has anyon made their own touchmark stamp? is it tough?

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mn outdoors north
Posts: 17
Joined: Sat Jul 18, 2015 10:52 pm

has anyon made their own touchmark stamp? is it tough?

Unread post by mn outdoors north » Sun Mar 18, 2018 11:44 pm

has anyone ever made their own touchmark stamp...I would like to create my own...where can I get some ideas from and photos? I have an idea of what I want in it....I will look on pinterest also...

Martin Pansch
Posts: 312
Joined: Thu Feb 14, 2013 10:44 am
Location: Young America, MN

Re: has anyon made their own touchmark stamp? is it tough?

Unread post by Martin Pansch » Mon Mar 19, 2018 11:18 am

Hi Gary.

The difficulty is largely a function of how complex your touchmark is. A simple design can be made fairly easy with hot and cold work. If it is really complex it can be a technically trying task. There is always a way though.

If you have a complex logo and the point of the exercise is to get a good, durable touchmark I can suggest an engraving company in Wisconsin that does good work for a fair price.

If the point is to do it yourself post a drawing of what you are trying to make and what size and people here might have some actionable advice.

mn outdoors north
Posts: 17
Joined: Sat Jul 18, 2015 10:52 pm

Re: has anyon made their own touchmark stamp? is it tough?

Unread post by mn outdoors north » Mon Mar 19, 2018 9:58 pm

thanks martin, I would like that...mine would be simple...anvil with my initials on the inside with unique font type...I did find this online...http://www.henryaevers.com/new_page_3.htm let me know when I can come out to your place and do some pounding...I need some practice...will gladly pay you for your time and private lessons...easy stuff...

thanks,
Gary

Martin Pansch
Posts: 312
Joined: Thu Feb 14, 2013 10:44 am
Location: Young America, MN

Re: has anyon made their own touchmark stamp? is it tough?

Unread post by Martin Pansch » Sun Mar 25, 2018 5:28 pm

Hi Gary,

If I was going to order a custom markers mark I would use Honeck Engraving. 414-464-5507 email: honeckengraving@gmail.com. They are a nice little ma and pop engraving company in Wisconsin. Maria was a treat to work with and was able to turn a PDF I sent her into a functional drawing with little fuss. If someone's design takes a little more work there might be a design fee but she is up front about that. I am real pleased with the one I got from them so far. I know Jim Ericksen has got a number of stamps made by them and keeps going back.

Your design of an anvil with your initials in it could be relatively easy or really hard to do yourself depending on what your final desired effect is.

The easier way would be for the anvil being a "negative" or pressed in and the letters standing proud of it. Take an annealed piece of tool steel and grind/file the anvil shape. I'd then get it hot and use letter stamps to mark your initials in the anvil. The letters don't have to be super deep, think thousandth's of an inch. Too deep is wasted effort anyway and liable to deform the anvil shape. If you don't have letter stamps you can make the letters with small struck tools but adds another level of making tools to make tools. You can cool it and try it in clay or in a soft metal to see if it looks how you want it. When it is good heat treat, clean the scale, and you are done. If you look at a lot of old tools the marks are like this with the letters standing proud in a negative background.

If you are looking to do an outline of an anvil with your initials both stamped into the material that is a more difficult task. Any complex shapes within an outline is a PITA without engraving skills/tools or and EDM as you have to either press down or remove everything but the bits you want to mark metal. As a blacksmith it would almost by easiest to make the tool I described first, stamp it into a blank, and then grind/file everything around the anvil shape except however thick you want the anvil outline. Then heat treat. Fun for a challenge, though I would probably just opt to email Maria and have Honeck knock it out for me.

If you are going to make your own use thicker stock than your design's dimensions and taper it fairly bluntly to the design at the business end. So if your anvil was going to be 3/8" x 3/4" don't start with a rectangular bar that size figuring you'll save time.

Also, consider the size carefully. The bigger the stamp the easier it is to make but the harder you are going to have to wallop it to get a good mark, especially with all the surface are of a negative anvil shape.

I am by no means an expert in this area, this is just what I have picked up from others and some of my own failures. I know Tom Latane has done a fair amount of stamps and dies. There was an article on touch marks in The Metalsmith in 2009 (Volume 33, #1, Page 21-23 according to Pete Stanaitis' Metalsmith guide). I think there was also some people around here doing some old school coin minting who could probably give you a barrel of knowledge compared to my thimble-full.

As far as coming out to my place, that would be much easier to schedule if I was out there as much anymore. I am living in Northfield now and haven't got my shop here built yet. Plans are in the works though and it will have two forging stations. Blacksmithing, like so many other things, is better with company. We hope to have it up before next winter. I'll still maintain the shop out at the farm for classes and -bigger- projects though so we might be able to schedule something. Though, I don't think I have any skills or knowledge valuable enough to charge you for it so it will just have to be a friendly, mini-hammer-in. ;)

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