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Old 11-29-2011, 03:57 AM   #1  
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Default Heat Embossing Newbie

Hello, everybody! I've recently purchased a Ranger Heat-It tool, ranger puffs embossing powder, and ranger pearl embossing powder.

Anyway, my question is, how long does each type of powder take for it to melt and emboss? I saw youtube videos and it seemed like they just heat the stamped image for a few seconds, and then the embossed image is there! Mine, I have to heat it for about 3 minutes, and when I touch it, some powder still gets removed. I wonder if I'm doing something wrong. But as far as I'm concerned, I've followed the steps in the tutorial video.

Hope you guys can help me out, I almost wanna sell my heat tool and the big Versamark ink pad that I bought.

Thanks in advance!
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Old 11-29-2011, 04:43 AM   #2  
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Three minutes? Yikes! I was wondering if you got defective powder but if it's happening with both types you bought that seems less likely. It really should only be a few seconds, just like you're seeing in the videos.

It is possible to "over cook" embossing powders and that might cause them to go crumbly and rub off. Is it possibly you're just not seeing the change and heating for three minutes is then causing that problem? I haven't used the Puffs one so I don't know how easy it is to see that change but the pearl powder should be reasonably easy to see.

When I heat emboss, I run the heat tool for 15-20 seconds to let it get to full heat before I aim it at the project, then hold it a couple of inches away from the stamped image, watch for the first bit to change and immediately move along as soon as that powder shows signs of melting.

Can you describe exactly the process you're going through? Maybe somebody will spot something to help.
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Old 11-29-2011, 05:55 AM   #3  
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Oh, thanks for your reply! Now this made me worry all the more...

What I do is I stamp my image with a versamark, pour the powder, remove excess, then heat up. Say, after heating for about a couple of seconds, do I let it dry? Or can I touch it and it's supposed to be dry already?

Does the pearl powder raises itself to emboss? Or does it just make a pearly texture (but relatively flat). I could think that my pearl powder is old, coz they're kind of sticky to each other - I mean it's hard to pour out coz they're all together. Is it really like that?

Another possible reason I'm looking at is that we have 220-volt electricity, and my heat tool is 110v (as it is imported from the states). But I use a transformer so it should be working just right. I don't know... so far this is the only thing that's different from the videos I watch.

I also have the ranger embossing gold powder, but it took the same amount of time, and it didn't give me a smooth embossed image. Is it only the superfine powder that gives a smooth one?

Sorry for the too many questions. I'm just really confused and a bit frustrated. Thank you very much again!
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Old 11-29-2011, 06:48 AM   #4  
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Quote:

Originally Posted by crafterwannabeView Post
What I do is I stamp my image with a versamark, pour the powder, remove excess, then heat up. Say, after heating for about a couple of seconds, do I let it dry? Or can I touch it and it's supposed to be dry already?
So far so good, sounds like you have the right steps there. Are you seeing the powder change as you heat it?

Embossing needs to cool a little bit before you touch it otherwise it won't have set properly and might smudge. What you have is basically melted plastic.

Your pearl powder should give you a slightly raised line when it melts. Superfine embossing powder will give you a smoother line but all embossing powder should give you a raised one, even if there's a slight "orange peel" texture going on. Did your gold powder seem to melt properly?

Do you have other electrical equipment that works OK with your transformer? How hot does the air from the tool feel when it's been running for a few seconds? (hotter than your hair dryer, for example?)
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Old 11-29-2011, 07:01 AM   #5  
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Humidity may factor into the length of time you are seeing the 'change'. I live in a drier climate so my time is alot shorter. I use the Ranger heat tool. I just start it, point it down toward my leg and when the air is warm, I point it at my powered image.

I have an empty letter size box that I use when embossing. I covered the cardboard backing off a paper pack with heavy duty aluminum and leave in the bottom of the box. I figured the aluminum would reflect back the heat and help the embossing process plus the excess isn't all over the place. I use a wooden Popsicle stick to hold the paper since it won't conduct the heat. This helps prevent burnt fingers.

