December 30, 2010

The care and feeding of your brand new stamping blanks!

Your order has arrived at your doorstep from Beaducation and you are really excited to get started stamping on your new blanks!

Before you grab that 1 lb brass mallet and jump in, there are a few things that you need to know about metal blanks. These blanks are considered "raw materials." They will need altering to ready them into a finished product.

  • Most of the blanks that we carry are punched out of sheet with a metal die. The edges on these blanks are usually pretty smooth, but once in a while they will need some filing or finishing to make them smooth. 
  • Your blanks may have slight, superficial surface marks on them. This happens when metal blanks rub against each other. We try to handle all of our merchandise as carefully as possible, but sometimes this is just unavoidable.
  • Your blanks may not be "super shiny." While we use anti-tarnish tabs here in the office to prevent tarnishing, metal will start to dull when it hits the air. We recommend getting a pack yourself and throwing them in with your blanks until you use them. Some customers include them with their finished jewelry along with a pro polish pad.
  • Most blanks do not come with pre-punched holes. This gives the designer (that's you) the option of selecting the hole placement.
So what to do?
Start by smoothing any rough edges using small files followed by the 3/0 or 4/0 grit emery stick or very fine sandpaper.

You can do a bit of pre-finishing before you stamp your design by buffing with a pro polish pad. This will usually take care of any superficial marks on the blank.

Stamp your design onto the blank, then mark placement for the holes with a fine-tip permanent marker and punch using hole punch pliers.

Oxidize with your preferred method. Liver of Sulfur or Silver Black.

Polish with a pro polish pad to remove unwanted oxidation.

Then this is the step that will give your blanks a professional finish. Put them in a tumbler with Shine Brite and tumble for 30 minutes or so. Your blanks will come out super shiny and the edges will be refined and smooth.

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