DIY Leather Stamps

Every now and again the metal worker turns leather worker to make a sheath for his or her knife. Border stamps that come with stamp kits are mediocre at best. If you want something unique, then try making your own!




















Tools Required

The  tools required are very basic and common to most knifemaker's shops:
  • Hacksaw
  • Vise
  • Files
  • Needle file set
  • Hammer
  • Punch 
  • Drill & Bits (preferably drill press)
  • Sandpaper
  • Permanent marker (fine tip)


Materials

Any round stock, stainless rod is ideal as it won't rust when working on damp leather. Look for something in the 5/16" to 3/8" diameter which will work great. I happened to find some alloy rod from discarded crib at the dump.










 I marked and cut the rod into 4" pieces with a hacksaw.







I finished the ends with a file just to clean them up after cutting.







There are a few basic stamp end type I'll refer to. Round, square, rectangle and double-D





 

 Example of Double- D.











STAMP #1: LIGHTNING BOLT

I made this for no other reason than I think lightning bolts are cool and could make a good border stamp. 

I start with a fine tip permanent marker and draw a little lightning bolt on a round end.





 I then start working the lines with a triangle needle file, using the corner to cut then the flats to remove material outside the line.








Memo here: The stamp will always appear backwards to how it looks when you are working on it. IMHO the lightning bolt should be going the other way, but I can live with it in reverse.











STAMP #2: LEAF

Leaves make good borders for all kinds of things. Organic in a way. So this was my next choice. I started with a simple sketch on a round end and worked the outside into a leaf shape.




















 I am pretty sure that this will come in handy.

















STAMP #3: BUBBLE BLOCK

Bubble Block started as a square end.



Then I drilled some shallow random sized holes on the drill press.













 





























STAMP #4: BRANCH

Hey, if Leaf gets a stamp then Branch is the next logical step.




























STAMP #5: SCALLOPED LINE

A simple border is often super effective. Nothing gets easier than a scalloped rectangle. Start with long rectangle and cut grooves across it with the round needle file.






This will certainly be a part of some handsome looking borders.













STAMP #6: DOT CROSS

Rectangles can make a strong border. This little guy started as a rectangle end.


Drill a single 5/64" hole.
Then make cuts with the corner of the triangle needle file.









Very effect and eye catching. (wear your safety glasses kids.)













STAMP #7: DEATH STAR

I have no idea where this came from. It was very early in the morning.

Started with a round end and...
Death Star emerges!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

STAMP #8: RANDOM IMPACT

The sequel to Bubble Block. It was made by punch a round end with a centre punch. Random impacts and varying force puts a cool effect.

Strike with centre punch.








Touch the jagged bit up with sand paper.


























And here they are all together again.





If you are lucky enough to have some genuine native Canadian wood (e.g. 2x4) you can drill some holes and make this awesome holder to complete your kit.






















Many other ideas came into my head while doing this, heating with a torch, whacking a file into one, bobby pins, using screw heads etc. Let your imagination take you where you want to go.

All the best.

D

10 comments:

  1. That is awesome, thanks for sharing!
    Bjorn

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You're welcome. If you ever make some yourself please share.

      :-)

      Delete
  2. nice set I've learned a lot from you.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Knife Maker. It's always great to hear from others who like to do it themselves.

      Dan

      Delete
  3. Dan, there is just a wealth of knowledge on here. This is my go to place for trying to find a way to make something in my shop myself. Thanks a ton!!

    Walter

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Walter for your comments. I hope that you can make use of some of the info here.

      Best wishes,

      Dan

      Delete
  4. I love your ideas.
    One suggestion, from letter punches: there is a visible mark (usually a line) that helps you align the punch quickly - the line goes under your thumb and you always know the letter is the right way up. Adapt this idea by filing or machining a small flat along the body of your punches, aligned with the "thumb" axis.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Russell, that is a great idea. Once the stamps are fashioned, one could grind a flat on one side.

      Regards,

      Dan

      Delete
  5. Hi Dan, I have to say you have a fantastic blog and it's full of great ideas and hints. I need an extra couple of days a week to try them all. Quick question if you did the same process using tool steel and then hardened could you then use the stamps to mark blades?

    Cheers,

    James.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. James,

      Yes for sure. As long the stamp is harder than the blade and we're usually working with annealed or heated steel.


      Cheers!

      Dan

      Delete