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Creating Rubber Stamps: Not All Methods Created Equal (Part 1 of 3)
Whether you’re a rubber stamp rookie, dabbler, or seasoned veteran, you’ve undoubtedly wondered how to make your own rubber stamp. When creating a custom rubber stamp, there are many methods that can be used; in this three-part series, you’ll learn the pros and cons of several different stamp-producing methods.
No matter the method, if you are looking to become a rubber stamp vendor, good luck. It would be easier to find Osama bin Laden’s cave than to find a wholesale vendor for stamp mounts and cases. Besides their clandestine status, wholesale vendors may also have a minimum purchase requirement or different price breaks for quantity. When starting out as a small business, it may be best to buy cases and mounts from a local arts and crafts store.
If you’re serious about creating high quality rubber stamps, the best technology to use is a laser engraver. Though they may cost thousands of dollars, many high-end engravers can create a stamp as precise as 1000 dpi. Laser engravers are optimal for high productivity and quality rubber stamps, and items like graphics or small text are easily achieved. Laser engravers are less messy than other rubber stamp-making methods, and advanced alignment technology creates little waste.
Laser engravers are not labor intensive; hundreds of stamps can be programmed to engrave at once. The speed of engraving for one square inch of rubber stamp is approximately 60 seconds. While this may seem slow, a laser engraver will make deeply engraved “cut lines” while it is etching. A cut line engraves so deeply that no actual cutting or special scissors are necessary for the rubber; simply push on the etched item when the engraving is complete. These cut lines will save a large amount of time that would be otherwise allocated to tedious cutting and hand customization.
Once the rubber stamps are finished etching, simply remove them from the laser engraver and soak them in water for 5-10 minutes. This allows the rubber dust and resin to be easily cleaned off with an item such as a toothbrush. The washing of the rubber is imperative; without cleaning the rubber, residual dust from the engraving process may impede the quality of the impression. After the rubber is clean, wipe it dry with a paper towel or hand towel. At this point, you may leave it unmounted or adhere it to a wood block, pre-inked, or self-inking device.
Now that you have learned one of the many stamp-making methods, stay tuned! Exciting information about making stamps at home is yet to come!
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