7hills Passport and Stamp

This was a fun project. Borrowing from Mitch Altman’s Hackerspace Passport Project, we decided to put together a passport stamp for our makerspace.

One of our members is great with woodworking, carving, lathes and so on — and he made us an awesome wooden stamp handle in the shape of a resistor! You can see it in the photo. He even painted the color bands on the resistor so its value would be 74, a play on the 7 from 7hills, and the fact that a 4 is a backwards h.  He’s our little Dan Brown of woodworking.

I took our raster logo and set out to laser engrave some rubber material for the stamp itself. This was a bit more difficult than expected. We’d never done anything with rubber material before, so we had the typical trial and error to get the speed and power settings right on the laser (we have a 40W Full Spectrum Laser). On about the 6th try, we got the right depth, size, etc. right. Another issue we had was that the laser material stunk up the place a bit more than expected.  A couple of us got mild headaches from the fumes, but we still have our retinas intact, so all is well.

We cut a piece of wood to the same dimensions as the rubber stamp; roughly about 1.5″ square. This was matched to the approximate size of the “Visa” stamp areas in the Passport. Then we attached that piece of wood to the end of our resistor-stamp-handle and glued the rubber stamp to it. A little ink pad action and we were stamping anything that moved.

A nice bonus was that we had some visitors from Chattlab, the new makerspace opening in Chattanooga, the next day, so we were able to stamp a passport for them!

This is a really fun and cheap project — you end up with something functional, sentimental and “ceremonial” for your space when you’re done.  You get to apply a few different tools and disciplines around the space, and across your membership.

Costs. Assuming you have a woodworker, there’s no cost really in the handle and stamp base. The Passports are under $2 each from Sparkfun.  The rubber material is about $12 from Laserbits. You’re all-in for about $20. Oh, and you have enough rubber material left over to torment your political opponents.

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