aligning letter stamps for names?

Marking an item with separate number-and-letter stamps always looks awful if done freehand
(these sort of things: http://rdgtools.co.uk/acatalog/NUMBER___LETTER_STAMPS.html
)
I have a dim memory of seeing a guy at a street market with some kind of alignment jig; he was doing dog tags.
In any case, an alignment jig sounds just the sort of project that must (surely...) have appeared in model engineering circles for years.
So - can anyone offer a design, or link to a design?
BugBear
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bugbear wrote:

I've done it with a jig held in my Bridgeport spindle. The jig is just a rectangular bar with a groove milled in the end for the stamp, the bar is about 6" long with the groove at one end and a shaft held in a collet at the other. Rotation was prevent with either the brake or a shaft in the the DTI drilling on the side of the head, been awhile since I've needed to use it. The character indexing being done with the X and Y travel.
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David Billington wrote:

This certainly the way to do it but care is needed to use quality stamps as I have seen cheap sets where the position of the characters with respect to the shank is all over the place! The other aspect is using a consistent hammer blow for each.
Bob
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Worse, to get a completely even impression you need to take account of the line length of each letter - an I takes less umph that a W, for example.
Never really cracked it myself, but I put to it I would probably try using a slide hammer with some kind of calibration of the length of drop (oh dear, makes me sound like the late Mr Pierpoint).
David
--
David Littlewood

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wrote:

A major UK manufacturer of metal marking equipment used to be (maybe still is) Pryors. One of their products was a stamping set which consisted of a holder and a set of short-bodied stamps. The holder looked rather like a bolster chisel. This held held several stamps, so that you could stamp a complete word or a multi-digit number with a single blow. Must need a fair old clout to stamp steel, but it would solve the alignment issue and give reasonably uniform indentation depth on a flat surface at the same time. I did see one for sale on eBay recently, or if you were really keen you might be able to make up something similar using cut-down stamps.
Mike.
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wrote:

J&L sell them
Mark Rand RTFM
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mikecb1 wrote:

I have a vintage set (actually two, in different sizes).
The separate punches that are the subject of this thread have some advantages.
They're MUCH cheaper, they tend to be harder, and (as you've guessed) the blow required for a large numbers of letters held simultaneously can be "significant".
The downside (of course) of the punches is alignment, hence my question.
BugBear
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