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Roller Printing Text


#1

I was hoping someone could share their wisdom on this subject:

I would like to roller print text onto gold and silver. I would like
the text to be deep and clean enough to mimick a engraved or ecthed
impression. First, is it possible to get an imprint this deep?
Secondly, for continual use, what material should my text printing
plates be? Zinc? Steel? and is there a suggested manufacturer that
could create these plates from drawings or digital files for me?

Lots of questions I know. I would appreciate any helpful responses.


#2

I would recommend annealing the material or buying it dead soft since
it will harden with the rolling and the harder the material is going
in the less impression it will take.

To maximize depth one would think that steel would be best, but
remmeber to protect your rollers, be it cloth, plastic or softer than
steel sandwiched above the embossing plate all should work equally
well.

Companies that create dies for branding, embossers and the like
should be able to make your faux engraver.

Mailing and shipping address:
Infinity Stamps, Inc.
8577 Canoga Ave
Canoga Park, CA 91304, U.S.A.

1-866-576-1188
1-818-576-1188

Fax: 818-576-1166
inquiries@infinitystamps.com

is one company that seems to fit the bill, but I don’t know them from
Adam, or if they can produce what you need, just found them by
Googling “steel dies font”.

Good luck and enjoy the new year and all that it has to offer,

K. David Woolley
david.woolley@unb.ca


#3

Elkka,

Due to the nature of the roll printing process I doubt you will ever
get results that mimic the clean deep lines of engraving. With roll
printing the edges of your text will have a softer look than etching
too. But you can get some very fine results.

Both of the processes I have listed here, worked best for me when
the fine details are raised off the surface instead of recessed. From
your question I realize you want the text to be recessed into a
plate. So, this may be of no help…but here goes.

I have used card stock that has been laser cut. The laser burns the
pattern from my computer file through the card stock which makes an
excellent single pass stencil. I simply print multiples of the same
pattern to repeat that pattern. Check with reprographic firms that do
work for architects to find a laser cutter. (or the architecture
department of a local college)

For a metal stencil I would stay away from steel as it could scar
your mill’s roller faces. Nickel or brass sheets in 18 gauge or 16
gauge are tough enough to hold up for 20 to 30 passes through the
mill without significant distortion. The text will remain lighter
than etching, but will still be readable. I would recommend They are
an industrial photo chemical etching firm. They can take a computer
file of text and turn it into the resist to etch a plate and then
etch the plate for you. ($$$) There is also a “PnP”(?) film used in
etching for enameling that can be use in conjunction with carbon
based toners in copying machines that will supply a resist so you
could etch your own plates.

What Karat gold do you hope to roller print? 14K is as hard to
emboss with roll printing as brass. I have only been able to get a
faint impression on 14k yellow dead soft. Better results can be
achieved with higher karats, 18k will emboss fairly well, 20k even
better comparable to sterling in my trials. but you will really have
to use a heavier gauge nickel or brass, either as a stencil or as a
back plate to a paper stencil to avoid distortion.

Nanz Aalund
Associate Editor / Art Jewelry magazine
21027 Crossroads Circle / Waukesha WI 53187-1612
262.796.8776 ext.228


#4

I call Infinity Stamp and was told that for a 1.5" X .5" die it would
cost $160??? Seeing as I have to make 35 of these things, I guess I
will have to find another alternative :frowning:

Thank you all the same for the though.


#5

You might try etching your text backwards on brass and using that as
you rolling plate. I have seen it done before. I believe Robert
Dancik showed a group of us in Houston this technique when he was
here doing a workshop.


#6

Thanks to all of you for your replies (I just got the opportunity to
read them all).

To answer Nanz, I wish to print on 18 k soft gold and Sterling
silver.

As to steel damaging my rollers, do I still have to concern myslf
with this if I pad them correctly using paper towels or something
similar?

And another question: is there a chemical solution I can use to etch
my own dies? Where could I get steel in a gauge thick enough to
withstand multiple impressions? Can I cut steel on my bandsaw. Do the
make a blade for this purpose?

Once again, thanks to all of you for your help.


#7

I would choose to use something more intense to protect my rollers as
they are expensive to replace … I would stop by the local shoe
repair person and get a piece of neoprene, as opposed to a single or
even multiple sheets of paper products. An industrial carpet piece
may also serve well here. Others may know better, this is just my two
cents.

Some types of bandsaw blades:
http://www.toolcenter.com/Lenox/blade-construction.htm

Vendor example (jsut from a google search ‘bandsaw blades cut steel’)
http://www.davidolsonsales.com/blades_saws.htm

Kindest,
K. David Woolley
david.woolley@unb.ca


#8

Hi Elkka

I don’t recall your post, so this is probably out of sync with the
original question. I make nearly all my own tools with steel and wood
and try to obtain my goals with what I have on hand. Some times I
think there is nearly as much creativity in making the tools as the
jewelry.

http://onlinemetals.com/ can provide the materials at a reasonable
cost and in smaller lots. They also have very good background
on the qualities of the products they carry. 1018 would
be “ok” to feed between your rollers (with padding just incase of
trapped grit, test to preference although, I have ran bailing wire
with no ill effects to my rollers, they are very hard), 1018 is mild
and can be hardened to a small degree and there are materials which
will put a very good surface hardening on it, you can generally get
this from welding supply houses. For material to make your dies and
stuff from for repeated use, tool steel can be obtained from
http://www.jlindustrial.com/ (tool steel I would not run unprotected
it will mar your rollers), again the prices are very reasonable. I
suspect you have a kiln of some type, and that will handle your heat
treating requirements, or a torch will also work, but for long
lasting dies, and good even treatment of pieces, I prefer the oven.

