If you like 17th Century carving on oak boxes then you know about using a steel stamp on the backgrounds. I’m now a dabbler in making punches that can stamp a Maltese cross or add a decorative background on my carvings. So far I’ve made two punches for stamping a Maltese cross using some drill rod. However, those now seem oversized so I used smaller diameter materials to make two more. I also invested in a couple knife shaped files for cutting the rest of my steel stamps. My last two stamps were made using a worn out screwdriver and a large cut nail. It is harder than it looks to carefully file away the metal so it gives you the desired impression when struck with a hammer.
Fortunately, I acquired some steel stamps earlier in my life so I can look at those examples too. I’m kinda surprised that with the popularity of Peter Follansbee’s carvings, his blog, and DVDs with Lie-Nielsen, that someone hasn’t already seized the opportunity to make and sell the steel stamps/punches he routinely uses.
Anyway, it will be cool to make several more stamps/punches and get them correspond to the preferred sizes to reproduce the 17th Century carving designs. Stamping designs into wood goes back pretty far to include stamping names and company names and logos into the ends of wooden planes. It will be interesting to see how these will turn out.