The open time is long enough I do not have to hurry, even doing all those colors and separate blocks. I guess half an hour at least, without noticing in the print that you didn’t print right away.
The drying time is forever and a day, especially if it’s humid at all. On paper it dries completely in about a week, and on fabric, I wait at least 2 weeks before planning to stitch on it. Longer if I want to iron it first. There’s additives that you can use to get it to dry more quickly, and I bought them, but chickened out so far, since it’s got cobalt in it and I don’t want to poison myself. I do tend to get ink all over everything.
If you want actual stamps, use rubber or foam. Rubber and foam want to transfer the ink, and you can use dye or pigment stamp pads. Wood does not really want to transfer the ink, and will not work well with a stamp pad.
For woodblocks, I print face up. this means the inked blocks are face up on my table, and I lay the paper on top and rub the back with a wooden spoon until the ink has transferred. The ink I use is made for this; it’s somewhat sticky, and transfers to the paper with pressure. (Good choices: speedball permanent fabric block printing ink ($), or Cranfield Safe Wash relief ink ($$$)).
For stamps, this stuff is great:
you can cut and engrave it and then stick it to this stuff to make it into a cling stamp (you should be able to find the EZ Mount cheaper somewhere, but on Amazon you have to get 10 sheets of it):
For the orange rubber:
Engrave Speed: 310 | Power: 93 | LPI:450 | One Pass
Cut Speed 130 | Power Full
Here’s a great blog post about it: Mastering Rubber Stamps on the Glowforge - Danielle Wethington
I think the EZ Mount is not laserable material. I looked into it once, and I don’t remember what evil substance was in there, but I do remember I decided to snip it out with my scissors.
Definitely make stamps. It’s SO much fun.
I also made some chunky foam stamps to use with acrylic paint. Here’s my post about it. Also SO much fun.
Not that the wood ones are not fun, you understand, but they are not stamps per say.
Just a side note to support the above. I needed a one-time use stamp, which I made from draftboard. I wasn’t going to buy a sheet of rubber or similar for one use. it’s really tricky to get a decent result but it worked for my needs after a few tries - I had to clean off and re-stamp a couple of times to get the result I was looking for.
OK one more thing, if you put a pad (like a towel) under the paper and then put the inked block face down, you can get a pretty good impression with wood (though I was still using block printing ink when I did this). It works well with fabric; that’s what the Indian block printers do. Here’s me trying to explain to my friends what I did with my rubber mallet:
Hi Florence. Thank you for such great info. I really do appreciate it. Guess I’d better buy the rubber for them for what I want to do.
I used to have over a $1,000 worth of rubber stamps, plus all the scrapbook and card making materials, and that was 20 years ago! I gav a them all to my daughter. I definitely don’t want or need that many now, but it would be nice to have some I want.
There are products you can use to modify some characteristics of printing ink, also (I imagine you know this better than I do - I’m typing it out for folks who don’t know this stuff) which are primarily used by the letterpress crowd in order to tune working times and thin film characteristics.
The cobalt (and other metal-ion) driers do work really well, though as you note it changes the PPE concerns somewhat.
Your expandable grid board is AWESOME. Like truly remarkable! In your place I would be thinking more along the lines of a letterpress chase, which would necessarily require a different one for each size, rather than this really ingenious modular set!