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Re: Seed "Hard-Type"
Board: Stamp Carving and Mounting
Reply to: #932098 by Kirbert
Jul 31, 2016 7:06am
Thread
For all this, the stamp did come out pretty well

Kirbert, I bet you could manage a great image on a square of Jello
Re: Seed "Hard-Type"
Board: Stamp Carving and Mounting
Reply to: #932098 by Kirbert
Jul 31, 2016 8:47pm
Thread
I tried carving the second stamp with the Seed Hard-Type this afternoon. It did not go well. This particular image required finer details and in particular a series of very closely-spaced parallel lines. I was working with my wire knife, going around one side of each strip and then back on the other. Eventually it turned out I had undercut some of the lines and strands of material were coming loose from the base. It's been years since I've had that happen; it's probably because I tend to cut deeper with this stuff because the knife cuts through it so easily. The strands were still attached at the ends, so with a little care I could just press them back into position. I was pondering the possibility of gluing them down with superglue, so I went ahead and completed the stamp. I even made a trial stamping with it, and the undercut lines stamped just fine. In the meantime, though, a chunk of material just broke off of one area I had not undercut. Totally not my fault. I have no idea why that piece came out, but it ruined the stamp once and for all.

I did try carving with a #11 X-Acto blade. Man, after using a wire knife, that thing's like trying to carve with a meat cleaver! Brand new blade, but the point isn't anywhere near as precise as my wire knife. I ended up using it on only the easier cuts that didn't require so much precision. It did seem to avoid the ragged edges somewhat -- but then again, it was on one of these lines where the chunk fell out!

Hey, this stuff is 11mm thick. I decided to just slice the top 3mm or so off, use an acetone scrub to bring it back to flat, and recarve. I have sliced the top off and gotten it flat again, but I flubbed around enough on that job that I ended up taking more like 5 or 6mm off, it's perhaps half as thick as before. And, of course, the pink layer is gone. I'll be trying to recarve this same image. I *might* try carving those narrow strips with a miniaturized 1V instead, which would avoid the possibility of undercutting altogether, but I've had trouble lately keeping the mini in line on multiple parallel tiny cuts like that. It also doesn't do as good a job at the ends, where this particular image really calls for a specific end configuration. Of course, I can cut the ends with the wire knife and the rest of the length with the mini, I guess.
Re: Seed "Hard-Type"
Board: Stamp Carving and Mounting
Reply to: #932144 by Kirbert
Aug 8, 2016 2:56am
Thread
I tried recarving the second stamp on the truncated piece of Seed "Hard-Type". It did not go well again. I used a miniaturized 1V for the narrow bits which prevented undercutting any lines, but when I was done another chunk fell out for no apparent reason.

The images from both attempts look pretty good other than the missing chunks, but I'm coming to the conclusion that I don't like this stuff. Having chunks just fall out is not good. And the total lack of resistance to the knife moving through it is disconcerting at best. I swear if I closed my eyes I wouldn't know if the blade tip was in the material or not. It moves that easily, which IMHO is too easily.

I made the mistake of planning two matching stamps, meaning they need to be the same size. Then I carved the easy one first, no real tight detail to speak of, and I carved it out of the Seed Hard-Type without any real trouble. The second one involves much tighter details; if I had any sense, I'd be trying to carve it about 50% larger. But the Seed material clearly isn't working for stuff that detailed.

I will be attempting this stamp a third time, this time on pink stuff -- a piece of pre-2012 pink stuff. It should make an interesting comparison to see how much trouble I have carving these same ridiculously tiny details on that. Stay tuned!
Re: Sweetloveqiner Random Color Material
Board: Stamp Carving and Mounting
Reply to: #806199 by Kirbert
Aug 8, 2016 3:29am
Thread
Back in September 2013, I bought a single piece of "random color" carving material from sweetloveqiner on etsy, and reviewed it in the message I am replying to now:

http://www.atlasquest.com/boards/message.html?msgId=806199

I liked the stuff, and it set off a group purchase for what came to be called SLQ -- but we bought white instead of random color because it came in larger pieces so there's less waste. Several of us got some, including me. It carved well, but I could never get over the nagging feeling that it wasn't quite as impressive as the original random color piece I had purchased.

