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[Source] Punctuation steel stamps


#1

I’m looking desperately for a set of punctuation steel stamps - So
far, I know several places who will make them and treat them as
custom stamps, but nowhere that appears to sell them as part of their
standard stock. Specifically, I need a question mark, comma, and
parenthesis, at minimum. Any leads, guys? Thanks so much.


#2
I'm looking desperately for a set of punctuation steel stamps 

Bekka, save yourself the desperation and a huge amount of money and
make them yourself - It’s really not that hard. I’d suggest going to
onlinemetals.com - there are other places, too. 3/8" O-1 square stock
will cost you just over $1/inch. W-1 drill rod is a lot cheaper, but
the square stock is nice. It’s supplied annealed, so just square off
the end, draw your shape and cut around it with files, burs, stones,
sawblades, whatever does the job. Then harden and temper and you have
a stamp for $3… A parenthesis is just an arc, a comma is just a
little arc with a dot, maybe. It’s really not that hard to do…

http://www.donivanandmaggiora.com


#3

Hi Bekka…

Try one of the big industrial stamp houses…

I like Young Brothers Stamp Works…800-553-8248…

They sell individual stamps, lotsa sizes, in several grades of
intended usage… Sets, too…

No Minimum Order

Lotta industrial distributors carry the line, but they sell direct,
too… Probably the better way if you want individual stamps…

They also have some stock image stamps…

Nice folks out of Iowa for the last 100 years or so…

No affiliation, have worked with them for years…

Gary W. Bourbonais
L’Hermite Aromatique
A.J.P. (GIA)


#4

Find an old typewriter at a thrift store and pull the metal
letters/punctuation out. You can solder them to stamps. Voila! Your
own set of alphabet and punctuation stamps - albeit small in size.

Sara D. Commers


#5
3/8" O-1 square stock will cost you just over $1/inch. W-1 drill
rod is a lot cheaper, but the square stock is nice. It's supplied
annealed... 

OK, John - just what do you mean by ‘square stock’? When I go to
OnlineMetals, they have stainless steel, alum, copper, brass, cold
roll, hot roll, bronze, etc. Searching on “3/8 square” brings up a
number of different metals. There is a Tool Steel 01 Square - Is this
what you mean? Some of the others say they are annealed so I’m not
sure. The site does not give specific on this item but
going to their Product Guide does give info on Tool Steel. (I love
their disclaimer at the bottom - I like these guys!)

jeanette - in HOT North Carolina! where did spring go?


#6

Bekka - I struggled with the same thing. Much of my work includes
words or phrases. Places like Infinity Stamps
(www.infinitystamps.com) will custom make you anything you want, but
it is pricey. I got a quote on a full alphabet not long ago, just out
of curiosity, and they would do it in any font I wanted, but for
$350! And that would give me only one font size!

I say all this because it is one of the reasons I wanted to learn
PnP (transfer resist) etching. One day I suddenly realized that I
had every letter and symbol I could ever want on my computer, in a
hundred fonts, every size!.. I throw this out as a suggestion,
something for you to think about. I do agree that stamping looks
different from etched text, but etched text looks really good.

Couldn’t not at least speak up, having experienced the same
frustration. And you can really only get stamps in one font, plain
old sans serif. Or have you found a source I’ve missed on that
score? If so, please tell!

If you do find punctuation stamps, please post and say where. I
don’t intend to stop using my stamps just because I now can etch
text. But now that I can easily etch text, I may be using them less!

Rachel


#7

Those would all be quite easy to make yourself.

M’lou


#8

Hi Bekka,

beaducation.com sells question mark stamps, and they might have some
others.

Happy Stamping,
Vicki


#9
just what do you mean by 'square stock'? When I go to OnlineMetals,
they have stainless steel, alum, copper, brass, cold roll, hot
roll, bronze, etc. 

Yes, Jeanette, for a dealer who has small quantities of metals and
plastics at a reasonable price with great customer service, they are
hard to beat. Square stock is square rod - generally there is round

  • often called drill rod - square and hex. I’m a little surprised
    that online metals doesn’t have hex tool steel, but they don’t. the
    nice thing about square or hex is that it automatically squares up
    to the work in your hand, or more than round does, anyway. Link:

http://tinyurl.com/5sftad

“W” steel is water hardening, “O” steel is oil hardening, “A” is air
hardening, and “D” is air or oil. For the purposes of making a
marking stamp, you don’t need anything exotic - W or O-1 is easy to
use, and plenty hard and tough enough. It comes annealed so it can
be worked, though it’s still going to be damn hard.

