A dictionary of marking terms and definitions for steel stamps. This glossary covers many technical phrases used to describe steel stamps and custom marking dies.
Background: The area from which metal has been removed around the raised character of the die. The finish of the background reflects on the quality of the die.
Base: The place at which the character of the die intersects the background. A common mistake is to use this as the measurement of the character (please see character face descriptions for the correct method to measure alpha/numeric dies).
Bevel: The slant or angle from the face of the engraved character to the background is termed the first bevel or character bevel. The taper or slight angle on the sides of hand stamps is termed second bevel.
Blank: A machined piece of steel, brass, or other metal, prepared to accommodate the required character or design to be imprinted.
Bottoming: Impressing stamp or die to background of character; ironing out upset (displaced metal produced when impression is made). Background must be flat and smoothly finished.
Branding die: Steel, brass, or bronze die that can be used with flat planisher or in pairs to burn or scorch characters into wood, paper, leather, plastics, etc.
Character: Single term for letters and/or figures.
|Extra Condensed character has width* equal to 33 1/3% of character height (CMT style 1A).|
|Condensed character has width* equal to 50% of character height (CMT style 2A).|
|Standard character has width* equal to 66 2/3% of character height (CMT style 3A).|
|Extended character has width* equal to 100% of character height (CMT style 4A).|
*Except I,M,W and 1
Coining die: A female (sunk engraved) die used to produce raised character in sheet material to a height not exceeding 2/3 of material thickness.
Concave stamp: Characters cut on a depressed contour to suit a convex surface to be marked.
Condensed character has width* equal to 50% of character height (CMT style 2A).
Convex stamp: Characters cut on a raised contour to suit a concave surface to be marked.
Debossing die: A set or pair of dies consisting of one male and one female die to produce sunk lettering or designs on sheet material.
Die: Any engraved or machined metal blank used for the purpose of marking by means of stamping, rolling, embossing, debossing, coining, semi-coining, or branding characters or designs into a product.
Extended character has width* equal to 100% of character height (CMT style 4A).
Extra condensed character has width* equal to 33 1/3% of character height (CMT style 1A).
Face of character includes flat face, open face, sharp face, ball face, and dot style.
Foil leaf stamping die: Die engraved with regular characters and/or design for use with heat in press for transferring and pressing colored foil into surface of plastic, leather, paper etc.
Hand Stamp: any hand held stamp with which the force for the impression is a manually held hammer blow.
Holder: A marking tool to hold interchangeable type and/or logotype or a group of stamps in alignment for collective marking.
Insert: Type or die designed for the express purpose of being fitted or inserted into a die or fixture or another marking tool; usually interchangeable or replaceable with another insert.
Inverted Wedge: Single character engraved on blanks tapered outward on the sides from the face of the blank to the base (opposite of segment) for use in concave holders in stamping convex products; character is on the small end.
Knurl Die: Circular die engraved with regular character and/or designs on periphery of blank. Impression is produced by rolling over flat or contoured surface. Also referred to as Roll Die, or Roller Die.
Letters and figures, steel: Single character hand stamps for marking one character at a time with a hammer blow.
Lettering style: Standard style for CMT dies is Gothic. This font is similar to the printing font Helvetica, or the computer font Arial. Any lettering style can be reproduced in a die including a signature.
Logotype or logodie: A single die blank or insert with two or more engraved characters.
Mold stamp or die: Single or multiple character hand stamps or press style dies for stamping plastic, glass, tire, rubber, and die sinking molds, forming dies, and forging dies. Supplied with sharp, flat or round face character cut reverse to stamp sunk impressions reading in reverse in mold or die, which in turn produces raised characters reading correctly on the molded product.
Mortise: A recess machined into holder or die for the purpose of retaining interchangeable type or inserts.
Numbering head: A device made up of one or more rotating wheels, each engraved with figures and/or letters. Supplied with non-automatic (manual) change wheels or automatic indexing for serial numbering wheels.
Press style stamp or die: Used in punch, hydraulic, pneumatic or arbor press. Supplied with any specific shank-also, with drilled and tapped counter bored mounting holes to suit press or fixture.
Regular characters: Term used to describe character engraved on marking tools reading right to left. This produces a “normal” impression in the product itself.
Reverse characters: Term used to describe character engraved on marking tools reading left to right. This product produces a reversed impression in a mold or forming die. When the product is removed from the mold, the lettering produced is raised and reads “normal”.
Roll or roller die: Circular die engraved with regular character and/or designs on periphery of blank. Impression is produced by rolling over flat or contoured surface. Also referred to as Knurl Die.
Roll carriage: Holding fixture for retaining roll die or roll type holder in roll marking machine.
Semi-coining die: A pair of male and female dies used to produce raised characters in sheet material to a height not to exceed 2/3 of material thickness.
Shoulder: the surface or land from the base of the character to the sides of the die or stamp blank.
Spring return holder: Fixture for retaining solid die or roll type holder, used in turret, engine lathe, or screw machines to roll-mark round products.
Tie style: Characters engraved one above the other in a vertical arrangement instead of horizontally as normally read.
Type: Single characters engraved on banks designed for use in holder, chase, mortised die, etc. for collective marking.