Stainless Steel Stamping Overview
Buying blanks without holes has these advantages :)
1. Less production time - faster to stamp and punch the hole afterward rather than to align stamping to an existing hole
2. Save .25 cents on each blank buying them w/o holes - the savings will pay for a punch in no time
3. Ability to punch multiple holes if your design requires it & positioned according to your needs
4. Flexibility to make smaller holes if you prefer
The Premium Punch ($99.00 w/ Kit, $75.00 Punch ONLY) is made in the USA and is the one the Power Punch ($42.50) is designed after. It is higher quality and if used w/ the optional bench mount** ($35.00) is considerably faster and easier to punch holes. If you do not have a workbench it can be mounted to a board and a C clamp or bar clamp could be used to attach it temporarily to your table. The Power Punch is a good economical tool that will get the job done too.
Thank you for your interest in our stainless steel blanks, How To video's!
CHARACTERISTICS OF STAINLESS STEEL (SST)
1. Strong, durable, does not easily bend
2. Does not tarnish, rust or change color.
3. Very affordable & quality that is trusted by luxury watchmakers
WHAT YOU NEED:
1. A hammer, good solid working surface and a steel bench block (a)
2. Quality, sharp letter/number & design stamps – the most important factor if working w/ SST is enjoyable or a challenge (b)
3. A Premium Punch or Power Punch if you prefer to make your own holes. NOTE: Light weight punch hole pliers & screw down punches WILL NOT WORK. (c)
4. Industrial grade or regular Sharpie to highlight lettering/designs, let dry at least 10 min. before removing excess. Traditional oxidizing techniques do not work on SST (d)
5. A motorized buffer/polisher removes the excess Sharpie ink very quickly. Otherwise Mr. Clean - Magic Erasers do the job nicely.
6. A sanding sponge (available at hardware or paint store) works great if you wish to give the back or the front a brushed finish
Save the protective film as you can re-attach it after stamping if you will be doming, this will prevent marring the finish.
(a) I use a 1 lb. (some prefer the 2 lb.) brass hammer to prevent mushrooming my stamps. A steel bench block w/ a sound deadening pad underneath the block to dramatically reduce noise. I also use a 6x6 wood post (w/ boards attached at the bottom to stabilize it) to stamp on. NOTE: a workbench, table or counter top will act as a sounding board and amplify the noise.
(b) LETTER/NUMBER STAMPS:
StampingBlanks.com Affordable & long lasting
The Designer Stamp Sets by Infinity Stamps. Always be sure to tell the sales associate that you plan to use your stamps on Stainless Steel.
theurbanbeader.com Reasonably priced and a large selection of designs, also has some letter sets good for SST too
Stamps that are up to making impressions in SST for the long haul need to have a Rockwell hardness rating of 58 or higher. Remember too that dull stamps will result in faint impressions. I also do not recommend the popular round shank design stamps. I know they are low cost and there are a lot of nice designs, but the fact is even new they are quite dull and scary to use on SST, I don’t even like using them on sterling silver.
(c) The die on the Power Punch can be screwed in/out to obtain the best leverage.
(d) As an alternative some prefer to use automotive touch-up paint, you'll want to wipe excess off quickly.
PUNCH MAINTENANCE & MODIFICATIONS:
You will occasionally need to put a drop of 3-in-1 oil at each pivot point and the punch pin itself, this makes it easier to punch the hole and easier for the blank to pop off of the pin.
After a while the rubber coating will come off, no problem to redo. I use Plasti Dip from the hardware store and put 3 coats on around the punch pin opening. Be sure to stir very well and allow at least 1 hr. drying time between coats. I use a Popsicle stick to apply and after it has dried I carefully cut the excess around the punch pin off with a razor/utility knife.
To modify the depth gauge remove it from the punch, hammer it flat then cut & ground the narrow end to about 3/16" wide. Clean off any burr and then re-bend it right at the point where it gets wide. This allow the gouge to be adjusted much closer to the punch pin.