Recently I purchased another piece of colored "Chinese stuff" from Amazon:

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01EAGC0KM/ref=twister_B01EAGC0BG?_encoding=UTF8&psc=1

You can click on whatever color you want, but I opted for the "yellowish green" because that's the color I tried the first time. Again it took a month to get here. To my surprise, what I got this time was not a solid color but rather a yellowish green/white/yellowish green sandwich.

Tonight I tried carving on a piece of this stuff. Having just finished failing on a 2nd attempt on a piece of Seed "Hard-Type" (see preceding message), the difference in these materials was immediately apparent. While the Seed feels like you're slicing air, this stuff reintroduces the concept of having a bit of resistance to your slicing. And while it's been a while since I carved any white SLQ, I still contend that the yellowish-green cuts better than the white. It feels creamier, if that makes any sense.

I did have some issues, but I'm not entirely sure they weren't because I wasn't used to the material. The stamp came out great even though I thought I had ruined it.

We are left with the question: Are all the colors better than the white? Or just the yellowish-green? Is the seller going to have a run on yellowish-green?

There is one more complicating factor. The trouble with getting good prices and reasonable shipping on Chinese and Japanese materials caused me to walk into a Michael's a coupla weeks back with a 40% off coupon and buy a slab of pink stuff. I have carved one stamp on it, and it wasn't bad at all. It was certainly nowhere near the garbage we were expected to carve with in 2013 -- the reason I was looking into the SLQ stuff in the first place. It would seem that Speedball has actually made progress on bringing that material back toward the stuff we loved. That being the case, Speedy-Carve needs to be reintroduced into the list of currently available carving materials and ranked against the others.

And for me, the current Speedy-Carve may still top the list. And I would rank the Chinese stuff, either white or colored, ahead of Seed "Hard-Type". I do wish we could get Daiso, especially at $1.50 for a 4x3 piece, but it's apparently NLA. If a replacement shows up in a Daiso store, someone grab some and test it out.
Re: Sweetloveqiner Random Color Material
Board: Stamp Carving and Mounting
Reply to: #932586 by Kirbert
Aug 8, 2016 7:47am
Thread
Kirbert:

Thank you for the detailed write-ups and material analysis. I find them fascinating and file them away for future material trials myself. Can you summarize your current top say eight available materials, delineating soft and hard and making two lists, one for gouge carving and one for knife? I can make a gouge carvers list for my personal likes for what I have tried:
1a). SLQ white - I love this stuff and get great details out of it ( and use it a lot - practice with any material makes better)
1b) colored sandwich material from sweetloveqiner - I got great detail with the small piece I carved on but cost was prohibitive
2) pre-2012 pink stuff - I carved a lot of stamps with this material
3) OZ (hard but with patience makes great detailed stamps)
4) post-2013 pink stuff - still not quite there in firmness and consistency for my taste but getting closer
5) eco-carve
6) NZ
7) dollar store white erasers
Re: Sweetloveqiner Random Color Material
Board: Stamp Carving and Mounting
Reply to: #932586 by Kirbert
Aug 8, 2016 11:12am
Thread
It would seem that Speedball has actually made progress on bringing that material back toward the stuff we loved.

I'm pretty surprised actually at your reviews. Were the slabs of Seed that you carved for these reviews the ones I sent? Remember you said about the rubber bands arriving broken? Could there have been a chemical reaction with the slabs? I ask because I do wonder if the Daiso piece was protected in the plastic envelope I sent it in which you said you really liked - because the hard-type Seed carves just like the Daiso, without crumbling or fall out. Seed is now my favourite for knife carving, and I can get super-fine detail with it and it's really sturdy.

I can't stand the current formulation of pink, mostly because the stuff moves away from the knife or gouge as I'm carving it resulting in crazy distortion. This is with brand new perfectly sharp Xacto blades and gouges.

I will say though that changing between different materials means that I needed to practice on the new type. Having carved with OZ so long, I was used to the mega pressure I needed before and there was a huge different now with the softer Seed, Hankeshi-kun, or Daiso materials. However, once I got in the rhythm of it, I found I much preferred it.
Re: Sweetloveqiner Random Color Material
Board: Stamp Carving and Mounting
Reply to: #932603 by FORAYCH
Aug 9, 2016 3:08am
Thread
Here's my wire knife carver list as it currently stands:

1) Speedy-Carve
2) yellowish-green Chinese stuff
3) white Chinese stuff
4) Daiso if I could get it
5) Seed Hard-Type, but only for stamps with no tiny details
6) Dollar Store white erasers

I won't buy Eco-Karve again. I'd take up a new hobby rather than carve that stuff.

