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Read Thread: How long does it take you?

How long does it take you?
Board: Stamp Carving and Mounting
Feb 11, 2019 9:55am
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I asked someone earlier, and I decided to ask the rest of you. About how long on average does it take you to carve one stamp? I know that some are more detailed than others or that some are larger than others. I am just wondering in general. 🙂
Re: How long does it take you?
Board: Stamp Carving and Mounting
Reply to: #971322 by RDHG
Feb 11, 2019 10:58am
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About an hour per square inch of rubber.
Re: How long does it take you?
Board: Stamp Carving and Mounting
Reply to: #971322 by RDHG
Feb 11, 2019 11:36am
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I would guess it's about a square inch an hour, but I can only carve for about 3 hours before I start making mistakes. I can lengthen that by another hour if I alternate complex tiny details areas with larger ones, or clean up along the edges of the stamp. It also varies a bit according to the hardness of the carving material. I tend to use harder material for the "best" stamps, and softer stuff for the smaller, simpler ones.
Re: How long does it take you?
Board: Stamp Carving and Mounting
Reply to: #971322 by RDHG
Feb 11, 2019 12:42pm
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I never carve anything all that elaborate, so something like a cartoon character, two inch by two inch size? Probably 20 mins at most.
Re: How long does it take you?
Board: Stamp Carving and Mounting
Reply to: #971322 by RDHG
Feb 11, 2019 12:55pm
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I consider myself fairly fast at carving. I think material and tools make for a huge difference in how long carving takes me. Oz and a miniaturized staedtler can take me upwards of 4 hours for a LTC sized stamp of average detail. Pink and a speedball #1 maybe 2 hours.
Re: How long does it take you?
Board: Stamp Carving and Mounting
Reply to: #971322 by RDHG
Feb 11, 2019 12:58pm
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I think that may be one of the things that changes with experience. When you're new at carving, the tendency is not to spend too long on a carve. Not because it's not worth it, but more because you're worried you're gonna mess it up. The idea of putting a couple of hours into a silly little piece of rubber only to accidentally hack a key piece out of it or turn a letter around backwards or some such just feels like it's not worth the risk.

As you gain experience and confidence, though, you are increasingly willing to tackle jobs that will take a lot of time to get right. The level of detail grows. Eventually you start looking for ideas for stamps that will take as *much* time as possible, because the time put into a carve shows.
Re: How long does it take you?
Board: Stamp Carving and Mounting
Reply to: #971322 by RDHG
Feb 11, 2019 1:58pm
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I agree with what others said. Mostly for me, carving is about focus and the question may be more about how long I can sustain that focus. The more detailed the carving, the more difficult and the longer I have to be focused. Generally, I can last about an hour. Sometimes I’ll put a stamp away overnight and work on it the next day in which case, it takes more time. So, for me, 1-2 hours for each LTC sized stamp.
Re: How long does it take you?
Board: Stamp Carving and Mounting
Reply to: #971322 by RDHG
Feb 11, 2019 4:13pm
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1-3 hours for each LTC sized stamp, depending on the complexity.
Re: How long does it take you?
Board: Stamp Carving and Mounting
Reply to: #971322 by RDHG
Feb 11, 2019 5:22pm
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Thank you for your input, Everyone. I carved my first stamp in a few years, and I felt like it took me a long time. Based on your feedback, maybe it did not take that long. However, it is much bigger than I planned. No worries. I simply need more practice. 🙂
Re: How long does it take you?
Board: Stamp Carving and Mounting
Reply to: #971327 by Maude
Feb 11, 2019 7:15pm
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I tend to use harder material for the "best" stamps, and softer stuff for the smaller, simpler ones.

I use the soft material for stamps that have large inked areas. I use hard material for when there are few inked areas.
Re: How long does it take you?
Board: Stamp Carving and Mounting
Reply to: #971336 by Kirbert
Feb 11, 2019 7:18pm
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The idea of putting a couple of hours into a silly little piece of rubber only to accidentally hack a key piece out of it or turn a letter around backwards or some such just feels like it's not worth the risk.

I've been able to glue in a piece that I should not have cut out. I've done it multiple times. I don't know if others have noticed these patches, but I have. FYI, I use E-6000 to glue them back in because it remains a little flexible.

I have one stamp where I carved a letter backwards. It was one that I did a toner transfer too, so I shouldn't have messed it up. Since it was one of the Ns in BANANA, I decided to leave it.
Re: How long does it take you?
Board: Stamp Carving and Mounting
Reply to: #971339 by DarkZen and Evil Cow Pie
Feb 11, 2019 7:40pm
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1-3 hours for each LTC sized stamp, depending on the complexity.

That's probably about right for me too. It definitely depends on complexity.

My longest carve (to that point) is of a lighthouse, Minot's Ledge Light. It must have taken at least 10 hours over 5 days. It is an excellent carve, except that the top of the lighthouse is crooked. I used it for two LTC trackers, but they didn't have the same participants (except for me).

