Signing Pieces


I would like to sign and date the pieces I make. I have a burning tool but it does not have a date attachment and seems a little impersonal. Does anyone know of a pen/Ink that will write permanently on finished surfaces? I would like to be able to actually write on the piece. EdG
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BIC
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EdG wrote:

The gold, or silver paint pens tend to write on most surfaces, I don't think they would be much chop on a waxed surface though ?? As you have a burning tool, use a fine round tip and use it as a pen. I have done this a few times and it works pretty good. (Before I finish the item) All the best John
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Use a pencil, it won't fade with time like ink will. Best bet would be on the back or bottom where you won't put a stain (or might not put a stain, depends on style I guess). If you want to protect it I suppose you could put a finish over it, but that's up to you. And don't worry about it being easily erased, if someone wanted to do that they could also sand/scrape anything else you did to sign it so what's the difference, right?
Mike
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I didn't see the original post, but if the question is asking how one might sign their work, I use an old wood burning pen and put my initials and date in an inconspicuous corner. Before I had the wood burning pen, I used a small soldering iron. Making curved letters with a straight tip is sometimes a challange, but light passes with the tip helps. In some woods, the tip will readily want to sink in "with the grain" and take forever to mark "accross the grain".
Bill Leonhardt
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Mike in Idaho wrote:

There is something classic about signing with pencil and I see it in museum pieces on folkart and other handmade pieces.
Josie
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I've seen web articles on the photo-etching that can be done, on a piece of brass (I think). Then that gets cut out, and embedded in the furniture. I thought that looked terribly cool and professional.
I think there was an article in a Wood Magazine on doing exactly that.
Clint

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Clint wrote:

You could draw on a piece of brass with a Sharpie and then dunk it in some ferric chloride from Radio Shack for awhile to etch it.
I've just been signing my stuff with a Sharpie. Careful not to shellac over it. DAMHIKT. (Sharpie dissolves in alcohol...) I've got stuff I did 10 years ago that's still crystal clear. I don't go back further than 10 years in woodworking, so I can't say how it will look in 50.
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You might try printing small labels with a laser printer then attaching them by pasting them on using the last layer of finish (if you put the label on with first coat, you risk sanding through it). Since the toner is actually tiny beads of plastic that are fused together, it won't be affected by solvents (well, none that won't attack the wood too..). You can scan in signatures and logos and encorporate them into a design using Word or Open Office. If you can find the right kind of paper for the finish, the paper becomes almost transparent.
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Sharpie
Or use a soldering iron to burn it.
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Where I work we have literally dozens of Thomas Moser pieces, and each one is signed and dated on the bottom by the person that assembled it. It looks to me like they used a fine-point sharpie or similar pen. All of the pieces are cherry, if that means much. Most of them are about 5-6 years old and the writing looks great - all on the undersides of chair seats/table tops etc.
Mike

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Mike in Mystic wrote:

Just remember that Sharpie ink is not 100% alcohol proof. If shellac is applied directly over the ink, it may blur it. It would probably help if a light dusting of shellac or lacquer was the first coat over the ink.
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Ditto this. I sign with a fine point Sharpie, then spray it lightly with a coat of lacquer to seal it. Trying to put shellac over it without a barrier coat will dissolve the ink.
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I sign all of mine in black sharpie, and finish over it, (oil/poly).

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I use exactly that a burning tool with a fine point tip. I can write just like it were a piece of paper under the tool. The only problem is that the tip although fine still burns a line about the thickness of a piece of yarn.
Roy
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yep I sign and date all pieces and if its for someone special ill write a little note too. I do this in pencil and before I add any finish, since all I use are clear finishes it has worked out well.
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I have used lazer engraving on a few small pieces. Very sharp and clean, but can only be done on flat pieces in most cases. Glenn
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Japanese calligraphy pens - cheap plastic ones from Sakura or similar (any good stationer). They use archival-grade pigment based inks and will last as long as necessary. They're also resistant to bleeding, if you apply most solvents over them.
Chris Becksvoort (?) glues one of that year's nickels in place.
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