OZ is actually kinda fun to gouge carve, but it is wholly unsuitable for wire knife carving. If I'm ever forced to use any, I'm looking for images that call for gouge carving -- which is not my usual style.

Sorry, I've never tried NZ.

You list pre-2012 pink stuff. I'd have it at the top, but it's NLA. Same with orange and white PZ Kut, obviously.
Re: Sweetloveqiner Random Color Material
Board: Stamp Carving and Mounting
Reply to: #932617 by Bumble
Aug 9, 2016 3:14am
Thread
I can't stand the current formulation of pink, mostly because the stuff moves away from the knife or gouge as I'm carving it resulting in crazy distortion.

Speedy-Carve has always been soft, even before 2012. You just have to carve your lines even as they move. It's softness has always been an issue with carving, but at the same time it makes it stamp better. Back in the day when I had both orange PZ Kut and Speedy-Carve on hand, I chose the orange PZ Kut for the detailed stamps and Speedy-Carve for the stamps with broad black areas because it would stamp those broad black areas better. PZ Kut was the absolute best for carving, but it really wasn't all that great for stamping or durability. Speedy-Carve arguably is the best compromise between these conflicting objectives.
Re: Sweetloveqiner Random Color Material
Board: Stamp Carving and Mounting
Reply to: #932669 by Kirbert
Aug 9, 2016 6:02am
Thread
Pink always been soft, but now it's soft and doesn't like to be cut - no matter if you "carve the lines as they move", the result is lines that wobble :(

I hear you for the large black areas though, but I find the Chinese sandwich material is as good for that. And so because the material doesn't try to move away from my knife while I carve, it's my preference between the two. I am trying to use up the pink I have, and pretty much use it for large stamps with little detail.

For me here in Canada, the pink stuff on sale is about the same price as the lowest priced Chinese sandwich stuff (all costs including shipping considered), so I have switched because it carves better for fine detail and straight lines than the pink.
Re: Sweetloveqiner Random Color Material
Board: Stamp Carving and Mounting
Reply to: #932668 by Kirbert
Aug 9, 2016 6:23am
Thread
I'm curious on these lists of favorites, could you mention if they happen to take a heat transfer well? I wouldn't mind trying some new stuff, but can't imagine not using heat transfer. Thanks for the feedback.
Re: Sweetloveqiner Random Color Material
Board: Stamp Carving and Mounting
Reply to: #932668 by Kirbert
Aug 9, 2016 7:08am
Thread
Thanks for the list. It sounds like I need to get a piece of the "Chinese stuff" colored or white (I am assuming the white is not what we call SLQ) and see what I can do with it using a gouge.

For what it is worth, I use a laser-printed/acetone transfer on all the materials I listed and get great results. I have not tried a heat transfer method to date, but my printer may be going so I might have to switch to a different transfer method in the future :(
Re: It's About Time
Board: Stamp Carving and Mounting
Reply to: #793014 by BriarRabbtz
Aug 9, 2016 7:23am
Thread
That is amazing for a first carve. Kudos to you and your carve. Awesome!
Re: Sweetloveqiner Random Color Material
Board: Stamp Carving and Mounting
Reply to: #806199 by Kirbert
Aug 9, 2016 8:13am
Thread
If it is from China and has any paint or dye, I would send a sample to your State lab to be tested for lead and other toxins. And clean up thoroughly if you have kids who might pick up the shavings and transfer them to their mouths. Speaking of which, I checked the Speed Ball website, but they don't divulge where the pink stuff is manufactured.
Girl Scout Only Event.
Board: Stamp Carving and Mounting
Aug 9, 2016 10:51am
Thread
I am looking to see if anyone would be willing to donate a few carved stamps for our event. Its Girl Scout Superhero. The letterboxing part of the weekend is finding the villains. So we are looking for some carved villains. They could be made up or be like some superhero's villains example Batman's villains are the Joker or the Riddler. Our event is September 23 so I would like to have them by the 20th. Looking for 5 or 6, then after the event I will take them and plant them.

