Another day, another jig!
This is a very simple jig - It is used to make straight letters and numbers with punchers/stamps and with consistent spacing.
This is handy to have around the work shop to stamp your creations or marking your tools.
Usually one can use tape and register the letter punches to the edge. But that way it is hard to make the spacing (kerning) consistent. This jig is clamped over the work piece and then the letters can be hammered down. Leaving one stamp as a spacer.
If you dont like the spacing you can easily make some other spacers with half the width of a letter puncher and make a neater text.
I guess this is perfect for making small dog tags or bracelets, and would work on leatherwork too. I had to try to make this in wood after watching a video from Tom Walter that had made a metal jig like this.
I made a small video about the build, that you can watch here!
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Step 1: Tools and Materials Used
Here is the tools and materials used. This build took under an hour to make and the size depends on what set of punchers you have. My punching set is 4 mm and the outer dimensions are 6 mm.
Depending on the size of your stamps/punchers you need to adapt the jig.
- Left over/scrap piece of 6 mm plywood
- Left over/scrap piece of red oak strip (trim)
- Plastic shim (made from a Pringles cap or something like that)
- saw (I used my bandsaw and chop saw, but any saw will do)
- square and or a ruler
- screwdriver and some screws
- CA glue (super glue)
- oil or wax for protection
- a 2,5 mm drillbit to predrill holes for the screws
- sanding paper/block (not in picture, late to the party!)
- a drill (also late to the party. took the same taxi as the sanding block...)
Step 2: Cut the Sides
I start by cutting the two sides (from the wood strip). I make them around 18 cm long. I used a chop saw/mitre saw, but you can use almost any other saw too. :-)
I use a sanding block to get the burr out and square the pieces.
Step 3: Make the Distance
I had some left over 6 mm plywood and my punchers was 6 mm thick. I made two spacers/distance pieces to each end for the jig.
If you dont have plywood, you can either plane or grind (sand) down some other piece to the thickness of your punchers/"stampers".
Step 4: The Assembly
I put all the parts togehter as a sandwich. I use CA glue first, and then pre drill holes for some screws from each side.
This is my first build of this jig and I was thinking that I might need to put the ends straight. Therefor I use a square. But after using this jig, I understand that it just need to stop the punchers from moving and making the ends in a slight angle, will make it easier for you to punch the letter you want and not hitting the others.
I really want a snug fit here, so use a thin plastic piece to shim the spacers right. Again - this depends on your stamps thickness and choosen material.
Step 5: Screw It
I used some small screws from each side. Then I trimmed the jig just to make it look better and feel better to the touch. After some hand sanding I put some wax on it, but oil will work too.
Step 6: Try It Out
Here you can se how the jigs works. I clamp the work piece between the jig and an anvil (this depends on what you are stamping. If you dont have a anvil, use something that is hard and flat).
I put in the stamps/punching letters one, after the other.
If I need the same letter twice, I change that letter with a blank or a unused letter.
Step 7: The Result
Here is some results. Same kerning/spacing, consistent line.
I decided to add a name tag to my jig. The material I used was aluminum and it was a little bit too soft. I also made some silly signs to my three office wall clocks (showing time for my home town, New York and... the Death Star).
Quick and easy to make jig, and nice to have if you are doing some letter punching/stamping.
I was thinking - if I made this again, maybe I should use clear acrylic so the jig would be easier to place/aim onto the work piece.
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Here is a link to that small video again, if you want to see the process in moving pictures.
Thank you for watching/reading!