FYI and related - hot rolled steel is “structural” steel - it’s
relatively roughly shaped, has a oxide layer and maybe even some
rust. The black angle iron in the hardware store is hot rolled. Cold
rolled is ground to high tolerance and is squeaky clean. Both of
those are mild steels - they won’t harden much or at all, and
certainly not to make stamps out of. Cold rolled can be case
hardened, a bit… I’m not a steel expert, just use it, at times…

I also have:

http://www.industrialmetalsales.com
http://www.metalexpress.net
http://www.metalsdepot.com

bookmarked, but I like www.onlinemetals.com the best for a variety
of reasons - they seem the cheapest, most of the time, for one.
There’s also EBay, but it’s hard to find just what you want, there.

http://www.donivanandmaggiora.com


#10

Find an old typewriter at a thrift store and pull the metal
letters/punctuation out. You can solder them to stamps. Voila! Your
own set of alphabet and punctuation stamps - albeit small in size.

Yes, and also made out of type metal - not hardened or intended for
stamping metal. Might work - I have never tried it - but it won’t
last long…

http://www.donivanandmaggiora.com


#11

Jeanette -

What you want is square cold drawn tool steel. Suggest that you go
to mscdirect.com - one of the largest industrial tool suppliers in
the
US. Depending on where you live, they may have a local office - but
their mail order facility is very efficient. I don’t have their
catalog at hand (larger than the Manhattan phone book) - but a note
to myself written back in the mists of time shows a catalog # for
1/4 X 1/4 X 36" as #06061162. If you do a search on that number, you
will get a page of different dimension steels of this type. Cost for
the material in the dimension to which I refer is less than $5.

Jim


#12
 just what do you mean by 'square stock'? 

‘Key Steel’ or maybe ‘Keystock’ in the US (used for keying pulleys
onto shafts), or ‘Ground Flat Stock’ will do the trick. You want a
steel with 1 to 1.6% carbon content so that it will harden… An old
square file would also be good and you could probably pick one of
those up at a thrift store. Anneal it by getting it red hot and
letting it cool slowly - maybe throw it on the barbecue and leave it
until morning… The file it up to the shape you want (grinding the
teeth off the sides if you want) and harden by heating to red heat
and quenching in water (cover it in soap first to stop firescale - I
have a jar into which all old scraps of soap go with just a little
water and are allowed to dissolve into a nice goo for just this
purpose). If it is hard, any scale should come off cleanly in the
quench water leaving the steel a nice bright grey colour. Then clean
off one side of the punch so that it is shiny and heat from the blunt
end watching as colours pass along the shiny steel. As soon as the
working end begins to look dull and a darkish yellow band gets to
within about 1/8 inch of it, quench it in cold water. Then you can
clean it up as much as you want…

Best wishes,
Ian
Ian W. Wright
Sheffield UK


#13
but a note to myself written back in the mists of time shows a
catalog # for 1/4 X 1/4 X 36" as #06061162. If you do a search on
that number, you will get a page of different dimension steels of
this type. 

There’s been a couple of posts on this that should be clarified,
maybe. It applies to anybody making any punches or stamps, not just
punctuation. The above steel is W-1 tool steel, and it is indeed
"cold drawn", which as I understand it means it’s rolled at room
temperature, similar to what we all do with gold & stuff. Somebody
said to use keystock, which is pretty bad advise - keystock is mild
steel, intended to shear off before the shaft does.

Now, if someone wants to make a steel punch to use a half dozen
times on copper or something, they can use almost anything and get
by, including keystock, which can usually be bought in a hardware
store.

Next up in the steel world is what about everybody calls
"cold-rolled steel", of which 1018 and 12L14 are probably the most
common. Those are low carbon steel with excellent working
properties, but can’t be hardened to any real degree. They can be
carburized, or “case hardened”, though. You can look up the AISI
codes for steel, if you like, but the “18” in 1018 is the decimal
carbon content (.15-.20%). The “L” in 12L14 means it’s lead bearing,
which makes it free machining.

If you want a real punch that will last longer than you will, you
need tool steel. The AISI classifications for tool steels aren’t
based on the carbon content - they are letter coded for the purpose
the steels are designed for. Thus “W” steels are water hardening,
and “T” and “M” steels are high-speed steels. Essentially they are
alloy steels that exceed performance levels that can be reached
using carbides alone.

