Refinishing blues....LABEL THE PARTS!

Uhhhhhh, yeah.
How do you folks go about labeling the various pieces and parts of say a drop leaf table when it comes in for refinishing? Pencil won't work as you just sand it off, the finish over it, etc.... I'm thinking some type of tacked on tag - but even that needs to go on and off several times througout the process. Any suggestions?
Also, how do you number/letter them so as to get the exact part back in the right spot?
JP
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Keep the pieces in order.

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Use a very soft artist pencil. Then use alcohol to remove the mark

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how about labeling the edge that gets covered?
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"Jay Pique" < snipped-for-privacy@hotmail.com> wrote in message
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You don't think this might be the onset of alzheimers do you ? mjh

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Get a cheap digital camera, and photograph it from every possible angle before disassembly.

Put each one in a separate container (small cardboard boxes or what have you) and label the containers left front blurfl, right rear widget, and so on.
-- Regards, Doug Miller (alphageek-at-milmac-dot-com)
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I find most of the time I can number things in a place that doesn't get sanded or otherwise obscured before assembly or doesn't matter if it's still there after assembly, ie end of a tenon, bottom edge of a drawer, bottom face of the top of a case. I generally have a list on paper of what number is what part, sometimes with a sketch. All of this is for building, though. I haven't gotten into refinishing yet. It seems like it should still be possible, though.

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For anything I have to take apart and then reassemble, I've started taking close-up pics with my digital camera, walking a few steps back into my office (where I also store the camera), then print 'em out at low res on cheap paper, then writing all over them with directions, arrows, etc. This was what I did when I undertook an ambitious (for me)car repair which required significant dismantling of my 97 Audi, to replace the a/c compressor. Worked well. If you don't have easy access to a camera and printer might be a pain though.

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Hey Jay,
There are some great answers to your post here. A cheap and dirty way to label and re-lable as you go, is painters tape (doesn't muck up your mill work or finished components), and a sharpie (marker). I use painters tape on all projects for leg location, drawer component orientation, etc....etc almost all components have tape on them when doing a dry run.
Keeping sketches and notes in a log book will help out, not only for this project, but maybe future projects as a reference/history and pricing.
Cheers
aw
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I definitely like the digital photo aspect, as the before and after shots will bring great satisfaction - as well as provide me with some nice marketing material. I'll probably end up with a combination of things depending on the project, and my journal grows by leaps and bounds daily with "better" ways of doing things. There is so much untapped potential in my shop, it makes me nuts sometimes!

You familiar with B Dubya of rec.skiing.alpine? What a dynamic that they've got going over there!
JP
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You familiar with B Dubya of rec.skiing.alpine? What a dynamic that they've got going over there!
JP
I haven't checked out rec.skiing.alpine, but I do ski, so.....I just might have to scope it out
Cheers,
aw
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A couple of people mentioned taking digital photos. I'm currently restoring a harpsichord (mechanical/cabinetry repairs plus detailing and refinishing), and I've taken several hundred pictures of it already.
The small hardware goes into those little sealable plastic bags with a label written on it in Sharpie, e.g., "music rack guide, left". Those get put in a drawer so they don't get kicked under the benches.
The keys get numbered left to right on the undersides in pencil and put in another drawer.
Large hardware (hinges, etc.) I mark using white "gaffer" tape (a strong, cloth tape with a no-residue adhesive) and a Sharpie. It comes in rolls the same size as duct tape. You tear off two or three inches, fold it over itself to leave about 1/4 inch exposed adhesive, and stick it to the part. Then write on the tape.
The large wooden pieces get marked in pencil where joints or attached hardware will hide the marking. I never mark in pencil on a visible surface; the indentation will still be visible even if the graphite wears off. I photograph every part at several steps during disassembly.
In extreme cases I draw a sketch like an engineering assembly drawing, with indications of the grain of each piece, so that I can identify it again in the correct orientation. When all else fails, wood grain is fairly unique.
--Jay
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