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Instructions and Care

The TagMate Tag Marking System

Additional tools you will need: A 16 oz. hammer, a pair of safety glasses and padded gloves (recommended).

  1. Set the TagMate base on a standard steel bench block.
  2. Secure the Jewelry Metal Tag in the milled recess on the TagMate base. 
  3. Place the TagMate cap over the base
  4. Hold your TagMate Stamp with its vertical flat side facing you and then insert it through the TagMate cap.
  5. Hold TagMate cap with one hand, between your thumb and index finger, and with your other hand strike the stamp with a 16 oz hammer.
  6. Lift cap with inserted stamp off the base and set aside
  7. Pick up the base, with the marked tag still in its recess, and tilt to let gravity release tag onto your work space or in a container.
  8. Repeat steps 1 trough 7 to mark as many Jewelry Metal Tags as needed.
    Note: A tri-fold pamphlet, with illustrations alongside the Step-by-Step Instructions, is included with every TagMate System Order. This pamphlet also includes step-by-step instructions for blackening & polishing, as well as helpful preparation suggestions and other relevant information.

Blackening & Polishing Kits

Preparation:

  1. IMPORTANT: Read WARNING at end of this guide and keep it in close proximity.
  2. Make sure children, individuals in poor health, the elderly and pets are not present while using this product.
  3. Make certain your work area is well ventilated.
  4. Protect your work surface with multiple layers of absorbent paper, to be discarded immediately upon completion.
  5. Utilize good lighting
  6. Wear acid-resistant gloves and apron for protection.
  7. Use a small acid-resistant bowl for Step 2 of the following Blackening & Polishing Kit “Step by Step Instructions.”

Step by Step Instructions

  1. Make certain your stamped metal tags are clean, dry and dust free.
  2. Open the blackening solution bottle (avoid squeezing) and place bottle cap, with its open side upright, in an acid-resistant bowl.
  3. Carefully pour a small amount of the blackening solution into the bottle cap placed in the bowl, filling it about half way.
  4. Set one marked tag on a sheet of wax paper (or similar) and anchor it by inserting the end of a toothpick (provided in kit) into the tag loop or hole.
  5. With your other hand take another toothpick, dip it in the solution in bottle cap and apply to stamped tag, making sure the entire imprint is covered. You need not be concerned about the solution covering the tag area surrounding the imprint.
  6. Wait several seconds, about 5 to about 15 (depending on how bold your mark is, room temperature, etc.) then, if you see excess solution on the tag, soak it up with a Q-tip (provided in your kit) or dab it off with a piece of dry paper towel.
  7. Pick up the metal tag and flip it over face down onto the polishing cloth (provided in your kit), and vigorously rub the dry black film off until completely gone and until tag areas surrounding your blackened imprint are shiny.
  8. Repeat steps 1 through 7 for each metal tag separately.

Handheld Steel Stamps -- Stamping Instructions

Tools you will need: A 16 oz hammer, a pair of safety glasses, a pair of work gloves and a 1" thick steel bench block.

  1. Set the products you intend to stamp on your workbench
  2. Place your steel bench block under good lighting and secure in place (recommended).
  3. Put on your gloves and safety glasses.
  4. Hold your steel hand stamp in one hand between your thumb and index finger, making sure the stamp groove is in contact with your thumb (groove is located on front side of the stamp).
  5. Place the stamp face directly on the spot you wish to imprint. Pick up your hammer and, before striking your stamp verify that it’s vertical and not tilting in any direction. Check to see that the entire stamp face is in full contact with the surface of your product. 
  6. Strike your stamp with moderate force only once, to prevent a double image and ensure a clear and complete imprint.

Steel Stamps and Plates for Use in Presses – Marking Instructions

Marking instructions would depend on the application (material being marked), and would also vary according to press used. If your steel stamp or plate was not made with mounting features to fit into your press, you can simply set it directly on the area you chose for your mark and, before pressing down on it, check to see that all is centered and aligned. This will ensure even pressure distribution and result in a uniform imprint.

All Steel Stamps & Plates – Preservation and Care

  1. Do not attempt to use your steel stamps or steel plates for marking hardened steel. Hardened steel products cannot be stamped with steel stamps. 
  2. When you're not using your steel stamps, to prevent rusting, we recommend that you store your stamps in a dry, airtight container. A Tupperware container or a cookie tin box should do the trick. 
  3. Oiling your steel stamps before you store them will also protect them from rusting. Canola oil will do just as well as a product called All Purpose Lubricant.
  4. If you live in humid climate and find that your steel stamps have some rust on them, you can use a dry Scotch Bright scouring pad (a dish-washing pad) to remove the rust.
  5. A Steel Sandpaper sheet can also be used. Make sure to avoid scouring or sanding the face of your stamp so it doesn't get scratched or rough.
  6. When you're done removing the rust off the shaft of your stamp(s), wipe it off with a dry paper towel or clean cloth and oil them promptly thereafter.

Brass Stamps & Plates – Instructions, Preservation and Care
Marking Soft Materials

  1. Place the face of your stamp on the spot you chose for your imprint, make sure it is vertical (not tilted) and gently press it into the surface. 
  2. Carefully lift your stamp straight up (avoid tilting) and remove.
  3. If your mark is too shallow, repeat steps # 1 & # 2 with added pressure.

Marking Tooling Leather (leather that will take and hold an imprint)

  1. Use only in a non-impact press such as a manual arbor press or a hydraulic press.
  2. Set your plate on your product, making sure both are centered under your press shaft, to ensure even pressure distribution.
  3. For further instructions, refer to your specific press manual.

