Like anyone whose been plying their craft for multiple decades, I've built up an impressive set of tools.
In the way of most working-class artisans, it was put together one tool at a time. My most lusted-after items in those long-ago early years were the stamping tools that are so critical to what I do. The half-dozen that I started with were enough, but only barely!
It was Dad that suggested that I could make my own with heavy nails and his bench grinder. An afternoon in his workshop more than doubled my stamp supply; better still, they were unique and kind of funky, different from anything commercially available.
The first step, of course, is to remove the point from the tip to fashion a strike-end.
Then work at the edges and the surface of the nail-head to create your desired imprint shape.
I did a couple with the large spikes, but they really chewed up Dad's grinding wheel. So I went to a smaller size, which worked well. I also did one with a cement nail - that one is a favorite because I can reverse it and use the strike-end to make a diamond mark.
With just a few cents worth of nails (and another few dollars to replace the grinding wheel that I pretty much wore away) I created a handful of stamping tools that I still use to this day.
All of these tooling examples were made with at least one of these stamps. The black wristband at the bottom is entirely made of homemade tools.
The message, of course, is that you needn't be limited by convention. I consider this just further proof that the old adage about necessity and invention holds true!
These and many more wristbands are available at my Etsy shop - www.aosleather.etsy.com