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Metal Stamping


#1

Hello all, I am quite new to this list. I wanted to ask a question
and apologize before hand if it sounds silly. Ok- here goes nothing.
I am trying to stamp metal hang tags (1" circle -steel or copper)
with our logo. The questions aRe:

a) Has anyone here have any experience in stamping metal hang tags?
If so, is the impression nice and clear enough or does it look not
quite professional.

b) Will a regular hammer do for these stamps? I know it sounds
stupid, sorry! (will probably get the stamp from Harper)

c) Which metal/s work better with a stamp that will require
hammering?

Any tips and guidance is more than appreciated! Sorry if I asked a
redundant or plain old silly question. This is my first try on
stamping metal :o) Thanks so much for all the help…

Hope, unity,
Sevi Kay


#2

When hitting a stamp with a hammer it is best to use a chasing
hammer. The face of a chasing hammer is slightly concave so it
doesn’t slide off the tool you are hitting and it sort of gathers
the energy of the blow in the center where you impact the stamping
tool. The other concern is how hard you hit the tool and that just
takes practice. If you hit it too hard it looks messy and too light
will not leave the entire image. Of course, stamping copper will
take a lighter blow than steel. Place the metal you are stamping on
a hard surface, like an anvil or steel block and be consistent with
everything including the tools you use, the height of your chair and
work surface, etc.

Good luck - Deb Karash


#3

Hi Sevi! The hardest part is getting the stamp straight, centered,
etc. Especially if you’re using two stamps (i.e., logo and quality
marking). Takes practice.

I use a hammer with a brass head, available from most jewelry
suppliers, for all my stamps. The brass is softer than the steel, and
will take the punishment, rather than causing the top of the stamp to
mushroom.

I use a Delrin block as the backing block when I stamp. Doesn’t
cause the metal to thin like using a steel block or anvil, but you
may have to use a mallet to flatten the metal after it is stamped.
Not as bad, however, as using a “soft” block like wood.

I have experimented with trying to stamp with one mighty “whack”, or
tapping repeatedly. I find the repeated tapping (mild whacking) gives
me better results, rocking the stamp toward the four points of the
compass to make sure an even impression is made. Not too far, though,
as you don’t want the edge of the stamp to leave a mark.

Sorry if this is over-obvious, but the surface area covered by the
stamp will have a bearing on how much you have to hit it. A small
"14k" stamp will only take a couple taps while a big logo or name
stamp, or “sterling” will require more effort. Kind of like comparing
a stiletto heel with a hiking boot.

As a side note, I find it almost impossible to replace a stamp into
the original impression for more tapping. I usually end up with a
miserable double-impression. Best to make sure its done right the
first time.

What metal? I guess it depends on what its being hung. Sterling
silver is always nice. By the way, I believe Rio Grande has metal
tags in various shapes and sizes, ready to be stamped. No
affiliation… just a frequent customer!

All the best,
Dave
Dave Sebaste
Sebaste Studio and
Carolina Artisans’ Gallery
Charlotte, NC (USA)
dave@sebaste.com