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Getting a deep stamp


#1

Hello: I have not been able to get a really great deep stamp when I
stamp my work with trademark and metal mark Occasionally when I do
custom work I wil l have my polisher stamp a piece and it is not very
deep either I want t o be able to stamp my master metal pieces and
then cast without worrying about the stamp eroding away by polishing
I notice on work I see in stores like Lisa Jenks or Me and Ro their
stamps look really really deep o r even on old pieces of modernist
silver jewelry I see the stamps are deep and very crisp What am I
doing wrong? When I stamp I put my piece on a piece of lead (okay
not good for your health) or on some kind of thick sof t plastic that
is covering a steel block then I hammer my steel stamp with a metal
hammer into the piece - I do not wack it extremely hard but hard
enought that I get an impression but it is NEVER really deep Maybe
my stamp is wrong and I need I new stamping tool?

Please advise!
DeDe Sullivan
dedemetal jewelry


#2

Hi DeDe! I’ve been trying to master the hallmarking of my pieces over
the past few years. The larger the stamp, the more force it will
take. Someone, I can’t remember who, once used an analogy of a
stiletto heel versus a broad heeled shoe. The stiletto (small stamp)
will sink more easily, but as you increase the size of the face of
the stamp, it becomes more difficult to make an impression. Of
course, the degree of work hardening or annealed state of the piece
has a bearing as well.

I also think the surface on which the piece is placed is very
important. I tend to use a Delrin block I picked up cheaply as scrap
at a local branch of a plastics supplier (Cadillac Plastics). It has
more “give” than a steel bench block, so I don’t get as much
distortion on the back side of the stamped surface. I suspect the
lead may be the heart of your problem… allowing the piece to
"give", rather than forcing it to take the impression.

The hammer I use is a heavy brass head hammer. The hammer head will
take some dings, but my steel stamps won’t mushroom. The weight of
the hammer, over several taps, will drive the impression. If I’m
doing a little “18k” stamp, only a few taps are necessary. A long
stamp like “STERLING” or “SEBASTE” gets several more. I often tap
around the head of the stamp on these, slightly off-angle, to ensure
a full impression all around on the stamp. I find its best to get it
right the first time, because trying to replace the stamp in the same
position is not always an accurate effort.

Just a side note… I prefer to use the “STERLING” stamp over the
".925" stamp, even though the latter is easier to apply. Either is
technically acceptable, but customer recognition and understanding
(at least here in the U.S.) favors the word “Sterling.” Most people
don’t know specifically what it means, but it is recognized as a sign
of quality. Same with the karat versus the purity gold stamp.

Hope this helps!
Dave
Dave Sebaste
Sebaste Studio and
Carolina Artisans’ Gallery
Charlotte, NC (USA)
dave@sebaste.com


#3
    Hello: I have not been able to get a really great deep stamp
when I stamp my work with trademark and metal mark 

The thicker the metal, the deeper you can stamp. If your metal isn’t
very thick, try backing it with a piece of 16 ga. red brass or
copper, between the bench block and the metal you’re stamping. Also
use a very small brass sledge. The sledge shape has a broad surface
area, the brass prevents mushrooming of your stamp, and it has the
weight needed for a deep impression without doing gorilla antics.
Another alternative is to stamp on a small piece of metal that is
thick, then attach this to the piece with solder. Think of a small
’tag’ with rounded edges, and it’s very professional looking as well.


#4

Hi Dede, There is a company called Microstamp in Pasadena Ca. Their
phone number is 1 800 243 3543. They carry high quality stamps
that are sharp and crisp. Their website is www.microstampusa.com

Diane Sadel www.sweetgemstones.com (hopefully my site will be back
up today after the server crashed on Sunday)


#5
 Hello: I have not been able to get a really great deep stamp when
I stamp my work with trademark and metal mark  Occasionally when I
do custom work I wil l have my polisher stamp a piece and it is not
very deep either  I want t o be able to stamp my master metal
pieces and then cast without worrying about the stamp eroding away
by polishing

Hi DeDe, What I do to stamps is probably unheard of by most, but,
being a model maker /caster etc…We have tricks! What I have done is
shaved away the excess steel around the stamp area using
magnification glasses and a few diamond burrs… when I’m done, I
have just the customers logo or 925/14k etc on the tip of the
stamp… I shave all the excess steel away by about 1/16 th of an
inch … now, when I stamp a model… it is always deep on the first
wack of the hammer… deeper on the second… 2 wacks of the hammer
and you won’t be able to take that logo out no mater what you do in
finishing. Daniel Grandi

We do casting/ finishing and a whole lot more for designers,
jewelers, stores, catalogs,students and for people in the trade.
Contact: sales@racecarjewelry.com


#6

I have not been able to get a really great deep stamp when stamp my
work with trademark and metal mark

Referring to the article,’ Getting a deep stamp’ by DeDe Sullivan,
I have a lot to say about this matter. I have ordered recently a
hallmarked stamp with my initials and the gold standard effigy on
one whole stamp from a well known retailer in USA. It costed me
US$780. After waiting for it two months, it resulted that it was
faulty and the stamp came flat after two strokes on my gold items.
After complaining that the tip is too soft and needs hardening,
which resulted in a lot of e-mail correspondence on ‘how I used it’,
and that the stamp they said was hard enough, but for me it wasn’t,
this and that, they accepted to do it again at no expense. I have
received the second one, re-done after another two months. Still I’m
not satisfied and the stamp is not clear after twenty strokes of
work. So in few words, be careful where to make orders on Stamping!
First cut is the deepest.

JOSEPH TANTI
http://jostanti.cjb.net


#7

Joseph, It is hard to believe that you were charged $780 for the
stamp. I have had a number of custom made stamps made for far less
that that. I would be interested to know who made the stamp for you.
Joel Schwalb @Joel_Schwalb www.schwalbstudio.com


#8

Dede: Another way of marking masters is to engrave the logo or text
into the piece. This can be done deeply with rotary engraving points
as used on manual pantographs or CNC systems. This way the depth can
be controlled and there is no distortion from stamping. It does take
more time though.

Ken Gastineau
Berea, Kentucky