Another thing to consider, bolts, I use grade 8 depending on how
hard you need to make dandy dies and punches. I would not use the
cheap bolts they do not form well or smoothly and deform easily.
Hardened bolts can be had in local supply houses as small as #4 up to
2 inch in diameter and 10 to 12 inches long. You may have to treat
them before fabrication, and then re-harden them after words, but it
will work and for small things it is very handy and a large range of
sizes, I leave the heads on it is easier to hit unless it is going
into a press. Another thing is local steel suppliers, they will have
rolled and plate in nearly every dimension, use the cold rolled
products, hot rolled is very scaly and holds dirt and grit very well
which will muck up your jewelry tools.

Etching steel, you bet, check sites on the web for etching solutions
or you can get pre-made. Also, these guys
http://www.photofabrication.com/ did work for a Micro house I used to
work for and they were able to make some dies for us that were superb
and extremely tight tolerance. This is a good paper on salts etching
http://www.artbag.dk/ge/uk/updates/saline-etch.pdf, with recipes,
there are a lot of others. The salts are safer than the acid, though
still hazardous, Ferric chloride can be obtained from Radio Shack or
other electronic supply in small quantities.

Yes your band saw will cut metal, and they do make blades for them,
look in the yellow pages for saw shops to make a custom blade(for
mine about $6.00 each), or you can get pre-made from J&L and a lot of
other sources. If it is a wood saw you will have to reduce the speed
to the neighborhood of about 320 to 600 IPM, Bimetal will last the
best, but hardened blades are OK and cheaper. For small stuff, just
get a metal blade and feed sloooooowwwwwww, heat is the problem here,
the teeth strip right off the blade. Do not try to hold the part by
hand you will get a pinched finger and a broken blade. However, two
vice grips at each end do work well when rested on the table. If you
need to change pulleys on your band saw to reduce the speed, Ace
Hardware sells pulleys and mandrels (to make a speed reducer) which
will works well, but is time consuming to make but once done, you
will have both in one machine.

Last but not least, have you thought of etching or embossing a blank
roller?


#9
I would choose to use something more intense to protect my rollers
as they are expensive to replace... I would stop by the local shoe
repair person and get a piece of neoprene, as opposed to a single
or even multiple sheets of paper products. An industrial carpet
piece may also serve well here. 

These measures would undoubtedly protect the rollers. They would
also render the whole process moot by absorbing the force that might
otherwise accomplish the printing! Sandwiching the die and the
receiving metal (silver or gold) between a couple of sheets of brass
should do the job.

Noel


#10
Last but not least, have you thought of etching or embossing a
blank roller? 

How is this done and where would you get the blank roller? I’d be
very interested in this!

Linda


#11

Linda

The place you bought your press from should be able to get you a
blank roller, they would be able to get one from the manufacturer or
you could, the other would be a machine shop, take your roller in
and see what they would charge to cut and treat you another. I make
my own rollers so I really don’t know what this would run other than
the cost of the metal involved.

Etching the roller, you could do yourself with etching salts and it
could be done after tempering of the roller, it will leave a fine
impression on both silver and gold. Embossing would have to be done
before the roller was tempered. You might try these guys
(http://www.rjsintl.com/ Product: P310) they do embossed stamps
pretty reasonable. I have seen 2 types, one is where the whole
roller is engraved and one where there is an insert in the roller.
The insert did leave an outline were the stamp sat, but it was easy
to remove and the impression was deeper. To have it really standout
like a coin face, it would have to be pressed, you can’t get that
from a roller in a price range that you wouldn’t have to hock your
house for.

Terry


#12
These measures would undoubtedly protect the rollers. They would
also render the whole process moot by absorbing the force that
might otherwise accomplish the printing! Sandwiching the die and
the receiving metal (silver or gold) between a couple of sheets of
brass should do the job. 

I have a simple method. My roll print dies (usually an “engine
turned”, or guilloche engraved pattern) are made of ordinary starret
flat ground steel sheet, which I give a surface finish about the
same fineness or finer, as the finish on my rolls, on it’s back side
(just a bit of sanding is all that’s needed). The dies are not
hardened. They are the same width as the rolls themselves. As such,
the dies present no greater stress on the rolls than using them
conventionally. After one or two uses, the dies curl to a curve about
twice the curvature of the rolls surface, making them quite easy to
insert slightly into the properly spaced rolls, and then insert the
edge of the silver or gold to be roll printed. Generally that piece
is smaller than the die. It does not need protection for the rolls on
it’s back side any more than it would need if it was just being
rolled down without producing a roll print texture. The main key to
this is that the roll print die is as wide as the roll, and thick
enough so any texture on the printing side won’t affect the roll
driving it. The only reason I’d use a protective layer on the other
side of the gold or silver is if I’d already put some texture on that
side, and wished it not be to totally mashed when printing the second
side (though it’s hard to prevent some damage.)

Peter