a file or did you have other specialty tools for engraving? I may have to go the purchased letter route, but I sure would like to try my hand at making my own.
       I really liked the class that you and Don did. The info that I learned there has been usable for all kinds of tasks, not just making molding planes. The biggest benefit I got from the class was a better understanding of how much precision must be, and can be done in making a wooden plane. I have been able take that precision over into all the woodwork I am doing now.
   I haven't made a plane- yet! I took a trip up to my Dads farm in N.Y. last summer and he had cut down a big 30" Beech for fire wood. I split out four of five billets from one of the pieces and they are air drying in my shop now.
           I would like to make a pair of those snipe bills that Don showed the class.
 I also cut down and sawed a pecimmon last summer which also is drying. I couldn't find any big persimmon trees, about 12" was the biggest.
   
                                                          Regards

                                                                  Jim

Dave Anderson

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Re: custom stamp
« Reply #6 on: February 02, 2009, 09:55:06 AM »
For anyone who wants to buy a hand stamp rather than make their own, I've used Harper Mfg in Las Vegas, NV with good success.  Prices are reasonable and the quality is good.  My stamps have to stamp both wood and O-1 tool steel in its annealed state and my stamps have held up very well with no deterioration at all after 4 years of heavy use.  If you send them artwork, in almost any format such as bmp, jpg, pdf, etc they can make you a custom logo stamp.
Primary interest include Queen Anne and early Chippendale furniture, Windsor chairs, toolmaking and working mostly with hand tools.  Member of both SAPFM and the Guild of NH Woodworkers.

lwllms

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Re: custom stamp
« Reply #7 on: February 02, 2009, 10:24:19 PM »
Jim,

To make the letter stamps, I used gravers, similar to carving tools but much smaller and of high speed steel. They're made with similar profiles but more limited. You can actually make your own easily out of narrow (1/16") high speed tool bits. Like carving tools, though, the cutting geometry really matters. What I used were just plain old hand pushed gravers and it took a while to cobble my way through. If you want an idea of what engraving involves there's a nice video on the net:

http://www.engravingschool.com/handengraving.wmv

This is a long video that takes a while to download but I think it's worth seeing.

Now he's using a $2,900 power engraver but similar stuff can be done with the old style tools. Most jewelry supply places carry gravers but if you want one of the high dollar ones you can find them at:

http://www.handengravetools.com/Engraving_Tools_Overview.htm

He has his work mounted in a type of vise called a "gravers block" that lets you spin or tilt the work to where you need it. There are some shown at the link above.

Plane maker and miniature tool maker Paul Hamler designed the special sharpening system for the gravers used in the video. Just the sharpening system is an amazing work of art. Paul does some pretty nice stuff.

Making a letter stamp is a little different than what's being done in the video because you're removing the back ground to create the letter. One of the things that helps in this is using stock that's pointed so that it has a blunt flat end the same size as the height and width of the letter you want to make. It's also real helpful for later if those flats on the ends are perfectly centered in the stock so that alignment of the letters is easier. That's one of the biggest problems with the cheaper machine made stamps you can buy and I cuss a lot every time I work with the cheap stamps I have to make the date stamp every year. I don't think there's a problem with us using letter fonts that come from the same time period as the date so I didn't make any number stamps. I also only made the letter stamps I needed, I don't have the full alphabet.

Plane maker and miniature tool maker Paul Hamler designed the special sharpening system for the gravers used in the video. Just the sharpening system is an amazing work of art.

jdavis

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Re: custom stamp
« Reply #8 on: February 03, 2009, 07:41:55 PM »
Not to "skew" this off topic because I'd like to know more but I'm still looking for numeral stamps. The pattern is from the 18th C and would have been used for numbering rules, or as in my case, navigational instrument scales. Its not an exotic font but I don't see them at MSC or Harbor Freight if you know what I mean. The size is just under 1/8" tall.  If someone has the right set and would punch my numbers for me, that would work as well.

Joe, if you know where I can find some on your side of the pond, please advise.

Thanks,
John

jlandis

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Re: custom stamp
« Reply #9 on: February 05, 2009, 12:23:08 PM »
 Larry,
      When you made your reverse letter stamps did you make each letter individually, on it's own steel blank, or did you cut all the letters in one piece of steel? What kind of steel do I need to get for the stamp,and do you know where I can get a usable size piece?  i.e. hardware store, Lowes, Ace, ect.
     I would like to make my letters about 1/8 " high, what sizes, cutting profiles do you recommend for the gravers? Thanks for the info on the engaving stuff, the video was really something, he made it look easy- but I could buy alot of woodworking tools for the price of one of those little tiny palm engravers- like a steel city granite top table saw or a performax drum sander, or minimax band saw- my wish list is quite long so I will forbear.
     By the way, when is that second video you did with Lie- Nielsen coming out, I've been patiently waiting for it.

                               Thanks

                                     Jim

lwllms

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Re: custom stamp
« Reply #10 on: February 05, 2009, 09:12:41 PM »
The reverse letter stamps are individual. If you look at a reverse stamp, it'll look just like this type but when stamped will be backwards. Normal stamps are backwards or a mirror image when you look at the stamp but make an impression that is oriented properly. I made the reverse stamps in 1/4" square O-1 stock and heat treated them. Then I used the reverse stamps to make the name stamp in 5/16" thick O-1 steel stock cut to the width I needed for the width of the stamp. After I stamped the letters in, I filed a zig-zag border on the stamp and heat treated it. It's one of those examples of making a tool to make a tool to make yet another tool. Fortunately I was able to skip the first tool making step because the guys at the mint made a lot of stamps and had already made a tool to hold the first 1/4" square blanks so I could easily, repeatably and accurately machine all for sides of the point that defined each letter. I borrowed their tool for the first step.

dkeller_nc

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Re: custom stamp
« Reply #11 on: February 08, 2009, 01:46:41 PM »
Jim - An idea that might assist you.  As Larry notes, it's necessary to have the letters and any numbers laid down in reverse on the stamp you wish to make to use as a guide.  If you're artistic, you just might be able to draw those out, but there's an alternative way that might work for you.  Print the stamp out in a font that pleases you, then xerox it on a high-resolution copy machine (or, if you have a laser printer, you don't need a copy).  Then rough the flat surface of your stamp a bit with a 1000 grit waterstone, or the equivalent oilstone or sandpaper.

You must then clean the surface of the slightly roughend surface with acetone or laquer thinner to remove all traces of any oil, from either an oilstone or your skin.  Then carefully line up your printed template with the printing against your stamp, and run a hot iron over it.  The plastic resin that forms the image will be transfered (in reverse) to your stamp, which then gives you a guide for engraving.

One other comment - there are two types of stamps, incuse and relieved.  Planemakers of old often used the relieved type of stamp, where the letters were cut into the block, and the resulting stamp in wood had the letters raised.  Incuse stamps are the exact opposite - the letters are recessed when struck into wood.  In my opinion, the relieved stamps are easier to make and hold up better, but take more force when struck into the wood.  The incuse stamps are harder to make, but easier to use, as they're pushing less wood out of the way to make the mark.

Finally, there's another way to make an engraving other than physically removing steel with a graver or a needle file.  One coats the steel surface with a relatively thin layer of molten beeswax and allows it to harden.  Then, carefully cut away the beeswax where you want the engraving, and drop concentrated nitric acid on the face.  The nitric acid will eat away the steel where you've removed the beeswax, but not where the beeswax is still there.  I know this method will produce some exceptionally clear images on steel if done with skill, but I don't know if it would be deep enough to make a usable stamp.
Period Furniture & Carving as a hobby - about 20 years woodworking