Friday, 2 April 2010

Second Hand stamps - a cautionary tale

I had a super day at the local trash and treasure market recently - a handful of great Lego (including a shark!) for 50c, some old cookbooks, and even two excellent rubber stamps.

But now I have a caution about second hand stamps!

The stamps were not expensive ($1 for both I think) so that's not the issue. They were both caked with old ink, but, being the owner of a Stampin Scrub stamp cleaner (hint: I'll sell you one), I wasn't worried.

The butterfly stamp was covered with blue ink - it must have been pigment ink. It cleaned up a treat - take a look! Still a bit of blue in the crevices, but we'll cope. And after cleaning, it stamps well - see?

The other stamp was an equally pretty bee stamp. I may already have that particular stamp (!), but who can go past a really nice bee - I could give it away at stamp club and be really pleased with myself. The bee stamp was caked with ink too - this time gold pigment ink (most likely Encore, which was widely available here at around the time these stamps were being sold new).

I scrubbed and scrubbed, and got this stamp looking reasonable too. But this is what it looked like stamped :

The image is just not complete - and this was my best try! The rubber felt a bit funny to me too - hard, and not "rubbery". I investigated a bit more, and here's what I found:

Horrible cracks all over the rubber! Argh! There's no repairing that!

So here's the cautionary message : metallic ink (of that brand, anyway) seems to damage your stamps if left on the rubber for a long time. So - clean your stamps!!!


Helen said...

hmmm i looked at the imperfect be stamp a bit differently.. what an opportunity to try some adventurous coloring in. i mean not all bees in nature are perfect. thick and thin stripes could be the go here.

Gail Kirby said...

and Versamark if left on for a long time will eat away at the rubber and make it pit!