K&K's Mom.
Re: Sweetloveqiner Random Color Material
Board: Stamp Carving and Mounting
Reply to: #932668 by Kirbert
Aug 9, 2016 11:37am
Thread
This is great info Kirbert, and also FORAYCH on your gouge evalution. Has anybody tried some of the alternate materials with an X-acto knife? I would be interested in seeing those results. I could test some of these myself, but am curious about heat transfer on the Chinese materials, the Daiso, and seed. Also, where do I get these? I've looked at Etsy, but there are so many different types, I'm not sure which are the specific ones you've tried.

What I have used:
1) Pink - takes a toner-based heat transfer well; too soft and wobbly for decent carving, particularly any detail. The fuzzies drive me crazy.
2) SQL - I have not been successful with toner-based heat transfer and use acetone transfer on this. I am torn on this because in my experience it is not consistent. It is supple and I love the extra little bit of thickness, but the drag is inconsistent, which is hard to manage as I carve - in spots the knife slides right through, then the next minute I need to push.
3) OZ - Takes toner-based heat transfer well if you break the shine first, either with sandpaper or acetone. Carves decent, but it is a lot of work at times because it is so hard... makes my hand cramp.
4) Dollar Store erasers (the large ones with cupcakes and elephants on them) - I couldn't get a heat transfer to take on these. Carving wasn't really so bad, but again the material is inconsistent and I found both air pockets and hard, grainy spots.
5) Staedtler Grand erasers - I found several of these in some old supplies. They take a heat transfer well and carve like a dream. Downsides are the limited size, and I don't even know that they make these any more as I was looking for them this weekend with no luck.

I need to try some of these other materials you speak of and see how they fare with an X-acto.
Re: Girl Scout Only Event.
Board: Stamp Carving and Mounting
Reply to: #932692 by K and Ks Mom
Aug 9, 2016 12:20pm
Thread
I might be interested but not sure I will have time to carve. I got started in this when my daughter was a girl scout. Are you looking for only female villians or either gender. I do have a few villain/assassin stamps like the UniBomber or John Wilkes Booth. Would those work? They are some leftovers from my Beware the Ides event. Did a series of famous assassination victims and villains starting with Caesar and Brutus.
Re: Girl Scout Only Event.
Board: Stamp Carving and Mounting
Reply to: #932703 by IrishRef
Aug 9, 2016 1:21pm
Thread
Not sure they will work. The coordinator is looking for superhero villians men or women.
Re: Girl Scout Only Event.
Board: Stamp Carving and Mounting
Reply to: #932710 by K and Ks Mom
Aug 9, 2016 3:26pm
Thread
More like the penguin or Poison Ivy? How about Disney's Maleficent?
Re: Sweetloveqiner Random Color Material
Board: Stamp Carving and Mounting
Reply to: #932678 by nosox
Aug 10, 2016 2:11am
Thread
I don't do heat transfers, so I couldn't tell you. Someone else will have to respond about that.
Re: Sweetloveqiner Random Color Material
Board: Stamp Carving and Mounting
Reply to: #932680 by FORAYCH
Aug 10, 2016 2:14am
Thread
I think the white is what we call SLQ. SweetLoveQiner doesn't seem to be selling it on Etsy any more, so I suppose keeping that name isn't called for. I don't relish calling it "Chinese stuff" forever, but so far all of the stuff I've tried that is supposedly made in China is 8mm thick and seems to be the same other than color. And AFAIK nobody has yet found any actual brand name for it.
Re: Girl Scout Only Event.
Board: Stamp Carving and Mounting
Reply to: #932721 by IrishRef
Aug 10, 2016 3:16am
Thread
Those would be wonderful. Even Scar, Ursula, catwoman, Harley quinn
Re: Sweetloveqiner Random Color Material
Board: Stamp Carving and Mounting
Reply to: #932696 by SpringChick
Aug 10, 2016 3:52am
Thread
I need to try some of these other materials you speak of and see how they fare with an X-acto.

I carve about 90% with knives these days and have been hell bent to try as many carving mediums as possible. I've been keeping track of all of the reviews I've been doing in one spread sheet [here]. My preferred method of transfer is heat, then I go to acetone if that doesn't work, and then I swear and throw things like a child and default to other methods for transfer. Seed, Hankeshi-Kun, Daiso: all take heat transfer - neither SLQ nor the sandwich does.

