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G’day I often find a need for steel stamps. I make these from
round tool steel (I think you call it drill steel or carbon
steel) Simple patterns like stars, shells, hearts, diamonds, etc
can be filed at the end of a rod using swiss files, binocular
magnifiers and patience. Slightly more complicated patterns can
be cut using a rotary handpiece and diamond burrs; for instance I
have replicas of my logo to unobtrusively mark my work. One is
5mm diameter and the other only 2mm. Not too difficult even
though I’ve become a bit ham-fisted these days. When the pattern
is satisfactory, heat the end of the tool to cherry red and
quench by waving it in a bowl of water. It will now be dead hard
and so brittle as to break first time you try to use it. So
clean off all the black with emery, then heat about an inch back
from the end with a small hot flame, whilst rotating the tool
rod. You will see colours where the flame touches the rod. These
colours will slowly move down the rod and when the end is straw
(medium yellow) stop heating and immediately quench. And there
you are; an El Cheepo metal punch. Have a go. But buy those
to stamp ‘x ct’ ‘STG’ or ‘925’ They’re a bit too tricky to
carve. Why do you think my logo is so simple? Cheers, –

   / /    John Burgess, 
  / /
 / //\    @John_Burgess2
/ / \ \

/ (___)

Most of my pieces are large enough to be marked with a common sized
stamp in the 1/16 to 3/32 size range. I typically stamp my logo, the
metal content, a size number and serial number. The size and serial
number are usually etched in with an electric vibratory etching pen.
This helps to avoid a potential area of failure due to a deep
stamping cut. Many of my newer designs don’t have a surface on which
I can use my standard sized stamps and it is nearly impossible to
etch anything that can be read. I am looking for ideas to improve the
quality of my marking process. I do have a couple custom stamps, but
before I go the custom route for smaller sized custom stamps, I
thought that I would ask the members of Orchid for ideas. I am
especially interested in low stress dome type stamps. In the years
that I have been reading Orchid marking or stamping has not been
discussed much. It is an important part of what we do. I am sure that
there is good guidance out there, I just haven’t found much. Any
ideas are welcomed. Thanks. Rob

Rob Meixner