Hope you can find a solution to your problem because embossing really give a 'Wow!' factor to you finished item.
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Old 11-29-2011, 10:41 AM   #6  
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I hold my piece with tweezers and also let my heat tool run for a few seconds to reach working temperature - I still have an old Milwaukee heat tool for stripping paint, so it doesn't take long. Rather than heat the surface on cardstock, I will heat from underneath. Prevents some flyaway of glittery embossing powders or the very fine stuff. Easier to see the powder "melt" into place.

Should be "dry" as it cools.

Also, try reinking your versamark pad. Sometimes we try using a too dry pad and the stamp image actually dries before we sprinkle the powder on.
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Old 11-29-2011, 04:02 PM   #7  
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Quote:

Originally Posted by AngelnorthView Post
So far so good, sounds like you have the right steps there. Are you seeing the powder change as you heat it?

Embossing needs to cool a little bit before you touch it otherwise it won't have set properly and might smudge. What you have is basically melted plastic.

Your pearl powder should give you a slightly raised line when it melts. Superfine embossing powder will give you a smoother line but all embossing powder should give you a raised one, even if there's a slight "orange peel" texture going on. Did your gold powder seem to melt properly?

Do you have other electrical equipment that works OK with your transformer? How hot does the air from the tool feel when it's been running for a few seconds? (hotter than your hair dryer, for example?)
Hmm... I couldn't see the changes after a couple of seconds that's why I kept on heating it. But I do get that orange peel texture you were talking about. But again, I got it after a few minutes!

My transformer works quite okay. I use it for my iHome which we also got from the States, and it's okay.

The air from the tool is really hot, and yeah, hotter than my blow dryer.

Will do try again and watch out for the changes. Btw, does it only work with smooth papers? Coz the paper I tried it out on has a slight texture. But when I used the smooth paper, it gets easily smudged. Is it really like that or is it supposed to work on any kind of paper/cardstock?

Thanks very much again!
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Old 11-29-2011, 04:06 PM   #8  
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Quote:

Originally Posted by Crafter 4 LifeView Post
Humidity may factor into the length of time you are seeing the 'change'. I live in a drier climate so my time is alot shorter. I use the Ranger heat tool. I just start it, point it down toward my leg and when the air is warm, I point it at my powered image.

I have an empty letter size box that I use when embossing. I covered the cardboard backing off a paper pack with heavy duty aluminum and leave in the bottom of the box. I figured the aluminum would reflect back the heat and help the embossing process plus the excess isn't all over the place. I use a wooden Popsicle stick to hold the paper since it won't conduct the heat. This helps prevent burnt fingers.

Hope you can find a solution to your problem because embossing really give a 'Wow!' factor to you finished item.
Wow, that sounds kind of complicated! But I guess you're right, it's quite humid here, so that may also factor in the problem. Thanks for reiterating that embossing really is a good technique - hope to get over this little hurdle! I don't wanna waste money anymore! Haha!
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Old 11-29-2011, 04:10 PM   #9  
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Originally Posted by AnnaBananaJusticeView Post
I hold my piece with tweezers and also let my heat tool run for a few seconds to reach working temperature - I still have an old Milwaukee heat tool for stripping paint, so it doesn't take long. Rather than heat the surface on cardstock, I will heat from underneath. Prevents some flyaway of glittery embossing powders or the very fine stuff. Easier to see the powder "melt" into place.

Should be "dry" as it cools.

Also, try reinking your versamark pad. Sometimes we try using a too dry pad and the stamp image actually dries before we sprinkle the powder on.
Thank you for the tips! I just got my versamark pad, it's new and quite pricey at that. I hope that I don't have to reink it yet.
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Old 11-30-2011, 01:11 AM   #10  
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Quote:

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Will do try again and watch out for the changes. Btw, does it only work with smooth papers?
If the embossing powder sticks to the Versamark stamped image then it should work, a textured paper will only effect things if it's so textured that your stamped image is missing bits and there's nothing for the powder to stick to.

It sounds like your heat tool is getting up to the right sort of temperatures so the transformer is working fine.

What sort of images are you trying with? Line art or more solid, silhouette type stuff? It did strike me that bigger areas often take longer to start to melt so that could be a factor.

