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Stamps - Microstamp


#1

Hello, I recently ordered a stamp from Microstamp and thought I’d
share with everyone what I think of their stamp. It’s a nice looking
stamp, but I probably won’t order another one from them for these
reasons:

The stamp is made from round stock; it’s so round and smooth that
it’s hard to feel that I have a good, solid grip on it. It never
occured to me that it would be made from round stock, and I much
prefer square stock for the ease of gripping its flat surfaces and
hard edges. I sent Micromark email suggesting that, if they continue
to use round stock, they cut a cross hatch design into the shank to
provide a gripping area.

Also, the shank is not indexed, so I can’t tell by feel where the
"top" and bottom" of the image is.

Not really a complaint, but the striking end of the stamp is
tapered; that is, looks like the end has been sharpened, like a
pencil (though it isn’t sharp). Why? To help focus the aim of the
person wielding the hammer? That was my guess.

I think I’ll go with Harper for my next stamp. Their stamps look
square, but I know to ask, now! Harper also has a helpful-looking
little gizmo called a stamp holder for $25
(http://www.harpermfg.com/hm_stamppresses.html). I also like the look
of the stamping press on the first page of their website. It seems to
be made to stamp knife blades (“place the blade under the stamp”) but
I don’t see why you couldn’t use it for other flat, narrow pieces of
metal. This is more of a tool than the simple holder and goes for
$150.

Christine, in gusty Littleton, Massachusetts


#2

Christine…I’m a little puzzled, since you mentioned two different
companies in reference to the stamp you ordered. Which was it:
Microstamp or Micromark? Dee


#3

Why don’t you squeeze a rubber or plactic-rubber pencil holder over
the area where you would grip the stamp… if that is possible!!!

cya
eps


#4

Hi Christine, I had a Microstamp made with my last name several years
ago. It is the only custom stamp I’ve had made, but it is head and
shoulders above the quality of the standard stamps I have bought or
acquired. I believe all my stamps, straight and bent, are made from
round stock. Square stock might be an advantage on orienting the
stamp properly, but the thought had never occurred to me.

It is the only stamp I don’t have to worry about rusting. The
characters are .75mm in height, and the impressions are crisp and
clear. Since that stamp gets used on almost every piece I do, I’m
amazed that it is as pristine today as the day I bought it.

I used a black Sharpie (permanent marker) and put a vertical line
indicator mark at the bottom middle of my most frequently used stamps
to help me orient them quickly and properly. A tip from another
Orchid member to draw a temporary baseline on the work has helped me
get multiple stamps straight and parallel has helped me a lot.

I’m not sure about the taper you describe. Mine has a little bevel
on the upper edge, I assume as an orientation indicator, but except
for that, the sides are straight and parallel.

it's so round and smooth that it's hard to feel that I have a
good, solid grip on it. 

I recall that sensation, too, but I think I’ve gotten out of trying
to hold the stamp in a death-grip, and hold it more gently now. I
remember having my fingers slide down the smooth sides of the stamp,
but don’t seem to have the problem now. Maybe play with the stamp
with some scrap material and see if you can come to a comfortable
relationship with it?

I do like your idea of having in knurled (cross hatched). Maybe
they’ll offer that as an option for a couple dollars more. I’d send
mine back for that service!

I suspect, as I did, you will come to appreciate the stamp the more
you use it.

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


#5

Nice, as for the $150 machince check out Harbor & Freight’s arbor
presses. They have a 1/2 and 1 ton for each under $40.

Guy…


#6

Christine, isn’t it funny how people can be so different. The
reasons you note as complaints about the Microstamp is precisely why
I adore them! The stamps are so sharp that I never have to hammer
it to get a good impression. And since the stock is round I can use
any number of pin vises and wooden handles to secure the stamp for
pressing. I used to have the square stamps and chucked them all
when I got my first Microstamp because I was tired of having all
those little gizmos to steady the stamp so I could whack it hard
enough to get an impression. Granted the impression is different
from the impression from one of those traditional stamps, but the
hardened steel stamps from Microstamp are as sharp and crisp as they
were the day I bought them and don’t rust like the old cast ones I
had did. Give them a little time, they may grow on you.

Larry


#7
Which was it: Microstamp or Micromark? 

Microstamp. If I typed Micromark, that was a mistake.

Actually, in exchanging email with a guy at Microstamp yesterday, he
said this was the first time he’d heard of someone having hard time
holding the stamp. I just had one of those landmark birthdays, so it
must be a symptom of old age. :slight_smile: He also said that they use the
round stock for two reasons: the round stock readily fits into
commercial stamping machines without modification, whereas square
does not; but, most importantly, the round stock was of a “better”
(my word) grade of steel (M-2) than the square (01).

Christine in Littleton, Mass.