Preserving the Integrity of Your Brass Stamps and Plates

  1. Use these products only for imprinting the materials you had originally intended to stamp when you purchased them and as indicated on your Sales Order
  2. If you would like to remove any residue (such as pottery clay, soap, etc.) a wet soft, non-abrasive sponge will do the trick.
  3. When not in use, wrap up your brass stamps in clean soft cloth to protect them from getting nicked or scratched.
  4. Make sure you never throw your brass stamps into your toolbox with sharp objects if they are not properly wrapped in protective cloth.
  5. Brass stamps are rust resistant and, therefore, do not need to be stored in an airtight container. Oiling them is not necessary either.

Magnesium Plates – Instructions, Preservation and Care

  1. Use only in a non-impact press such as a manual arbor press or hydraulic press. These plates should not be struck with a mallet or hammer.
  2. Set your plate on your product, making sure both are centered under your press shaft, to ensure even pressure distribution.
  3. For further instructions, refer to your specific press manual.

Tips:

  1. Because magnesium is flammable; keep your magnesium plates away from open flame.
  2. If you intend to heat up your magnesium plates, we recommend that you do so only with an electrical tool.
  3. Should you still want to heat up your magnesium plate over open flame, make sure to consult an experienced tradesman before you attempt to this yourself.
  4. When not in use, wrap your magnesium plates in a clean soft cloth to protect them from getting nicked or scratched.
  5. Make sure you never throw them into a toolbox with other sharp objects if they are not properly wrapped with a protective cloth.

Steel Type for use in Handheld and Machine Holders – Instructions

Tools you will need: Safety glasses, 16 oz. hammer (for handheld holders), Gloves (recommended). Utilize a workbench that is level, smooth and free of debris. A tempered steel marking bench block is highly recommended.

  1. Pick up your type holder and insert the steel type pieces that will make up the specific imprint you need.
  2. If the character pieces don’t fill up the entire opening of your holder, insert as many spacers as necessary (provided) to take up the remaining open space.
  3. Use Allen wrench (provided) to tighten the set-screw located on the side of the head of your holder until the type pieces and spacers are secured in place.
  4. Set your holder with inserted type head down on the area you wish to mark and make sure it is in full contact.
  5. Hold your type holder firmly vertically (avoid tilting) in one hand and with your other hand, holding a 16oz hammer, strike the top end of your holder with moderate force and only once (to prevent a double-image).
  6. If your first imprint is too shallow, increase the force of your strike for additional imprints.

Steel Type & Holders -- Preservation and Care

  1. Do not attempt to use your steel type and holder for imprinting hardened steel. Hardened steel products cannot be imprinted.
  2. When you’re not using your steel type and holder, to prevent rusting, we recommend that you store them in a dry, airtight container. A Tupperware container or a cookie tin box should do the trick.
  3. Oiling your steel type before you store them away will also protect them from rusting. Using Canola oil is just a good as a product called All Purpose Lubricant.
  4. If you live in a humid climate and find that your steel type and holder have some rust on them, you can use a new dry dish washing scouring pad to remove the rust. A Steel Sandpaper sheet can also be used. Make sure to avoid scouring or sanding the face of your steel type so they don’t get scratched or rough.

Hand Stamp Holders – Use instructions

  1. Hold the plastic handle of your stamp holder in one hand and with your other hand hold the C shaped head.
  2. Twist handle counter clockwise until only a small portion of the screw remains inside the C head.
  3. Place the center of your stamp inside the groove located at the top of the C shaped head.
  4. Turn the handle of your holder clockwise until its screw comes into contact with your stamp.
  5. Continue turning the handle and tighten contact with stamp until it is firmly locked in place and will not budge. 
  6. Set the face of your stamp on the spot you wish to mark and, just before you strike the top your stamp with your 16oz hammer, make sure it is in full contact with the surface of your product.
  7. Strike your stamp with moderate force and only once (to avoid a double-image imprint).
  8. If you find that your first imprint is too shallow, increase your striking force for additional imprints.

Manual Impact/Percussion Presses – Operation Instructions

  1. Load and position your steel stamp or steel type holder in the press collet and tighten with locking nut (provided) to secure in place. Do not over-tighten as it may damage collet.
  2. Position your product practice-piece on press table or fixture to test-mark.
  3. Adjust the height of the marking head from your practice piece so that impact occurs. If impact does not occur, see step 7 below.
  4. Use the knurled nut or handle to adjust marking load by compressing or releasing the load spring.
  5. If the marking load (pressure) is insufficient, fit stronger spring and repeat step # 4. 
  6. If impact fails to occur ensure that initial spring resistance is overcome. (See step # 3 above).
  7. If resistance is not overcome even though the machine height is correctly set, ensure that the quill has fully returned. If not, suspect the return spring is sticking. Also check for a broken spring.
  8. If return spring isn't functioning correctly, the lock nuts on the quill may be set too close to the nut above. This distance can be slightly increased but the gap should be kept as close as possible to minimize the possibility of damage to the internal mechanism.
  9. If the reason for failure is unclear, check for broken ball bearings. If you find that they are, check for internal damage. If none of them are broken, replace and re-assemble.
  10. This step applies to the 3-ton press: In order to avoid a double imprint, ensure that the two nuts located above the collet nut are both in contact with the rubber ‘O’ ring at the point of actuation.