Do you have anybody local who also stamps? Or a stamp store? I'm wondering if you could hook up with somebody with experience of heat embossing in your climate who could look at all the different factors with you.
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Old 11-30-2011, 03:23 AM   #11  
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Quote:

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If the embossing powder sticks to the Versamark stamped image then it should work, a textured paper will only effect things if it's so textured that your stamped image is missing bits and there's nothing for the powder to stick to.

It sounds like your heat tool is getting up to the right sort of temperatures so the transformer is working fine.

What sort of images are you trying with? Line art or more solid, silhouette type stuff? It did strike me that bigger areas often take longer to start to melt so that could be a factor.

Do you have anybody local who also stamps? Or a stamp store? I'm wondering if you could hook up with somebody with experience of heat embossing in your climate who could look at all the different factors with you.
Well, the paper isn't too textured, coz I can see the impression of the stamp clearly on it.

I'm actually just embossing a letter! It's just an inch tall, just relatively small.

Thank you for your concern, I can really feel it. I don't have any friend who heat embosses, that's the unfortunate part. And the scrapbooking store near my work, I think they do tutorial (I'm not really sure), but then I'd have to pay. I don't know, I'll try it one more time on my own maybe. Then maybe ask the owner to help me out. I got everything from her anyway.

Thanks very much again, your replies are very much appreciated!
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Old 11-30-2011, 03:41 AM   #12  
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I don't know, I'll try it one more time on my own maybe. Then maybe ask the owner to help me out. I got everything from her anyway.
Having a chat with the store owner sounds like it could be a good idea. Try reminding her you bought a load of heat embossing supplies from her recently and then tell her you're not getting very good results so you wonder if there's something you need to do differently. I bet she'll chat about it quite happily - after all, she'll be hoping she can sell you more supplies in the future!

Good luck, hope you find a solution soon!
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Old 12-07-2011, 07:48 AM   #13  
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Having a chat with the store owner sounds like it could be a good idea. Try reminding her you bought a load of heat embossing supplies from her recently and then tell her you're not getting very good results so you wonder if there's something you need to do differently. I bet she'll chat about it quite happily - after all, she'll be hoping she can sell you more supplies in the future!

Good luck, hope you find a solution soon!
I agree. It would be a sad retailer indeed who did not offer "after sales support". Instead of asking for her to "teach you", why not ask for a demonstration of the tool and product. Generally, retailers offer classes in which you complete a project along with learning the technique - the materials cost the store, hence the charge. But a demonstration involves merely showing you how it works, can be done on scrap material and at no cost to you or the retailer - but the potential for purchase is incentive enough to provide a demo at no charge. Not to mention takes much less time.

(BTW: This concept is excellent for in-home party sales as well. I offered demonstrations and even "hands on" at no charge, or a "class" in which a COMPLETE project was included for a small materials fee. Note: a card is NOT considered a complete project, nor is a single scrapbook page. I found offering the options increased bookings and sales. Sales and attendance were often better for classes than for demos. The ladies liked going home with a wooden recipe box or altered journal/diary and learning HOW something worked, rather than watching me, and leaving with only a receipt.)
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Old 12-08-2011, 06:20 AM   #14  
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It sounds like you might not be holding the heat gun close enough to the paper. Try holding it only a few inches away, after heating up your gun for about 10 seconds. As soon as it melts, turn off the heat gun. If you have the little white heat gun by Ranger, that one does take longer, and you do have to hold it much closer. Hope this helps, and good luck with your embossing. I've been doing it for about 10 years now, and I still love it.
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Old 12-08-2011, 08:12 PM   #15  
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How hot is your gun getting? Is it hot enough to burn your hands should you hold it too close? It almost sounds like the gun is not getting hot enough, quick enough. Is there a temperature control on the Ranger? (I own the Marvy, have had it 15 years, so have no experience with the Ranger).

I would guess it is just not getting hot enough. If it has a temp control, turn it up a bit. Otherwise...might be a defective gun. I agree it is a good idea to take it all back to the store where you bought it and ask for some help, if the suggestions here do not work.
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