How Do You Hand Stamp Metal
- 02 Feb, 2022
Stainless steel or aluminum metal tags have a range of different purposes. Arguably the most famous use of these tags is for the identification of soldiers in the army. However, tags like this can also be used to mark equipment and they have been a popular fashion accessory for decades.
To use metal tags for practical or aesthetic purposes, they need to be customized with the right information. It is possible to hand stamp metal like this and ensure a great finish so that key details are clear. To do this, you must use the right process.
What Tools Do You Need?
To effectively customize blank metal by stamping it, you need to make sure that you have the right tools and equipment. Most of these items can be purchased from craft stores including:
- Stamping hammer
- Metal stamps
- Stamping tape
- Polishing cloth
Using the right tools will be essential to ensure that the finished item looks professionally made.
How To Set Up For Stamping Metal
It is important to have the right setup to hand stamp metal. You need a workspace with a solid and sturdy surface. If you are worried about damaging a piece of furniture like a table, then do consider using a strong piece of wood on top of it. The table or any surface that you use needs to be strong enough to withstand the pressure from hammering.
You should position your stamping block in front of you. A stamping block will help protect the surface that you are using. They typically come with heavy or soft stickers on each corner to keep them stable using the surface.
If you are using metals such as gold or aluminum, then you might want to consider using a softer hammer and block. This can help prevent the metal from curling when they are stamped.
You should use stamping tape to keep the blank piece of metal you are working on within place on the block.
When you have chosen the stamp that you want to use, you need to line it up. Hold it between your forefinger and thumb. You can purchase a wide range of different stamps and they usually come in sets. Choose from letters, numbers, shapes, punctuation marks and symbols. Letters can be found in a wide range of different fonts. Newspaper style fonts are the most popular because they are easy to read while shapes are used to add an extra level of customization.
When you have selected the right stamp, hit the top of it with the hammer. You need to be careful with where you aim the hammer. Practice will guarantee that you know how hard you need to hit the stamp and where you may need to hit twice to ensure that the mark shows. Harder metals will require you to use the hammer with more force.
It is recommended that you do use some practice blanks and larger tags first to ensure that you get the technique right.
What Impacts Metal Stamping?
There are a few points that can impact how successful you are at hand stamping metal. First, you need to make sure that you get the right balance of impact and pressure. A key issue is that you need to get it right the first time. If you lift the stamp and discover that you have only made a small mark, you won’t be able to hit it again unless you can line it up perfectly. This is difficult to do which is another reason why practice is so important.
The majority of metal used for tags will need to be hit with a lot of force for stamping to be effective. However, certain metals will not need the same level of impact. Aluminum is quite soft and will require far less force compared to a harder metal such as brass.
Another key point to consider is placement. You need to ensure that the words or design that you are using will fit onto the piece of metal. One way to ensure this is to use masking tape with a pencil to mark out the stamping points
To guarantee that your design fits perfectly and looks tidy, mark the center planning outward.
You also need to ensure that you keep the stamp straight while hammering. It’s important that you’re not working at an angle because this will ruin the final impact.
Finishing Your Hand Stamped Metal
When you have completed the stamping process, use a polishing cloth to clean off any marks that have been left on the material. You should do this before and after stamping. This will provide a professional finish.
Other techniques can make the details on the hand-stamped metal stand out more. For instance, you can stamp blank enamel. In doing so, you can ensure that your metal tags have a professional finish with marks that will remain and stand out even after wear and tear.
You can use other options to create different effects on your metal. For instance, you might want your tag to have a vintage look. This is possible by soaking a stamped item in vinegar.
Alternatively, you can add texture to the metal. This is achievable using specific types of chasing hammers. It helps guarantee that your tags have a unique aesthetic.
As you can see, hand stamping metal is not a difficult process to master. If you have the right tools, it’s easy to ensure that you can add any information or designs that you want to your metal tags. However, you might need a little practice to ensure that you do hit the metal the right way to achieve the perfect impact. Keep in mind that you will also need to change your level of force depending on the specific type of metal that you are stamping.