SQL ... the drag is inconsistent, which is hard to manage as I carve - in spots the knife slides right through, then the next minute I need to push.

I have the same issue with the SQL material, I find the sandwich style material does not have this intermittent drag issue - having tried many different colour sandwich blocks from a number of different shops.
Re: Sweetloveqiner Random Color Material
Board: Stamp Carving and Mounting
Reply to: #932735 by Kirbert
Aug 10, 2016 4:14am
Thread
Re: Girl Scout Only Event.
Board: Stamp Carving and Mounting
Reply to: #932738 by K and Ks Mom
Aug 10, 2016 9:12am
Thread
Yes but poison ivy, Harley or catwoman could be a little pinup(ish). Put me down for The Penguin.
Some Chinese Carving Stuff
Board: Stamp Carving and Mounting
Aug 10, 2016 12:08pm
Thread
OK, I purchased this on a whim (I think FloridaFour gave me the Amazon link). Anyone know if I need to prep it before carving?

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B01EAGC0NO/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o05_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1

BB
Re: Some Chinese Carving Stuff
Board: Stamp Carving and Mounting
Reply to: #932757 by Bungalow Boxer
Aug 10, 2016 2:17pm
Thread
I didn't do anything to it before carving, but when stamping the first time I had to use a pigment ink first, instead of water-based / markers. The ink seems to bead up and washes off almost completely. After that I can use the dew drops & other ink. If it's the same stuff I used, mine was pink & purple, I really liked it.
Re: Some Chinese Carving Stuff
Board: Stamp Carving and Mounting
Reply to: #932757 by Bungalow Boxer
Aug 10, 2016 2:22pm
Thread
Kirbert gives it a good review at the bottom. You might ask him.
Re: Sweetloveqiner Random Color Material
Board: Stamp Carving and Mounting
Reply to: #932739 by Bumble
Aug 10, 2016 4:37pm
Thread
Seed, Hankeshi-Kun, Daiso: all take heat transfer - neither SLQ nor the sandwich does.

Interesting. I would have expected that the factor determining whether heat worked or not would be the toner, not the carving material. What does SLQ do when you attempt a heat transfer?

SQL ... the drag is inconsistent, which is hard to manage as I carve - in spots the knife slides right through, then the next minute I need to push.

OK, are you heat transferrers the only ones reporting these issues? I'm wondering if the heat screws up the surface of the SLQ. I've carved a coupla dozen stamps from the stuff, and while it may not be my all-time favorite, I don't recall any consistency problems at all.
Re: Sweetloveqiner Random Color Material
Board: Stamp Carving and Mounting
Reply to: #932741 by paper trail
Aug 10, 2016 4:47pm
Thread
I think that price is better than it was on Etsy *if* you're buying just one piece, but if you're buying a pile it's worse. Either way, still not terribly cheap. I think this one is a better price for what I think is the same stuff:

https://www.amazon.com/10x15cm-Rubber-Carving-Blocks-Stamps/dp/B01EAGC0JI/ref=sr_1_86?s=arts-crafts&ie=UTF8&qid=1468103478&sr=1-86&keywords=stamp+carving+block

There are lots of other retailers on Amazon, Ebay and Etsy offering carving materials made in China. Some are white, some are solid colors, some are sandwich colors. I think they are all 8mm thick. Frankly, I think they are all the same material, from the same manufacturer -- whose identity we still have not discovered. If anyone finds anything made in China that's demonstrably different, please post your findings.
Re: Some Chinese Carving Stuff
Board: Stamp Carving and Mounting
Reply to: #932757 by Bungalow Boxer
Aug 10, 2016 4:51pm
Thread
Yes. Look at the block very carefully to see if it tapers to slightly thinner along the two long edges. If it does, my suggestion is to just go ahead and slice that tapered portion off and throw it away. You might be able to get good stamp images from it, and you might be able to instruct finders of your boxes how to get good impressions from it, but IMHO it's not worth the risks. Just slice off about 1/4" along each long edge and go from there.

Otherwise, should work well as-is. We are just now getting indications that it may be not good stuff for heat transfers, so if heat is your normal method you might want to try a different method.