#8
    Nice, as for the $150 machince check out Harbor & Freight's
arbor presses. They have a 1/2 and 1 ton for each under $40. 

Yes, but I’ve heard too often from people who have had problems with
things they’ve bought from Harbor Freight. I’m not one for fiddling
with machinery. On the other hand, I got mail from a friendly
Orchidite pointing me in another more economical direction for the
same product (a Pana Press): Ebay.

Christine in Littleton, Mass.


#9

Hello Christine, Hey, if the stamp’s impression is satisfactory, you
can modify the round handle pretty easily. The easiest thing is to
put a glob of “SticTac” on the handle. A more permanent solution:
run a bead of silicone caulk an inch or so down the side. It won’t
roll far, and can easily be removed or replaced. I mounted on the
wall of my whacking area, one of those strong magnetic strips used
to hold knives. All my stamps stick there. Have fun, Judy in Kansas,
where it’s another lovely fall day. Wonder if we’ll pay for this
later in the winter… :wink:

Judy M. Willingham, R.S.
Biological and Agricultural Engineering
237 Seaton Hall
Kansas State University
Manhattan KS 66506
(785) 532-2936


#10

Dear Christine, The beauty of a microstamp is that you don’t have to
strike it to achieve an impression. The edge of the image is
actually faceted & cuts into the metal unlike regular stamps which
are cut with a pantograph mill & result in a rounded edge on the
image, you can use them in a pin vise. If you want to strike the
end, use only a light blow with a light brass hammer-not like the
1-2lb brass mallet you would normally use with a regular marking
stamp. Index the bottom of the image side of your stamp with a
sharpie, and hold it like a pencil if you hit it w/ a hammer. To
attest to the quality of Microstamp, I sold to a MAJOR production
house a “sterling” and a “14/20 GF” stamp 3 years ago. These are
used in mechanized machines & stamp literally thousands of times per
day. I asked the production manager how their stamps are holding up
this week & he replied “I can’t see the difference between when I
bought these from you & today.” He had previously been replacing his
stamps once every 18 months.

Normal disclaimers apply just a satisfied customer here…


#11

Hi, You can cut the grooves into the round stock using a separating
disk. The disk is aggressive and will do the job. Good luck, DDA


#12

Thank you to everyone who replied to my post about my displeasure
with my new Microstamp. Y’all have swayed me. I’d originally gone to
Microstamp for the quality, so I was already (and still am) convinced
that they had the best (most long lasting) product. I was just
disappointed when it appeared “difficult” to use. I must be easily
frustrated these days. I’ve gotten great suggestions for making the
stamp feel more comfortable in the hand, but practice may eliminate
the need for this. In any case, eventually, when I can afford it,
I’ll have a press and that will eliminate the need for me to hold the
thing at all. Unless it’s more than I can afford, I’ll be ordering a
quite large (18.75mm) stamp from them next.

Christine, in foggy Littleton, Mass.


#13

Hi, As far as hand stamps go, My suggestion to anyone who has ever
spoken with me about having a stamp made for modelmaking /casting
purposes as well as hand made jewelry has been the following.

Always order your first stamp as a “goose neck” style stamp. Most
are made of square stock and they are bent so that they can be easily
used to stamp the inside of rings and hard to reach areas. This same
stamp can also be used on flat items without a problem. The advantage
is that you can do rings and the inside of circular objects as well
as flat items.

If you order a straight shank stamp , you can only stamp reasonably
flat items.

So the Goose neck stamp is more versatyle and does not cost more.

All the stamp manufacturers can make a variety of styles, so it is
important to order what will work for you in all your applications.

Now, All stamps are not made equally… If you order a microstamp for
the purpose of stamping a semi finished product or a hand made
product, you will be pleased with the sharpness of the detail…

However, When you want to stamp a model that will be used in Lost
Wax Casting… A mold will be made and some cleanup of the casting
will always be neccessary to some degree. It is most important to
pick a stamp that has the ability to stamp deeply , as well as a
clean impression… The depth is neccessary as the " model" will
be stamped … this way, all castings will have all the logo’s
/925/14k or whatever already in them …

Often we have gotten models or molds made from our customers which
did not have any logo or stamps in them… Then they ask us to hand
stamp each piece … This is not the way to do things efficiently…
and it will add to your final production cost . So it is aleays best
to put the stamps into your models and to do so as deeply as you
can.

My personal choice for handstamps has always been Sparks Steel
Stamps Tel: 718-729-7506 They are very quick , pleasant to deal
with and in the course of dealling with them for 20 years, They have
made stamps for over 200 customers that I reccomended go to them.
None of these stamps have broken or become dull.

Best Wishes, Daniel Grandi

We do casting, finishing and a whole lot more for Designers,
Jewelers, Students, catalogs and people in the trade. Contact:
sales@racecarjewelry.com