Many of our customers use hard leather such as bridle leather and we generally recommend brass stamps for this.
Before ordering there are some important factors to consider if you are working with hard leather. The most important is to let us know whether you will be using a press, (e.g arbor or fly press) or a mallet.
This will help determine how big you can have the stamp whilst still achieving a good impression in the leather.
Brass die stamps for a press.
We make flat brass die stamps using 1/4 inch thick brass plate, CNC milled and cut to size or shape. Much depends on how powerful your press is and how hard the leather is, but generally speaking you can have a larger image on the stamp in a press compared with using a mallet. The more powerful the press the bigger the stamp can be, but the harder the leather the more force will be needed to drive the impression in.
Also, the more area of design or logo within the stamp, the more pressure will be needed. So a text stamp which uses a light (thin) typeface will need less pressure than one with a bold or heavy one.
We do our best to advise if you can provide us with the artwork or design; generally we suggest going no bigger than 4cm x 4cm on overall area unless the press is powerful or the leather is not too hard.
Brass mallet stamps.
With hard bridle leather it is very important to keep the size or area to be stamped within the ability of a mallet blow to create a deep enough impression. We have had quite experienced saddlers ask us for large hand stamps and then find they can't achieve sufficient force with their mallet go deep enough, so now we try to keep on the safe side of what is practical no matter what we are asked to make!
As a general rule, we strongly recommend going no bigger than 26mm diameter or similar area for hand stamps on hard leather. But if the design has thicker text or graphics (meaning more area of leather needs to be pressed down within the size) then it is better to reduce the size to around 18mm in diameter. Take a look at the Horse Watch stamps on the left - its a good rule to follow.
As each job is very bespoke, we prefer to get all the factors right before you place an order and when agreed we will then send either a PDF invoice, a PayPal one or take your card details over the phone. Once payment is processed we normally turn brass stamp orders around within 3 working days but will advise at the time dependent on workload.
Testing your leather for stamping
Before committing to the purchase of a stamp it is useful to carry out a simple test on an offcut of your leather, to see how hard it is to make an impression.
Place the offcut onto a solid smooth surface such as a granite block (this should also be on a solid bench with no 'give'). Then get a round headed nail about 4 inches long - the sort carpenters use - and place the round head on the surface of the leather at 90 degrees. Carefully strike the sharp end with a metal hammer and see what sort of impression you have created.
If it looks good then you won't be wasting your money buying a stamp. If you are worried that your design is too big or chunky to be successfully hand stamped, please do send us a small sample in the post and we'd be delighted to test stamp it for you to determine the optimum stamp size.