Monday, March 10, 2014

Being Crafty...sort of

Last weekend, we were up at my grandparents' house, and I had said something awhile back to my dad about making some holders for my metal stamps. The two sets I have aren't made in the USA or otherwise shiny and expensive with their own handy holders, but I'm thinking, "it can't be THAT hard to make your own, right?"

One of Beaducation's stamp sets
Well, technically no, but it *is* time-consuming with all the holes to drill. So I brought my stamp sets and a couple blocks of wood, and while we were there last Saturday, we made use of my grandpa's drill press. And sander. And table saw and probably something else, too, but I'm not a tools person so I have no idea what to call the rest.

Of course, when I say "we," I mostly mean my dad and my grandpa. I already had a block of oak (I think it was oak) that my dad had just been messing around with in the garage and had given me to see if I could use in stamping. It just so happened to be the right size to hold some stamps. My grandpa cut the other piece of wood (which apparently was also very very hard) into a block shape and I think sent it through a planer.

Now, the thing with my metal stamps is that they're square. And drill bits are round. So we were literally fitting square pegs into round holes here. I have three different sets total--a set of 27 lowercase letters and an ampersand, a set of 36 uppercase letters, numbers, and ampersand, and a set of nine punctuation marks/symbols. The set of nine and 36 were the same size, stamp-wise. The set of 27 was a little bigger. We started with deciding that 45 stamps would fit on one block of wood, and drew a little grid on the block to space them out evenly.

My dad drilled three holes in the first block for the 45 stamps before I stuck one of the stamps into it (he was trying to hand it off to me so I could continue drilling, I think, but I was suspicious of the size of the holes). It didn't fit. So the next size up that my grandpa had fit the set of 27 perfectly, and also ended up being the size we used for the 45. My dad just threw out the idea of evenly spacing them at that point and decided to eyeball it while I drew the grid on the other block of wood for the 27.

Once he finished drilling, my grandpa sanded it really fast and then I stuck all the pegs into it, just to see how it looked. There's definitely plenty of room, and a couple pegs sit lower than the others, which is a little weird since my dad had it set to stop at the same depth every time, but I like it. I basically had all of the 36 stamps laying flat on a clipboard.

The set of 27 looks pretty good, too. A couple of the holes seem to be a little snug for the stamps, but there could just be some extra sawdust in there. I'm just glad that I don't have to dump all of my stamps out on the table or floor or wherever just to find the right letters.

I guess I need to start stamping again now that I've got these handy holders for all my stamps!

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