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Read Thread: Seed "Hard-Type"

Seed "Hard-Type"
Board: Stamp Carving and Mounting
Jul 30, 2016 7:44pm
Board
Tonight I carved a stamp on a chunk labelled "Seed 'Hard-Type'". It's white with a thin pink layer on one side, and it's 11mm thick. I carved on the pink side. The pink is so light that even if these thin layers were useful, this one would not be; I could barely see it. That might have something to do with the compact flourescent light I was using, I dunno.

Perhaps it's from expectations being too high, but I was a bit disappointed. It carves well, but no angels sang or anything. If I sank the tip of my wire knife too deep while cutting, the cut edges got ragged real fast! Frankly, the carving experience was reminiscent of the white Dollar Tree erasers; it was smoother and better than those, but the overall impression was similar.

There was zero visibility of slices already made. In fact, the clearest indicator of where a cut has already been made was the raggedness where I had pushed the wire knife too hard.

I performed a simple tug test on a couple of the chunks removed, and the stuff pulls apart pretty easily. I have some concerns about its durability, especially with stamps with narrow positive lines or dots.

For all this, the stamp did come out pretty well. It wasn't the most detailed image, so arguably it wasn't a severe test.

I worked on a stamp on some pink stuff after I finished this stamp, and frankly I'd rate the pink stuff better. That was from a brand new piece of pink, purchased within the last coupla weeks, not "old pink".

I will be carving a second stamp from this same chunk, perhaps tomorrow. I think I'll try carving it with a regular X-Acto blade rather than a wire knife and see if the narrower flat blade avoids the raggedness. It's also a bit more detailed image, so I'll see better how the stuff takes detail.
Re: Seed "Hard-Type"
Board: Stamp Carving and Mounting
Reply to: #932098 by Kirbert
Jul 31, 2016 7:06am
Board
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
Board
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
Board
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: Seed "Hard-Type"
Board: Stamp Carving and Mounting
Reply to: #932585 by Kirbert
Aug 13, 2016 7:04pm
Board
I carved two stamps tonight. The first was the 3rd attempt that I had failed miserably twice trying to carve from Seed "Hard-Type", each time having a chunk fall out without apparent cause. For this third attempt I carved exactly the same image, same size, from Speedy-Carve. It worked out fine, stamps well, looks good, no chunks fell out.

The other stamp was carved from a different piece of Seed material, this one white with a green layer on one face. I carved the green side. This particular image was mostly block shapes; there are only a couple of fine lines, and those are surrounded by block shapes which affords some protection from accidental damage! This stamp came out fine, stamps well.

All in all, I really prefer the pink stuff over the Seed. I'm sure part of that is just that I'm more accustomed to carving pink stuff. But this Seed stuff cuts so easily it makes me nervous. I feel like I need to trim my fingernails before carving because I'm afraid accidentally touching the stamp with a fingernail will slice out a piece. I handed SWMBO some chunks of each and asked her to try cutting them with her fingernails, and even she remarked that it was really easy to cut those Seed pieces. She thought the Speedy-Carve was just unbelievably tough after fiddling with the Seed. For images that consist primarily of block shapes, OK, but avoid this stuff for fine positive lines or dots.