Not all stamps are rubber. In fact, stamps were originally made of carved wood blocks and they are still being done today. There are many designs to choose from; some are hand carved and others are machine carved. Most wood blocks from India are made of Teak, Oak, Pine and Rosewood lumber.
The size options allow you to create small and big prints. They are great for custom stamp, art and crafts projects, scrapbooking, card making, fabric designing and more. You can use regular inks and stamp pads or you can use textile paint, water and oil-based paints. They are not recommended though for frequent stamping like for office documents. For those you would need a self- inking stamp.
Wood handles are commonly used on rubber stamps mounted on a wood block. They make the stamps easier to use. They are either incorporated to the rubber stamp or you can buy them separately. They come in different sizes, shapes (round, flat front) and colors (black, walnut). You can even have your logo imprinted on a flat front handle. Handles and wood mounts can also be bought separately, just make sure that the mount hole matches the tenon of the handle. Compared to Pre-Inked Stamps and Self-Inking Stamps, rubber stamps with wood handles need a separate ink pad. The commonly available stamp pad ink colors are black, blue, red, green and purple.
How to Care for Your Wood Stamp Blocks
Your wood stamp blocks are very useful and fun to use. You can make your own stationery, business cards and fabric designs. Of course, it is also important that you take steps to maintain the quality of your stamp and to prolong its life. Here are some tips on how to take care of your wood stamp blocks and handles.
1. Clean the wood stamp after use.
• If you used water-based paint for stamping, such as textile paints, clean the stamp by rubbing it with soap and hot water.
• If you used oil-based paints like acrylic, wipe off the paint immediately after use, and then wash it with lacquer thinner then with soap.
• If you used a regular stamp ink, remove excess ink by stamping on a scratch paper until no more ink is showing. After that, stamp it on a paper towel that is moist with water. This step only takes a few minutes, but it has a lasting effect on the life of your wood Hand Stamp.
• If the ink is hard to remove, use a stamp cleaning solution or dishwashing soap. Make sure to clean out the solution after.
• If there are stubborn stains or debris, try using a soft toothbrush and then rinsing under runner water. Dipping your stamp in water is not recommended because it can damage the wood. It would be impossible to completely remove the ink or paint. So use your own judgment if the stamp is clean as over scrubbing is also not good for them.
• Make sure the wood stamp block is air dried before storing them in a wood or plastic box.
2. Store Wood Stamps Properly
They should be stored in a cool and dry place that is not exposed to direct sunlight, excessive heat and cold. Arrange and stack them in an organized manner and they should be placed where they are protected from damage.
What happens if you don’t care for your wood blocks? The worst thing is for termites to infest and eat them. You don’t want that to happen do you? Take proper care of your wood stamp blocks and handles and you will have many lasting impressions ahead of you.
I hope these information and tips have helped you in any way. If you’ve had any experience in using wood stamp blocks, share them with us in the comments section.
How to Carve Your Own Wood Stamp Blocks
Think you have the creativity to carve your own wood stamp design? There are many materials and supplies that you need before starting. Most of them can be bought at arts and crafts and stamp stores. One of these materials is the wood printing block, which is also used for block printing. It comes in different sizes to accommodate your stamping requirement. You can buy them in small sizes or in a large sheet. It is also more economical for you to buy a large sheet and then cut it into smaller pieces.
• Drawing Paper
• Block of Wood
• Burnisher (curved)
• Carving Chisel Set
1. Draw your design on a piece of paper. You can also print out a stock photo and then trace it with a pencil.
2. Transfer the drawing onto the block of wood. Place the paper face down and then rub the back of the paper with a burnisher until the pencil is transferred to the wood completely.
3. Lift up the paper with the drawn design slowly to check if the transfer is complete. If not, put the paper down again and rub it.
4. Trace the design on the wood again with a pen so it’s clearer.
5. Place the wood block on top of a rubber mat.
6. Start carving out the wood block. Have a separate wood block to rest your wrist or you can have a wood block that’s bigger than the design.
7. Carve in the direction away from your body. Make sure that none of your body parts is resting in front on the chisel. Remember to practice safety at all times.
8. Carve just enough depth so that when stamped, the design is clear. Use the chisel tip with a V-shaped gouge to carve out details against the grain of the wood. Use the U-shaped gouge to carve along the grain of the wood.
9. If you think your carving is not clean enough, you may have to sharpen your chisels.
10. Print your wood block by applying ink with a roller and then place the paper face down. Rub the back of the paper with a flat object.
11. Slowly lift the paper from the wood block and then let it dry.
So there you have it! You can buy or do your own wood stamp blocks. Care to share with use your stamping journey? Please leave a comment in the comments section.