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Heat Gun, an Essential Tool for Embossing Rubber Stamped Images


The Process of Embossing:

Embossing brings an added dimension to rubber stamping. The technique gives stamped images a raised line or surface. The process of embossing is achieved in three stages:
  • Stamping - the image is stamped
  • Powders applied – embossing powders are sprinkled over the wet image
  • Heating - the image is heated until the powders melt and form a glossy raised surface.
The key part of embossing is the heating process. The heat supply must be consistent and reach the temperature required to melt the embossing powders, this varies from brand to brand but is typically over 200 degrees Fahrenheit.

Types of Heat Gun :

There are special heat guns (also known as heat tools) that have been designed for embossing. In addition to these there are a variety of other craft heat guns and heat tools available that can be used to successfully emboss rubber stamped images.

There are a number of different types of heat gun available. These include:
Craft and Embossing Guns: Craft and embossing heat guns are typically electrically powered and can be plugged safely into any household electric supply. These have been specifically designed for use with small craft projects and provide a consistent heat. These heat guns are similar to small hairdryers, however they generate a higher heat with a more gentle heat flow.
Three well-known brands of craft heat gun are:
DIY and Builders Heat Guns: In addition to special heat guns, other heat sources can be used successfully. These include stripping guns and heat guns used for DIY projects. These typically reach higher temperatures than the craft versions and as such should be used on lower settings and held further away from the work to avoid scorching.
Other Heat Sources:Rubber stampers are a creative breed, and those without heat tools have experimented with other heat sources. Hair dryers, for instance, are reported to have been used with success, although some stampers find that hair dryers blow the embossing powder around too much for reliable results.
Other heat sources may be suitable for use in emergencies, however these are not recommended for beginner rubber stampers. These other methods of heating embossing powders may generate inconsistent and unreliable results and could end up spoiling a project.

Features of a Craft Heat Gun:

A craft heat gun has some key features:
  • Designed to have a gentle stream of hot air so as not to blow the embossing powder around.
  • Has a small, defined airflow ensuring that hot air is well targeted. This avoids other areas of the paper or card getting heated unnecessarily.
  • Specifically designed to be repeatedly switched on and off for several small projects.
  • Will not scorch the paper or card.

Tips for Using a Heat Gun:

With care, a heat gun can give years of use.
  • Do not block the air vents during use; this may cause the heat gun to over heat and this result in the fan and/or elements burning out.
  • Do not hold the heat gun too close to the work as this can result in over heating the embossing powder and, if the hot air is forced back into the gun, may damage the heat gun.
  • The nozzle of the gun will get extremely hot. Handle with care and leave the gun somewhere safe and on a heatproof surface while cooling.
  • Keep a heat gun out of the reach of children and pets, particularly when plugged into a power supply.
Note: A heat gun should not be used by children.
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