Upgrade for Precious Plastic Stamps

So a while back me and my buddy @clementhempel bought the 5 official Precious Plastic Stamps. They are working great, but there a few things we were unhappy about:

1) There is no way to know the direction the coins are facing when seen from the back. You just have to place it on in the general direction and hope for the best.

2) When heating the coins and stamping them on to the plastic creations, the coins has to be held and operated with the help of a secondary tool.

So one day we sat down to fix the issues

(picture of the coins, how they looked when they came through the mail)

The first issue

Was easy to take care of.
We marked the top of the coins with a marker
(picture one)

– and used a file to leave a visable mark in the back, to indicate the top point of the coin.
(picture two)

@btmetz i actually thought about making that very idea, but we didnt have a soldering iron, and we needed some screws or similar with the correct pitch as the soldering iron, besides, a gas torch is actually faster than a soldering iron

Thank you for the tip and great explanation @btmetz !
If you ever make this with your own stamp, please hit me up when showing it off

@btmetz the idea is fine, and i am pretty sure it is possible, so you just go ahead and try it! Would love to see it done 😉

We just do not have such a soldering iron, and the heating with a heat gun, or a torch works just fine 🙂

Its just a ordinary 85 watt soldering iron. I bought one locally at the hardware store for less than $10USD The tip is just a metal rod with a point on it, you can unscrew the set screw, turn it around and tig weld a steel stamp on it, or grind down a m8 bold and use that with a threaded block of alu.

why not machine one and mount it to a soldering iron?

All the handles

Are working just fine, as they are quite solid and they do not get hot when heating the coins
(picture one)

We gave them a little sanding
(picture two)

And the HDPE coin got a wooden handle as we use this coin a lot
(picture three)

@jegor-m you can technically use pure silver for the soldering, but silver solder (or hard solder as it is also known) has a lower melting point, it is not quite as easy to get hold of as regular solder, but it is far superior to its softer cousin.
if you absolutely wanted to use soft solder, you would have to use a larger metal rod, than the one we used. i could make a set if you want to, (dm me) you could also ask a local jeweler.

For the idea of making a pair of pliers to hold the buttons, that is a brilliant idea, personally i would solder a slightly smaller piece of brass or similar metal to make it easier to hold on to, you could also solder a small piece of square stock to hold on to with a pair of regular pliers

@andyn I am pretty sure that they are solid brass, but they have some kind of varnish on them, my guess is to reduce oxidation

Thanks @jegor-m !
@clementhempel is the main guy for the solding
Good luck with the scissors, hit me up when V2 is made 😀

@anris, some very good stuff here.
As I understand you use silver as a solder for the iron rods, right?
Is it as accessable as a regular solder?

For the same idea of making coins more pleasant to work with, I thought of making a scissor like grabber that could allow lifting the hot coin by the grooves in its side. Basically just regular scissors shaped for coins. I went as far as making a prototype, but did not have the fight type of wire. It is planned for our V2, hehe.

Solding the iron rods to the coins

After the supposed plating were removed, it were then possible to start solding the iron rods to the coins

We got an interim setup up and running that looked like this
(picture one)

It consisted of the coin, then a few cut off silver bits, with some flux (picture two) on top and then the iron rod.

It was then possible to melt the silver and make it bond the rod to the coin.
(picture three)

Hey, thanks for the questions @andyn

Our first impression were that the coins were brass plated steel. As the coin would be totally silver when the plating were removed.
(picture below)

But when i try testing for any magnetic response, there seems to be none. Implying that it might be 100% brass after all.

We have found that the method of stamping depends on the type of plastic you want to stamp:

HDPE [2] takes more heat and time to melt before the stamp makes a nice clean mark. Therefore we found that leaving the stamp on the plastic till it is cooled down, works best here.

PP [5] is melted by the heat fairly fast, making the prosses of removing the coin straight away the far superior here.

Aren’t they solid brass? The description in the Bazar just says ‘Material: brass’.

Are the coins magnetic? They could be brass plated steel.

When you use these what have you found is the best method? Place the hot coin on the plastic and leave to completely cool before removing (very slow if doing more than one item)? Or stamp with the hot coin and remove straight away (quicker, but doesn’t leave as nice an impression)?

Burning the coating

– took about a minute for each coin, and it were easy to tell when the coating were burned as the coin would turn black, and give of a bit of smoke.
(picture one and two)

The black marks could then be scratched of fast and with ease
(picture three)

The second issue

Were a bit harder
The plan were to sold some iron rods to the back of the coins to act like handels, so that the coins were easy to operate.
(picture one)

But the coins were coated in a layer of brass that we had to get rid of.
First we tried to scratch it of.
(picture two)

The scratching took a lot of time and effort, so we decided to burn of the coating with a torch.
(picture three)