You may have heard me talk about letterboxing before. If you haven’t and don’t know what it is, here’s a quick run down (via Wikipedia) -
Letterboxing is an outdoor hobby that combines elements of orienteering, art, and puzzle solving. Letterboxers hide small, weatherproof boxes in publicly accessible places (like parks) and distribute clues to finding the box in printed catalogs, on one of several web sites, or by word of mouth.
Individual letterboxes contain a notebook and a rubber stamp, preferably hand carved or custom made.
Finders make an imprint of the letterbox’s stamp in their personal notebook, and leave an impression of their personal signature stamp on the letterbox’s “visitors’ book” or “logbook” — as proof of having found the box and letting other letterboxers know who has visited. Many letterboxers keep careful track of their “find count”.
We’ve found quite a few Letterboxes, both over here and over there and I even placed one in Kent about 10 years ago.
Gale and I are off to Britannia soon, to Dartmoor (among other places), the birthplace of Letterboxing. We wanted a unique stamp, but carving is tricky and you have to be pretty good to get a decent stamp.
But guess what? Gale has a 30watt laser engraver sitting in our spare bedroom. So she ordered some laser engravable rubber and dumped it on my desk with a “work this out” kind of look.
A few Googles later and a quick read of the laser manual and I powered up Corel Draw and came up with a design.
Sent it to the laser and then sat and watched a rubber stamp appear before my eyes.
We’re pretty pleased with the result and once we’ve finalized the design (Gale wants more stars) we will be ready to go find us some Letterboxes.
If you have any interest in finding Letterboxes near you, check out AtlasQuest which is not great looking, but has a lot of information on how to start.
Update: Gale has posted about her stamp on her blog HERE