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Metal stamping 101


#1

what is metal stamping. i dont understand anything about it. how do
i stamp metal. with heat? what do u need to do this?


#2

Hello,

It’s done with the metal cold, and you use steel stamps with an
impression of letters or shapes. Just put the stamp on the metal and
hit it with a hammer, and viola! words or shapes. Then to make them
stand out, you oxidize the metal, and polish it off the surface,
leaving the impressions dark.

Happy making,
Vicki K


#3

how do u oxide the metal? is there some cream like glass etching
cream? is there a way to actually get the metal stamping to be
colored not just black?


#4

Hi Laura,

You can oxidize your metal with Liver of Sulphur or Silver Black. I
haven’t done a color on any stamping, but I’m guessing that you can
paint on acrylic paint, and wipe it off with a cloth wrapped around
something stiff like a popsicle stick, etc. Maybe someone on the
list has done color and can fill you in with more experience.

Have fun,
Vicki


#5
how do u oxide the metal? is there some cream like glass etching
cream? is there a way to actually get the metal stamping to be
colored not just black? 

There are many ways to do it. The most flexibility is afforded by use
of immersion bath with item as a cathode.

Leonid Surpin
www.studioarete.com


#6

You can oxidize your metal with Liver of Sulphur or Silver Black.
What is “silver black”?

Also can someone tell me how to get that matte black patina on
sterling silver that I see alot of lately? I thought it might be
strong liver of sulfur.

thanks!!
Dianne
(been lurking & learning a while, first post!)


#7

Silver Black is a chemical distributed by Griffith. It will put a
matte black on silver, but it’s gotta be really clean metal, or it
will be blotchy.

Vicki K


#8

well, let me tell you this regarding metal stamping. i really want to
do it, but i do not want to use premade steel stamps or whatever they
are made of. i dont know how to actually make them, its like using
someone elses font! ARGH.


#9

Laura, I completely agree, I would never use a store bought design
stamp. There is a good description of how the Native Americans make
stamps in Oscar Branson’s books, using old files or other scrap
steel. I can’t remember if he describes how to harden them using oil
quenching but that info is also available. I have many shop made
stamps which were made in my family’s studio over the years, if you
would like to see any of those designs I would be happy to email
pics off post. I love stamp work, it is meditative to me, the lay out
is everything, then the imperfections are part of the design.

Sam Patania


#10

Are you asking how to? If so “The Complete Modern Blacksmith” ten
Speed Press.


#11

i dont know if thats what im looking for. what is an easy way create
the metal stamp look without actually using the stamps because i
read they are expensive if u dont just buy regualr ones.


#12

So Laura…you want to MAKE stamps? It is really quite easy. There
are many books that explain it but for a quick picture tutorial, get
Oscar Bransons book on Indian Jewelry. In the back is a very simple
explanation of how to make them. Cheers from Don in SOFL.


#13

I am going to get big flat ended bolts secure them in my bench vise
(real cast iron tool bench vise in another area so as to not
contaminate my workspace) and use diamond wheels to carve in designs
into them and I saw estate stamps that were the same shape domed
heads and all but looked like iron I tried to buy the worn ones to
rework but was outbid. i can at the minimum cut a cross pattern cross
hatch and geometric shapes but as i carve cameos by hand i may be
able to make myself some more detailed stamps but that will all have
to wait until i actually have a workplace again lol

Teri


#14

well i have no money and probably wont any time soon, is there a
tutorial or something other than in that book that anyone knows
about? or just an alternative way to get the metal stamped look? i
mean the look is really attractive. i just need to figure out how
"I" can acccomplish that sort of look.


#15
is there a tutorial or something other than in that book 

It’s easy, except that “stamping” means all kinds of things on a
worldwide basis-pieces covered all over with a simple dotting punch,
etc.

Tools: Good vise, decent files including needle files, automatic
center punch, grinding machine/wheel/sander for roughing and a
hollow scraper such as Frei number 152.101. Those are the three-sided
scrapers with a wooden handle.

Assuming the steel part is covered (which steel, annealing, etc.
which is another topic), flatten and finish the end and rough out
the shape on the grinding wheel (or belt sander) - circular, square,
rectangular…

Then your files give you those shapes - large half round gives you
wide arcs, round needle file gives you little arcs. The center punch
gives you dots without having to use three hands, and the scraper
gives you fine lines

  • use it like a file, not sideways like a scraper is supposed to be
    used. Other than that it’s largely a matter of WHAT stamp you want
    to make, which is up to the maker…

So a flower punch is a round punch with a dot in the center
surrounded by rays cut with the scraper - one version, anyway.

I’ve also used diamond burs to cut more elaborate shapes into the
face…Harden, etc.

Pretty easy once you get the hang of it…

http://www.donivanandmaggiora.com


#16

Coffee can forges… well they do work. Do you really want to set up
to do ferrous metals?

Just make friends with a blacksmith. If you don’t have a name I can
point you to a friend that lives close to you.

Regards Charles


#17
It's easy, except that "stamping" means all kinds of things on a
worldwide basis-pieces covered all over with a simple dotting
punch, etc. 

is this a dotting punch? http://www.ngraver.com/finishing.htm

Tools: Good vise

http://tinyurl.com/y3yqbar

that kind of vise?

i dont understand what to do with the stuf u mentioned file steel or
something into a shape og the stamp? or what?


#18

i dont know what u mean about coffee can forges. like capacinno
coddee or something? whats that have to do with metal stamping?

ive come to the conclusion that i would be best off, if i could
figure out HOW to make my own designs on the metal i wil be stamping,
with a premade stamp. i dont think i can make my own stamp. but all
the premade stamps are of things like lightning bolds, and hearts and
letters and such.

now is it possible to obtain some metal stamps that are just liek a
solid square and solid circles. and then just use them to create
letters on the metal? is that even possible?


#19

Laura,

i dont understand what to do with the stuf u mentioned file steel
or something into a shape og the stamp? or what?

You mentioned that you don’t want to invest in books, however the
library is likely to have books that cover this topic. Several other
responses mentioned specific titles. It’s very difficult to learn
basics from narratives like these.

Jamie


#20
i dont understand what to do with the stuf u mentioned file steel
or something into a shape og the stamp? or what? 

Yes, Laura, those are dotting punches. Depending on the work, some
people use nails - that’s how “trampwork” was done, mostly. And
that’s a pretty nice vise that will work for all sorts of things
besides making stamps.

I haven’t read all of this thread, yet, but Laura’s confusion is
enough for now…

You have a flat face on a piece of (annealed) tool steel and you
want to make a punch that stamps some pattern. If you need to have a
dot, like the center of the flower I mentioned, then you use the
center punch to do that. Otherwise you file away the metal around
the flat face and downwards into the shank to make a pattern around
it.

One common stamp is like a sunset - an arc with smaller arcs that
are like the rays of the sun going upwards. You start with a long
rectangular face and file the big arc with a large half-round file,
going downwards into the shank a bit. Then you file the upper edge
to match that arc, but

leave material, and then you use a round needle file (could use
triangle, too) along that edge and scallop it, again going down the
shank a bit.

You literally just remove material around the edge of the face until
you get whatever pattern you want. It’s like a cookie - you have a
round cookie and you want to make a sunburst, so you cut around the
edge with a knife to make that - the central cookie remains untouched
and the face of your punch remains untouched, too.