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Katchoo1 03-26-2020 10:59 AM

Embossing Struggles
 
Heat embossing is the thing that first captured my attention (an in-store stamping demo at the late lamented Binders Art Supply store) and a Marvy tool and Judikins powders were some of my first purchases, but it's something I have gotten away from over the years.

A few months ago I was trying to emboss something and it just wasn't working. I concluded that my heat tool was dying because the powder wouldn't melt at all, and gave my beloved old Marvy a decent burial and bought a new tool. I got a Chandler heat gun.

Well I've tried some embossing again lately and I'm still frustrated. Do embossing powders expire? Because I haven't bought any in years so all of mine are well over 10 years old, most 20+. (Holy cow).

So I'm not sure if it's the powders, the new tool or some combination. I noticed when I was trying to emboss that the color of the cardstock was immediately changing no matter how careful I was with the gun or which heat level I was using, and I did scorch the paper as well before I got more careful. Despite that, the powder never seemed to fully "develop" and melt together.

So here are my questions:

--DOES embossing powder expire? should I just replace mine?
--if so, which brands are current faves - recommendations?
--is it the learning curve with the new heat tool -- anyone else familiar with the Chandler that can offer some tips (high or low setting, best distance from page, should I take the horrible clear plastic cover off the tip or no?

Thanks!

Colleen

gregzgurl 03-26-2020 12:54 PM

Embossing powders do have a shelf life, so chances are that yours are too old to melt properly (if at all). A lot of people rave about the WOW embossing powders, but I am still just using my Stampendous detail powders (white, black, clear) and a few metallics that I already have. I use the clear most often (over colored ink so I don't have to have a bunch of colored powders). I can't answer any questions on the heat gun, as I'm not familiar with that brand. If the paper is scorching you are probably holding the gun too close and/or not moving it around enough. Often I will have cardstock change color slightly until it cools back down, but not if it's scorched. I go back to you probably need new powders...

Katchoo1 03-26-2020 01:19 PM

Thanks for the advice, I'm thinking that too...

Louisa May 03-26-2020 08:07 PM

I'm also a fan of Stampendous embossing powder. Mine perform like detail powder, but they were called Pearl Embossing Powders when I bought them about 15 years ago. They're still working beautifully. I've read that embossing powders do get old but I've never had them go bad so I wonder if it varies. Have you tried with different powder types or brands?

arlenevita 03-27-2020 01:58 AM

Brutus Monroe, WOW, Gina K, Hero Arts are a few good embossing powders. Because your old powders weren't melting you were probably holding your heat gun too close to the paper. Once you get new powders, try heating the heat tool about 30 seconds before directing it to the powder and start higher/farther from the paper heating one section at a time. As soon as that first section starts to melt move on and it will all melt quickly as you move along. Some people prefer to heat from underneath the paper and that is good especially if you have chunkier embossing powder that could blow away if you heat from the top.

Katchoo1 03-27-2020 09:05 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Louisa May (Post 21930517)
I'm also a fan of Stampendous embossing powder. Mine perform like detail powder, but they were called Pearl Embossing Powders when I bought them about 15 years ago. They're still working beautifully. I've read that embossing powders do get old but I've never had them go bad so I wonder if it varies. Have you tried with different powder types or brands?


I think before I go on a wild spree and dump all of the powders I should have a session where I methodically go thru and see if any of them seem to be working right. Then get one new powder and see if I can make it work properly with my new heat tool. That way I’ll eliminate either aged powder or the heat gun as the source of the problem and will be able to go from there without wasting supplies or money.

If I do have to replace everything, it looks like Stampendous has a very good set of the basics (regular and detail versions of clear, black, white, and the common metallics) that will be a good place to start. That would replace 2/3 of my collection right there, then I’ll just need to fill in a few like copper and verdigris...

Thanks for the advice!

Colleen

wavejumper 03-27-2020 06:27 PM

Try shaking up the powders. Sometimes they separate- the color from the binder. If that does not work then I might think they expired.

Starting out-I really like the Ranger super fine powders. Honestly, I would get all my powders in that if I could. Most versatile esp for sentiments imho.

I agree about the clear and not having to have a lot of colors...plus you can do other things with it like nice resists. So I would start with that.

I also have many of Rangers regular colors (wndy vecchi has nice shades) and those are nice. Wow has a wide color spectrum too.

In the fun category:
Ranger brick
Verdigris-several companies.
Wow ultra high (extra thick) in gold and silver
Mixed colors-Judikins metallic Bronze (really two metals) Hero Sand, Wow Queen of Hearts and One hundred and one both look like stone; Andy skinner cosmic shimmer mixed media line-satin sunset and granite...Ranger speckle flurries: on white looks like pale stone on black look like snow.

Seth aptner just released a bunch that look like fun. You multi emboss them and get a high relief with interesting looks

I think Brutus monroe has a glow in the dark and his sterling is a nice bright silver. His white (alabaster) covers dark paper well and the penny is a nice copper shade.

I am not a fan of glitter EP but a lot of people like them.

I am so sad that Sparkle and Sprinkle closed...they had a huge range and lots of cool ones.

So far the only one I have found with a good tan is Ranger. If anyone knows others, I would be interested.

In doing swatching I have discovered a number of powders look very different-many cool-on black paper. They might change color-look clear on white but blueish on black...

I dont know that gun but if you are burning the paper it is definitely too hot. Try holding farther away from the paper and keep moving the gun. There is such a thing as over heating EPs as well and that could be happening. Once it melts move away. You can always come back.

CardCountess 04-01-2020 02:01 PM

I still use Stampa Barbara embossing powders that are probably 25 years old! They work fine. The first thing I would be checking for this problem is the ink. Are you sure you’re using an ink designed to be used with embossing powder? If I am quick, I have even found embossing with Versafine can be done well, but before I trashed any of my embossing powders, I would definitely use Versamark or some other ink designed for embossing.

LizBeth1976 04-01-2020 05:29 PM

I watched a Tim Holtz video recently, sorry I don't have the link, and he did a bit on heat embossing. He mentioned that the first thing you should do if your embossing isn't working the way you want it to, is check your cardstock. Cardstock varies in the coating and the porousness, and some work better with heat embossing than others. You might want to try that before you discard all your powders! HTH!

stampincatlady 04-07-2020 10:53 AM

You could try a mix
 
One thing to try would be to get some new clear EP and mix some in with an old powder to see if it would be enough to “refresh” the meltability. It’s painful to lose a whole variety of colors and finishes in one fell swoop, so I’d be inclined to experiment before tossing them all.

Quote:

Originally Posted by Katchoo1 (Post 21930749)
I think before I go on a wild spree and dump all of the powders I should have a session where I methodically go thru and see if any of them seem to be working right. Then get one new powder and see if I can make it work properly with my new heat tool. That way I’ll eliminate either aged powder or the heat gun as the source of the problem and will be able to go from there without wasting supplies or money.

If I do have to replace everything, it looks like Stampendous has a very good set of the basics (regular and detail versions of clear, black, white, and the common metallics) that will be a good place to start. That would replace 2/3 of my collection right there, then I’ll just need to fill in a few like copper and verdigris...

Thanks for the advice!

Colleen


Valeriesc 04-07-2020 07:12 PM

<div>Wow such good timing with this question! I haven't done heat embossing in years and pulled out some I have had for who knows how long. Couldn't get it to fully emboss either. Most of the design would emboss but each time I tried there was a portion I couldn't get to fully emboss. So will need to go through my own collection and see what works I guess. Was sure I had it stamped well too before putting powder on the design.</div><br><div>Thank you!</div>


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