Rubber may be a scary thing to use in your laser for the first time, but once you find out about its specific characteristics, you will be a rubber stamp making pro!
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- Laser Safe Rubber Sheet
- Brush to Remove Rubber Dust
- Foam Sheet
- Acrylic or Wood for Stamp Backing
- Super Glue or E-6000
- Sticker Paper
- Stamp Ink
When you are making the files for your stamp, the most important thing to remember is that your image has to be flipped and your black and white image has to be inverted from how you want your stamp to press.
Rubber can be cut with your laser but is has a tendency to flare up. You will want to use a lower power and go around more than one time. You may also cut the rubber by hand, making sure that the cuts are even and close to the stamp image.
Even with high powered lasers, you may want etch your stamp image more than once. If so, hold the rubber in place firmly so it does not shift and use an old large paint brush to lightly brush away the dust that is left over from etching. If you try to etch over the dust, it may ignite and char your rubber.
One thing that makes for an evenly pressed stamp image is using a bit of a foam sheet as a cushion between the rubber stamp and the flat acrylic or wood base piece. If you are planning to laser cut the foam piece, make sure you create a larger contour around the stamp image outline, as foam has a tendency to melt and shrink quite a bit when laser cut. You can also cut the foam by hand.
The last thing you need to cut out is the base of the stamp. Make sure your acrylic or wood is perfectly flat, so it will make a good even stamp.
Once all your pieces are cut out, all you need to do it glue them together! Super glue and E-6000 adhesives will work. Rubber cements typically do to not bond to the rubber stamp and it will peel off too easily.
If you would like to see your image on the back of stamps, like the kind you can usually buy, simply ink your stamp and use on a bit of adhesive sticker paper (like label printer sheets) and cut out the image and put on the top of you stamp base! Now you have a finished stamp that will last for a very long time!