How to Best Press in the Brand

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jasonsilver
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How to Best Press in the Brand

Post by jasonsilver » Fri Sep 21, 2018 12:11 pm

I received a brand in the mail today, a die with my logo on it, for marking the stem of the pipe.

I tried a number of times on scrap wood, but I'm surprised by how hard I have to press. Can anyone tell me of a good technique or trick to make the mark clear without cracking the pipe?
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Re: How to Best Press in the Brand

Post by FredS » Fri Sep 21, 2018 12:21 pm

I've seen a few different ways. Some guys put a bulbous handle on it (like a door knob) and really push hard. Claudio Cavicchi has a pretty cool machine and I've seen some others. Most are like an arbor press with the stamp mounted in the ram, with a v-block on the base. Put some leather or fabric padding in the v-block to protect the bottom of the shank and give it a press while slightly rolling the stem. I've also seen a drill press used to apply the downward force. I'll find some pics and post them.
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Re: How to Best Press in the Brand

Post by jasonsilver » Fri Sep 21, 2018 12:27 pm

FredS wrote:
Fri Sep 21, 2018 12:21 pm
I've also seen a drill press used to apply the downward force. I'll find some pics and post them.
Thank you!

I tried the drill press first, but the problem seems to be orienting the logo squarely, and then rotating the stem while you press. Even just pressing into a square block, the tiniest letters didn't imprint at all.
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Re: How to Best Press in the Brand

Post by FredS » Fri Sep 21, 2018 12:38 pm

Image

I misspoke about Cavicchi's press. His stamp is fixed and he raises the v-block on a leadscrew up to the stamp. The stamp itself itsn't solidly mounted. It can wiggle front-to-back as he rocks the stem under it.

Some guys who stamp by hand will heat the stamp before stamping. I've heard of one guy who puts the stamp in a vice, heats it, then applies the pipe to the stamp by hand. I think this is a pretty good idea if you clamp the stamp horizontally, waist high, so you can see what you're doing, and really put your weight behind it in a controlled manner.

Some guys just give up on stamping by hand and buy a cheap Chinese CNC laser.
Last edited by FredS on Fri Sep 21, 2018 12:51 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: How to Best Press in the Brand

Post by FredS » Fri Sep 21, 2018 12:48 pm

I made myself a home brewed pantograph. I posted some pics on the pipe makers forum years ago but they were wiped when photobucket nuked the internet and I don't seem to have them saved on my current computer. I did post up plans on that forum and you can get them here.
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Re: How to Best Press in the Brand

Post by Cleon » Fri Sep 21, 2018 3:16 pm

FredS wrote:
Fri Sep 21, 2018 12:38 pm
Image

I misspoke about Cavicchi's press. His stamp is fixed and he raises the v-block on a leadscrew up to the stamp. The stamp itself itsn't solidly mounted. It can wiggle front-to-back as he rocks the stem under it.

Some guys who stamp by hand will heat the stamp before stamping. I've heard of one guy who puts the stamp in a vice, heats it, then applies the pipe to the stamp by hand. I think this is a pretty good idea if you clamp the stamp horizontally, waist high, so you can see what you're doing, and really put your weight behind it in a controlled manner.

Some guys just give up on stamping by hand and buy a cheap Chinese CNC laser.
FWIW, I prefer and old school stamp to those new fangled CNC laser engravers, even if it slips a little. Character, man.
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Re: How to Best Press in the Brand

Post by wosbald » Fri Sep 21, 2018 3:30 pm

+JMJ+
jasonsilver wrote:
Fri Sep 21, 2018 12:11 pm
[…]

… Can anyone tell me of a good technique or trick to make the mark clear without cracking the pipe?
Image
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Re: How to Best Press in the Brand

Post by SlowToke » Fri Sep 21, 2018 5:29 pm

Stem material isn't going to give like wood will. Your best bet to make an impression in stem material is to heat the stamp, melt it in, then sand it down smooth again. You can even fill it with acrylic or similar before sanding.

For making an impression in briar it takes a sharp stamp and a fair amount of pressure. I use billiard balls as handles for my stamps. I chuck them up in the lathe and drill a hole in them for the shaft of the stamp. You have to specify to your stamp maker that you need it really sharp because you will be stamping pipes. They are used to making stamps for leather and metal stamped mechanically or hydraulically on flat surfaces. They don't usually understand what we need so you have to spell it out for them every time you order a new stamp. The one stamp maker who understood no longer makes stamps for pipemakers.
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Re: How to Best Press in the Brand

Post by jasonsilver » Fri Sep 21, 2018 6:25 pm

SlowToke wrote:
Fri Sep 21, 2018 5:29 pm
Stem material isn't going to give like wood will. Your best bet to make an impression in stem material is to heat the stamp, melt it in, then sand it down smooth again. You can even fill it with acrylic or similar before sanding.

For making an impression in briar it takes a sharp stamp and a fair amount of pressure. I use billiard balls as handles for my stamps. I chuck them up in the lathe and drill a hole in them for the shaft of the stamp. You have to specify to your stamp maker that you need it really sharp because you will be stamping pipes. They are used to making stamps for leather and metal stamped mechanically or hydraulically on flat surfaces. They don't usually understand what we need so you have to spell it out for them every time you order a new stamp. The one stamp maker who understood no longer makes stamps for pipemakers.
I realize I said stem, but I am actually trying to stamp the shank - however, it might be worth doing the stem instead, as you suggested.

Also, I did spell out that I need it as sharp as possible, but it doesn't seem very sharp to me.
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