Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Carving Material Review: Hankeshi-Kun

Okay, so if you live in the San Antonio area, beware that this stamp image is a big ol' spoiler (to be planted and listed soon!).  So if you want to avoid such things, you have a major decision to make: read this post or go stamp hunting.  Choices, choices.

Hankeshi-Kun Stamp Carving Dedicated Eraser

Today's carving material is made by Hinodewashi and is called Hankeshi-Kun, noted very specifically in English as a "Top Quality Stamp-Carving Dedicated Eraser". While both this and the SEED carving material are from Japan, this one is actually also made in Japan (SEED is noted as being made in Vietnam).

Like the SEED material, this slab was reasonably priced until you factor in the shipping - then it tops the charts in cost.  So you either really want to try this out or are in other ways motivated to buy this. 

My first thought was that it looked remarkably like the SEED brand material... Is it the same? Are they on equal in the eyes of my knife? Let's find out!


Big white slab... It comes packed just like the SEED material and is covered in Japanese text - with just enough English to know what's going on.  The material is opaque white and has a rubbery/velvety feel to it.

Size and Weight:

This comes in the roughly 11 mm thick and is quite dense. It has very little bend to it when you hold an edge, though it doesn't seem to be as inflexible as the SEED material is.


This bad boy took a heat transfer just fine... Except I partially lost my mind with the design choice which in its essence was not going to give me a good transfer to begin with.  Oops.  I actually had to stain the surface with StazOn (I haven't had to do this in a while) so that I could figure out where the actual design was.  
See? Mucky transfer.  Mostly to my own ineptitude.

Crumble Factor:

Okay, so during the carving everything was going fine, but to be honest, I wasn't really loving the feeling of the cuts.  It's hard to explain, but I felt like it had the kind of sensation you get carving Speedy Cut.  So, after I was done carving, I did a test stamp like I did with SEED to see what force it would take to make this stuff crumble apart.

Test carve, in order from top left to bottom right.
Here it is in the image above.  I did a quick carve of the word test with varying thicknesses of text.  The top stamp is before I started rubbing the surface, the bottom is after four goes.  As you can see, there are little pills around the area and obviously stuff started crumbling off.  I will say that I used a significant amount of force that shouldn't otherwise be applied to destroy stamps this way, but hey, letterboxers ¯\_(ツ)_/¯


Click to enlarge - you can see the StazOn stain...
The carving was fine, but not great. There was a very fine amount of pilling happening while I was carving - the big details were fine, but in the text it was a little difficult.

For knife carving it was fine.  The material did move away from the (brand new) knife blade - which is something I don't love in a carving material (and a big reason I no longer love Speedy Carve).

Everything other than the text was gouge carved.  It was a pleasure to carve with a gouge - very nice and no complaints really.

All in all, the material is very easy to slice through with either tool and would be good for anyone who gets hand cramps or other hand pain.


Um, so yeah, I have some new StazOn Midi inks and man are they juicy.  So it kinda gushed into the details and made a messy imprint, so ignore the first purple one.

The material's velvety texture makes for good printings in the negative area, so I was quite happy with the stamp registrations.  Anyone know how to de-juice-ify StazOn???


I really like it, but I wouldn't want to do a lot of fine detail like text in it due to the crumble factor.  Since that's about 80% of what I carve, I probably won't be using this a lot - particularly given the price.

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