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I was considering buying a harbor freight letter stamps set for putting my initials on forged work. The website claims that the stamps are High carbon, Although we all know that harbor freight tools are often of dubious quality.  If I get the iron hot enough, will the stamps hold up?  

 

Any thoughts?

 

http://www.harborfreight.com/hand-tools/stamping/36-piece-1-4-quarter-inch-steel-letter-number-stamping-set-35121.html

 

 

If this is a bad Idea, then where would I get a real touchmark? 

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from the gallery these guys apparently do good work, I recognize more than a few members touchmarks from there as well.

 

http://www.incandescent-iron.com/toga.html

 

I cant remember if there is another source that gets mentioned frequently or of they are one and the same.

 

methinks with HF equipment you would be needing to remake or replace it pretty frequently, of course you could get lucky and get one that lasts forever.... :)

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The letter/number stamps are for cold work so if you keep them cool they should last a long time stamping hot steel.

 

why not make a touch mark? Stamp your initials and maybe a little fancywork in a block of steel with a chisel and various punches. Then heat a piece of suitable punch stock to high orange or yellow heat and drive it into the stamped image. Cool, dress it if necessary and heat treat it. Even if it doesn't work it'll add to your skills sets. If you have the time, it's a can't lose situation.

 

Frosty The Lucky.

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from the gallery these guys apparently do good work, I recognize more than a few members touchmarks from there as well.

 

http://www.incandescent-iron.com/toga.html

 

I cant remember if there is another source that gets mentioned frequently or of they are one and the same.

 

methinks with HF equipment you would be needing to remake or replace it pretty frequently, of course you could get lucky and get one that lasts forever.... :)

 

While I agree that the touchmarks from the above company are high quality and will last a long time, I feel I must give one bit of advice when ordering one.  Make very sure your design will work adequately.  On mine, I approved the final design based on a computer drawing (CAD?) over e-mail.  However, when I recieved it, I found that it doesn't have enough negative space between the lines or something, and doesn't leave a clean, well defined mark.  As such, I almost never use it.  When I approached them about how to fix it after using it the first time (and IMO, they are the experts and should have either warned me or modified the drawing a bit to better define the lines), the response was, "You could order another one." 

as the adage goes....

buyer beware, ask enough questions.

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I reccommend that you don't "over-think" this issue.

 

The Horror Freight tools aren't first quality, ... but they are often valauble learning tools.

 

 

If you don't already know EXACTLY what you want, ... then I would sugest that you don't know enough, to justify a large expenditure.

 

And that's not just about the money.

 

If you go ahead and spend your money on an "ill considered" item, ... you will then be "trapped" into using it,, ... just to get a return on your investment.

 

 

Better to wait, and perhaps experiment with the low cost tools, until you're SURE about what you want.

 

 

 

.

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I agree with Frosty, try and make your own. In the meanwhile you can use the HF ones. Not always in that shop is negatife, I found a lot of stuff there that works pretty good...

I red some reviews of those punchs and some are oretty bad. Although, people are stupid and lots of negative reviews talked about punching hard metal like pliers, wrenches...
Those are often hardened steel and is not adviceable to punch hardened steel even with more expensive ones, they will get ruined, I know it for experience.

I say: buy them, try them, if not working, return them. In the meanwhile, make your own.
Don't case harden, the process would modify the lines and the stamps would get out bad...

Fra

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I agree with Frosty, try and make your own. In the meanwhile you can use the HF ones. Not always in that shop is negatife, I found a lot of stuff there that works pretty good...

I red some reviews of those punchs and some are oretty bad. Although, people are stupid and lots of negative reviews talked about punching hard metal like pliers, wrenches...
Those are often hardened steel and is not adviceable to punch hardened steel even with more expensive ones, they will get ruined, I know it for experience.

I say: buy them, try them, if not working, return them. In the meanwhile, make your own.
Don't case harden, the process would modify the lines and the stamps would get out bad...

Fra

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It's currently on sale, as w/ any HF item save the receipt, you have 90 days in which to bring it back.  I'm going to pickup a set at lunchtime today and make a touchmark with them.  Would it be worth the effort to case harden the stamps using the method outlined here?

 

http://www.ehow.com/how_4558811_case-harden-steel.html

 

No, case hardening isn't for impact resistance, it's a wear resistant skin. Just use the things, they'll last quite a while if you don't abuse them, say hit hardened steel or get them too hot.

 

Frosty The Lucky.

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