I have a few that I use when I'm home... Various sized casing from .45, .38, etc fastened to various woods like eucalyptus, walnut, solid core ply... I make them all the time with various wood waste from the shop.
But really don't use anything quite as much as my basic nail.
I haven't one with a shell casing. That's my next woodshop project. Have a nice 7.62x54r shell casing that should do nicely. I have several hardwood tampers I turned out but when I'm on the town I carry a slim stainless store bought tamper/pick combo. Easier in the pocket.
I have a bunch of curly branches off a uh, curly tree that I use when my regular tool is out of reach. It' really more of a shrub sized thing. Sorry my mate is away and I am poor with names of plants.
Anyway, they're the right size, and the twists in a short span make for interest. I'd love to know how to de-bark them without using a knife or any sort of elbow grease.....
I have a few that I turned out of apple and cherry wood that are quite nice. I also have a few made using .38 and .357 brass on the ends of oak dowels. I'd like to get a hold of some briar and make up a few. That will be a good winter project. :fy:
I have a bunch of nice tampers, mostly gifts, which I fear losing, so I rarely use them. When out and about, I go commando, picking up a twig (10-17mm diameter is good), knocking the dirt off on a leaf, sanding a flat in the end by scraping on a rock or sidewalk, and having at it. I don't like metal or heat conductors on the end of a tamper because I often tamp while the ember is active, and I dislike feeling rushed so that I don't accidentally kill off the cherry.
I haven't made one yet but I've been known to use golf tees. I do have two tamper a friend of mine made me. One is an antler he put on a lathe and made a brass end for. The other is a piece of aluminum he spun into a cool looking tamper. More often then not I use a Czech tool just because I have a boat load of em.
Like Cosmic I make my own. Of course having neither the talent or materials he does, I just break off a branch when I'm outside and use that. It gets thrown into the garden after use and will recycle (although it may take a few years for that twig to decompose and become part of the next generation of tamper)