This is all easily researched and learned, though there are
thousands of steels. Basically, if you’re looking to make something
like a steel box or a pendant, you might use 1018 or 12L14 - if not
stainless. If you want a tough, hard, durable tool, then you’d use
W-1 or O-1, or something else in the arsenal of tool steels. Again,
you CAN make a punch out of 1018 and it might not be so bad, for a
time - you could punch pewter with it for years…

http://www.donivanandmaggiora.com


#14

There is an article in the May 2008 issue of Art Jewelry magazine
about making your own punches. Author Victoria Lansford suggests
using 6mm allen wrenches from the hardware store as stock and gives
a very thorough description of the process of prepping the metal,
cutting the stamp and then tempering it so that it will be hard
enough to last.

Rachel


#15
Yes, and also made out of type metal - not hardened or intended
for stamping metal. Might work - I have never tried it - but it
won't last long... 

Actually, there are some super dedicated folks out there continuing
to use moveable type. The real thing, I mean.

There are guys who still make brand new moveable type for
letterpress.

Elaine
http://www.CreativeTextureTools.com


#16

Type metal is mostly lead with whatever additives to make it hard.
Will snap or mush if hit and won’t make much of a mark on metal. It
is designed to be held in close contact with its friends and only
take a ‘kiss’ contact with paper.

Perhaps for the person who was looking for punctuation stamps they
could look at altering existing letter and number stamps. A ‘C, O or
D’ could be altered to a bracket stamp, an ‘I’ to an exclamation
mark, another ‘I’ to a comma or period [not round but…], a ‘2’ to a
sort of question mark, an ‘X’ with a double strike to an asterisk,
one’s imagination must do the rest.

If all else fails and one must cut one, anneal an existing stamp,
cut the design, harden and temper.

For whatever it’s worth.

Lorne in Ladysmith


#17
There's been a couple of posts on this that should be clarified,
maybe. It applies to anybody making any punches or stamps, not
just punctuation. The above steel is W-1 tool steel, and it is
indeed "cold drawn", 

I’ve seen and collected some Native American made stamps made from
old carpenter’s nail sets, salvaged valve rods from a car engine, old
files, etc. I like the ingenuity of a people who can’t afford to call
Stuller for every tool they need. Go to a metal salvage yard or talk
to a mechanic that rebuilds engines. Don’t be afraid to get dirty and
expand your metal working expertise. Although we are talking a small
amount of steel but the price of steel is going through the roof.

Rick Copeland
Silversmith and Lapidary Artisan
Rocky Mountain Wonders
Colorado Springs, Colorado
rockymountainwonders.com


#18

Hi Rick…

Go to a metal salvage yard or talk to a mechanic that rebuilds
engines. Don't be afraid to get dirty and expand your metal working
expertise. Although we are talking a small amount of steel but the
price of steel is going through the roof. 

Besides, the gearhead will love ya… And…a guy who rebuilds
engines is a gearhead… This is not a derogatory term…

He’ll have the stuff laying around, back of the garage, or
someplace…

They’ll even tell stories, about the jewelry nut, etc…

Had this happen personally…

Gary W. Bourbonais
L’Hermite Aromatique
A.J.P. (GIA)

Who has a coupla piston ashtrays for friends, etc…

Also helped (mostly as gopher/grunt) build a couple of "freak"
V-8’s…


#19
I've seen and collected some Native American made stamps made from
old carpenter's nail sets, salvaged valve rods from a car engine,
old files, etc. I like the ingenuity of a people who can't afford
to call 

Yeah, you can do that - I have. I have about 200 punches made out of
all kinds of stuff. Good quality allen wrenches work quite well.
Valve stems work well unless it’s a sodium-filled valve. The problem
is that you don’t know what you’re getting, and you end up with a
pile of different stamps, instead of “a set”. That’s not a big deal,
but in my old age I’ve gotten past scrounging, largely. The price of
steel is up, yes, but you can still buy 3 feet of tool steel for
$10, which comes to a buck a stamp…But I also just use an
allen wrench, at times - I have about 150 of them from over the
years… Hint: people talk about nails but they make lousy stamps
unless they’re hardened concrete nails. Use a drill bit…

http://www.donivanandmaggiora.com


#20
There is an article in the May 2008 issue of Art Jewelry
magazine about making your own punches. 

I had the almost indescribable pleasure of attending Victoria’s
Repousse and Chasing workshop this past weekend in Seattle, and
learned her technique – it’s not quite as it’s described in Art
Jewelry. If you go to her site, www.victorialansford.com, follow the
"Instruction" link for her corrected instructions.

The tools are great, when done as described on her site, and can be
made from several sizes of hex keys / allen wrenches.