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carving medium question
Board: Stamp Carving and Mounting
Jan 14, 2019 9:36pm
Board
We had to leave the hobby for the better part of 6 years due to "life stuff" and we are now getting back in to it. I want to carve a stamp...I looked in my stash and found 5 kinds of carving materials marked as follows:
1. Mystery C
2. NZ
3. B
4. OZ
5. one slab unmarked but very shiny on both sides.

Anybody remember if any of these are any good? Which one is best?

Or should I buy some new stuff.....and if so, what's the best right now?

Thanks for your help. QM
Re: carving medium question
Board: Stamp Carving and Mounting
Reply to: #970339 by QueenMother'n'CloudWalker
Jan 14, 2019 9:48pm
Board
Welcome back!!

If the "B" is PZKUT - then that is the best piece you have :)

OZ is very firm, but keeps good detail.
NZ a lower level OZ, but a number of people liked it.
Mystery C - I found very stretchy if it is the same stuff you have.
Very shiny on both sides, sounds like OZ to me, but maybe someone else knows that one.
Re: carving medium question
Board: Stamp Carving and Mounting
Reply to: #970339 by QueenMother'n'CloudWalker
Jan 15, 2019 2:06am
Board
You MUST buy new... and send all your old stuff to me right away... lol

Depending on your hand strength - and carving style... they will still be good to carve on. But they will all feel different when carving them. And then - what Jeff said :)
Re: carving medium question
Board: Stamp Carving and Mounting
Reply to: #970339 by QueenMother'n'CloudWalker
Jan 15, 2019 5:46am
Board
I think the shiny one is Firmcut. I personally hated the stuff. Like the name implies, it felt like I was carving a brick. OZ was nice, but I could never get a great transfer like I do onto Pink. I think NZ is the one where the gouge lines didn't want to pop out, had to end a cut by starting at the end and meeting in the middle to get a clean line.

Both OZ and PZ had a "B" grade. If it's OZ just use it. If you bought PZ, put it on ebay and it will fund your carving for quite awhile!
Re: carving medium question
Board: Stamp Carving and Mounting
Reply to: #970339 by QueenMother'n'CloudWalker
Jan 15, 2019 10:41am
Board
Welcome Back! What a happy day to see your trail name!
Re: carving medium question
Board: Stamp Carving and Mounting
Reply to: #970339 by QueenMother'n'CloudWalker
Jan 15, 2019 12:06pm
Board
Thanks everyone! I appreciate the input.
Re: carving medium question
Board: Stamp Carving and Mounting
Reply to: #970339 by QueenMother'n'CloudWalker
Jan 16, 2019 11:43am
Board
This list all looks like it came from Stampeaz. The responses you have gotten already have been pretty spot on, but here's the official list.

1. Mystery C - was a mistake at the factory that came out rubbery and I thought it was difficult to carve on, which was why I graded it as "C" and sold it for really cheap. I used some of it as simple background stamps that didn't require much detail and that was pretty much all it was good for.
2. NZ Kut, as people have noted was the iteration before OZ. A little more elastic than OZ, but still takes good detail. If you sand it before doing your transfer, it will take both the transfer and the printing ink better.
3. B sounds like an old block of PZ Kut. I believe I always identified which material I was grading after PZ Kut went away, so OZ would have been marked OZ-B.
4. OZ still had a little elasticity and release issues, but held detail well and, if sanded before you do your transfer should hold ink without much difficulty.
5. Really shiny on both sides sounds like Firm Kut. It was my first try at a new formulation after PZ Kut was wrenched from my little webbed feet. It's pretty firm, definitely requires sanding before use and needs some patience to work with, but I've been able to do some amazingly detailed carvings with it.

Currently, I've got Tan-Z Kut. It's still a bit firmer than PZ Kut, but not as elastic as the other tries I've made at reformulation, so cuts release better. I like it pretty well and it seems to do well with most inks. I still always sand before transfer, but I think that helps any block. If you want to look at responses from my various testers when I was developing the stuff, the final tests start on my (recently much neglected) blog here: Tan-Z Sample Results Round 1. There are several other posts after that in fairly quick succession, if you want to see some amazing carvings and read about the various tests it was put through.

I hope that's helpful. :)

Webfoot
Re: carving medium question
Board: Stamp Carving and Mounting
Reply to: #970359 by Webfoot
Jan 16, 2019 1:12pm
Board
Thank you Webfoot! Very helpful! Yes, they did all come from Stampeaz......I hope to try some of that Tan-Z cut soon :)

QM
Re: carving medium question
Board: Stamp Carving and Mounting
Reply to: #970359 by Webfoot
Jan 16, 2019 7:37pm
Board
I see that there is still some Gray-Z still left. It is thin enough to work for micro-postals. When you make another run of Tan-Z it would be useful to have some material as thin as Gray-Z.
Re: carving medium question
Board: Stamp Carving and Mounting
Reply to: #970375 by Oberon_Kenobi
Jan 17, 2019 4:35pm
Board
I see that there is still some Gray-Z still left. It is thin enough to work for micro-postals. When you make another run of Tan-Z it would be useful to have some material as thin as Gray-Z.

Duly noted. I will see if I can get a little bit in the half thickness next time around, without having to buy a full ton and a half of it. :)