However, after that I carved another that took me longer. It was of the "Snow Business" episode of Simon's Cat. The frame was when the cat was poised to start the throw of the first snowball at the bird. I captured as much detail in the frame as I could, which was most of it. This one was maybe 15 hours. The carve is slightly larger than the 2½"×3½" card because I wanted it stamping edge-to-edge.

Those long carves take time, but they are worth it.
Re: How long does it take you?
Board: Stamp Carving and Mounting
Reply to: #971322 by RDHG
Feb 11, 2019 8:21pm
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About how long on average does it take you to carve one stamp?

Probably too long! :)

I most likely am in the slower category of carvers, but I have done detailed inchies in an hour and 5" x 5" stamps that took over 40+ hours. I probably am slower because I am careful, like Kirbert mentions, because I take on more and more difficult carves AND I don't do redos. Mistakes just become part of the work.

A great rule of thumb for speed of carving is...take as long as you want to feel like you are proud of your effort and work!

Challenging yourself for more and more detail can be great for some, and joy sucking for others. Carving fast may be easy for some and painful (literally - I tend to gouge my skin when going too fast) for others. Go at the pace you feel comfortable and find joy in the work!

Jeff
Re: How long does it take you?
Board: Stamp Carving and Mounting
Reply to: #971353 by FORAYCH
Feb 12, 2019 1:59am
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Also note: Some of us are gouge carvers and some of us are hobby knife carvers. Hobby knife carving generally takes longer than gouge carving. In fact, we once had a post where someone suggested that more people should learn how to gouge carve because they'd end up carving more stamps and hence we'd have more boxes to hunt!
Re: How long does it take you?
Board: Stamp Carving and Mounting
Reply to: #971322 by RDHG
Feb 12, 2019 11:39am
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For me, it really depends on the stamp.. if it's a fairly simple stamp, I usually can finish in an hour or so.. any longer and I usually stop for a while.. (I've broken a couple of fingers in the past) because I'll start making multiple mistakes if I don't..
Re: How long does it take you?
Board: Stamp Carving and Mounting
Reply to: #971378 by Only Dreaming
Feb 12, 2019 12:38pm
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Wait, what!? You’ve broken fingers carving stamps?

🙀
Re: How long does it take you?
Board: Stamp Carving and Mounting
Reply to: #971322 by RDHG
Feb 12, 2019 6:02pm
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That’s a tricky question to answer. If I’m doing a simple carve such as a pictograph or one of my lighthouse stamps, I can whip through one of those in 10-20 minutes. If I’m doing an intricate one or anything with lettering, then everything is slowed down and I might be working for hours. Size of stamp has nothing to do with it, smaller may take longer do to detail.
Re: How long does it take you?
Board: Stamp Carving and Mounting
Reply to: #971359 by Kirbert
Feb 13, 2019 9:14am
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... they'd end up carving more stamps and hence we'd have more boxes to hunt!

You misspelled "hence have a taller pile of Lock-and-Locks that need to be planted."
Re: How long does it take you?
Board: Stamp Carving and Mounting
Reply to: #971322 by RDHG
Feb 14, 2019 1:27am
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I don’t really time myself, because I feel that if I do then it would depress me and maybe make it harder to find motivation to start. I just kind of wait for an open night when my health is good enough, enjoy the process, and binge-carve until I am done. It has given me many opportunites to see the sun rise! :P I am working on a series right now that has messed up my sleep schedule. Based on that, I think the stamps have been about 9hrs from when I start the transferring process to end. I tend to not take breaks and hyperfocus (the one good symptom of ADHD).

My transferring method is slow (pencil on tracing, rub, go over with fine marker, wash pencil off, mustard ink), but I feel it gives me better flexibility on customizations, etc. I use the pink stuff, so that is quicker from what I am reading here. I am mostly a knife carver, but use gouges for cetain thing and find many of my stamps now use both (but in that case it just tends to be use of the 1V Miniturized for shading). So really, there are ways to speed up my carving, but the #11 knife gives me the results I want for what I am going for. I keep trying to do gouges where I can, but I don’t like them for the insides of corners and such. Also, I prefer to feel like a surgeon. ;)
Re: How long does it take you?
Board: Stamp Carving and Mounting
Reply to: #971435 by AlishaMisha
Feb 14, 2019 1:57am
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What is mustard ink?

I only know how to use gouges. When you use a knife, do you cut from multiple angles to get the rubber out?
Re: How long does it take you?
Board: Stamp Carving and Mounting
Reply to: #971436 by RDHG
Feb 14, 2019 2:17am
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Sorry, I was being short with my wording. I use Staz-on in the color of mustard to seal my marker lines in and see what I am carving away. I press my stamp onto a paper towel several times to get the excess off.

Yeah, so say you are looking at the rubber from the thin side. Imagine the * is a black line or something. Another words, I am not carving that part away. I angle my knife like this on each side of it to give the black line better structure (or “supporting rubber”): /*\ Then I go in again at another angle to get the rubber out, so like this: \ /*\ / I also stab the loose rubber with the tip of the knife to lift it out of the stamp and use my pinky to flick it off into a small “lock-n-lock” type container I keep (to make less mess).

Did any of that make sense or was it completely confusing?