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Old 07-14-2009, 07:27 PM   #1
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Default How to improve hardened dry rubber stamps...

Hi,
I recently came into some rubber stamps that have really dry, brittle feeling rubber. Any suggestions on what I can use to soften up the rubber and get it back to something that might stamp with some success?

I'm open to suggestions!

Thanks!
-Anna.
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Old 07-14-2009, 07:36 PM   #2
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It took a long time soaking, but I had luck using mineral oil that I found in the pharmacy section at Wal-mart. Yes, it is the same stuff that is used as a laxative!! I used it on one of my original and favorite stamps that had become really dried out but couldn't part with. While it is not perfect, it is at least very usable now. I was able to take off the stamp from the wood and soak it in a small bowl for about a week. Hope it works for you too.
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Old 07-14-2009, 11:41 PM   #3
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I've had luck lightly sanding the surface and using stamp cleaner with glycerin. You can also use full strength glycerin. Let is sit on the stamp for a bit.
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Old 07-15-2009, 06:18 AM   #4
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Let the rubber sit in straight glycerin, or you could apply and let it soak in a few times. I know it has worked in the past and its reasonable to purchase.
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Old 07-15-2009, 01:46 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Debra Cherney View Post
Let the rubber sit in straight glycerin, or you could apply and let it soak in a few times. I know it has worked in the past and its reasonable to purchase.
I've done this. Sometimes it works and other times the stamp is too far gone. Get a low-sided dish and pour a thin layer of glyercin into it. Make sure the rubber sits in the glycerin, but don't pour too much, or you'll have soggy wood too.
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Old 07-15-2009, 04:08 PM   #6
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Thanks ladies! I have glycerin somewhere around the house... now the trick will be to FIND it... =)
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Old 07-15-2009, 04:34 PM   #7
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I've also read that inking up those stamps with versamark ink and leaving it on for a while will also "recondition" rubber.
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Old 07-15-2009, 05:26 PM   #8
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I've also read that inking up those stamps with versamark ink and leaving it on for a while will also "recondition" rubber.
I've heard that, too, but would probably go with the glycerin soak -- for me, VersaMark residue left to sit too long sometimes gets sticky and very hard to remove without a little elbow grease.
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Old 07-24-2009, 12:36 AM   #9
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I've found that when I don't clean the Versamark off my stamp, it seems to harden the rubber. Has anyone else found that?
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Old 07-24-2009, 04:55 AM   #10
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Thank you for the tips and suggestions about this and to the OP for asking. I took several years off from stamping awhile back and have a ton of stamps that have started to get alittle hard from sitting, I guess. I will give the glycerin a try.
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Old 04-27-2013, 06:27 AM   #11
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Try using Armor All to soak your stamp. It worked for mine... I figured if it would work for sun, salt, hot & cold weathered tires, it would work for 20 year old stamps too
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Old 04-27-2013, 08:03 AM   #12
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Interesting tips!
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Old 04-27-2013, 08:09 AM   #13
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One more use for mineral oil, if you have a container around the house. I use it on my decorative wooden bowls, serving pcs, etc.
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Old 04-27-2013, 11:26 AM   #14
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Default Glycerin reconditioner 'recipe' from Stampfrancisco...

"Mix a couple teaspoons of glycerin with 1/2 cup of distilled water, recondition stamps, clean with stamp cleaner... done!"

Here's the link to the blog post that contains the above recipe:
Rubber Stamps - Stamp Francisco - Your World of Fine Art Rubber Stamps - Grabbag - Grab Bag

And an SCS thread on cleaning that includes some discussions re: reconditioning and one post indicates that Picasso Gaglione (the owner of Stampland and, I did not know this, the former owner of Stampfrancisco) endorses the glycerine reconditioning:
How to Gently clean/treat Vintage Rubber Stamps
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Last edited by QueenOfInkland; 04-27-2013 at 11:33 AM..
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