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Stamping Copper

This is the follow-up to the post from the other day, a peek at the process of making copper word tags.

Here is how they start out. Strips of copper, two different widths. CopperStamps2015-06-20-18.53

The hammer one is a 1-pound brass mallet, and it makes a big difference getting deep and consistent impressions in the metal. I was using a regular hammer before.

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Here are my alphabet stamps. I have to make sure they are pointed the right way and in line with the other letters. Sounds simple enough, but let me say that it is a bummer to place a letter backwards when you are almost done with a tag. heehee

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I use a product called Gilders Paste to blacken the stamped letters and designs. It is a wax-based resin and pigment material used to add color to metal.

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Gilders Paste comes in a tin and this is what it looks like. It comes in several colors, but I use black. I apply it to the stamped metal and let it cure for 12 hours. Here is the photo of the stamps with Gilders Paste applied from my earlier post.

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After the Gilders Paste has cured, I use a variety of polishing papers and pads (pictured in the above photo, underneath the Gilders Paste tin) to bring out the shine.

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The final step is punching the hole in the tag and adding a jump ring, as seen in a few of these tags.

Here is an example of a tag used in a necklace in my Etsy store:

MeByTheSeaNecklaceIMG_4751