Signing your work - Woodworking Talk - Woodworkers Forum
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post #1 of 12 Old 07-08-2019, 04:44 PM Thread Starter
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Signing your work

Is there an accepted protocol for signing your furniture pieces, like where, how and what information is included?
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post #2 of 12 Old 07-08-2019, 04:53 PM
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No.Do as you like.

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post #3 of 12 Old 07-08-2019, 05:23 PM
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no protocol, per say.
it can be a rubber stamp, hot brand, brass tag or vinyl sticky label.
look at some of the vintage and antique labels of manufacture.
some are as big as post cards and ornate as they can get.
totally your call.

I use engraved brass tags for my affluent pieces.
here is the tag I put on a Steamer Trunk that I made for my granddaughter.
as a professional sign maker, my label definitely went on the back of every
sign or project I ever made. (for repeat business).
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-- I am a painter. That's what I do. I paint things --
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post #4 of 12 Old 07-08-2019, 06:44 PM
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Some people sign their work with a Sharpie. Others staple or stick-on a paper tag. Others use embossing stamps - either individual letters or pre-made. You can get custom branding irons that are heated with a torch or an electric wood burner (like a soldering iron). Use them to put your mark your grilled steaks, too.

You can get engraved plaques and small plates in brass and other metals. Some guys make small custom tags on CNC and laser machines.

My spouse told me about a woodworker who drills a hole and glues a shiny penny with the current year's date on it.

I am still searching for my inner artist. Until then, my output blends in with everyone else's beautifully handcrafted anonymous woodworking projects.
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post #5 of 12 Old 07-08-2019, 09:10 PM
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Another option is to print a mirror image with a laser printer and then transfer the image to the wood with a hot iron or use acetone as described below:

Wise men speak because they have something to say; fools because they have to say something -Plato

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post #6 of 12 Old 07-08-2019, 10:12 PM
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I use a branding iron to burn my signature in a non obvious place. With a little practice it works very well. A cheap propane torch to heat the branding iron and you're set. Custom irons of all sizes are available.

A friend of mine can make them for you.

In furniture 1/32" is a Grand Canyon
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post #7 of 12 Old 07-08-2019, 10:31 PM
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I've got a stamp for smaller pieces, for bigger things I take a thin piece of mahogany burn my name in it and glue it down with some brass tacks. Looks rather nice if I do say so myself.

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post #8 of 12 Old 07-11-2019, 01:31 PM
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We have some old furniture with my wife's grandfather, and great great uncle's name on them. This means a lot to her. So if I make a nice piece, I'll write date and name on it. I would like to think, somehow, a great great grandchild of mine might end up with the one.

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post #9 of 12 Old 07-11-2019, 08:25 PM
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I have a branding iron I got from Rockler that says "hand crafted by Steve Prior". When I turn bowls I have a woodburning pen to sign them, but I hate my handwriting (and it isn't getting better). In the last few years I've purchased both a laser engraver and a CNC which raises some interesting possibilities as well as questions. One idea is to cut round wooden discs on the CNC and then laser engrave those with some kind of signature. I can then inlay those discs into the project. Other possibilities could be laser engraving a resist and chemical etching brass plates, or I could use a diamond drag bit to engrave things on the CNC.

But the other question is that some people don't consider something that was partially created with a CNC "hand made", so in this new age of makerdom what's the new term to use - "created"? The funny part is that I built the CNC by hand, so a part of me wants to sign things "created by Steve Prior using hand made robots", but that's too big for a brand.
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post #10 of 12 Old 08-04-2019, 11:04 PM
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I bought some wooden nickles with "Handcrafted by Pops" on one side. On some pieces, not all, I'll embed one and write the date on it.

The other side has my name, email and number. I hand them out as business cards.

"It don't take all kinds, there just are all kinds"
Granny Clampett
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post #11 of 12 Old 08-06-2019, 01:59 AM
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Water Slide Decals

I recently attended a bamboo fly rod makers gathering in Colorado. One of the programs was about using water slide decals for signing rods. I was quite interested because my handwriting has never been that good and with advancing years, it has gotten worse. I was quite skeptical, to say the least.

I was thoroughly impressed. The most difficult aspect was selecting the type and size of font to fit on each flat of the hexagonal rod that measures only about 5/16" across the flats (of the hex cross-section), meaning the flats are a little less than 3/16" wide. Once the font was selected and the text entered, printing the decals can be done on either an inkjet or laser (special media, specific to which type of printer). Inkjets require a fixative to keep the ink from smearing during the transfer process, lasers do not.

All that is great, but what really impressed me was how invisible the decal media was once it was in place on the rod. And then, once varnished over, it completely disappeared. I tried really hard to find the edge under the finish but even with various light angles, I could not see it.

I've attached a couple images of the raw (no varnish finish) decal on a section of bamboo blank where I applied the decal, the first just showing it without regard to trying to see the edge of the decal.
Signing your work-crr-signing-decal-1-07-18-19-640.jpg

The second, I tried to get the light to reflect so the edge could be seen. Work in some areas.
Signing your work-crr-signing-decal-2-07-18-19-640.jpg

Several years ago, I saw a demonstration of signing rods using the old India Ink "Leroy" lettering sets. I promptly found a set for sale on eBay with the right sized template and bought it. I still have not used it and now that I've seen the decal method, it is likely I'll never use the Leroy.

One could include anything in the way of a logo, text, date, serial number, etc. All it would require for longevity is to apply some form of clear coat over the top to seal and preserve it. Bamboo rod makers tend to use very high quality varnishes that hold up to exposure to sun and water. The printed lettering was not affected by solvents in the varnish, but one would have to test any finishes they intend to use.

If anyone is interested, I can post the URLs to the decal media supplier the program presenter used. He was using inkjet. I have a laser so I have already purchased a small quantity of laser printing media. It was really quite inexpensive and the media is about the only expense. There are small quantities (2oz) of fixative and a "mounting fluid" that aids in sliding the decal around, but they are also quite inexpensive. As mentioned, the fixative is not needed for laser media.


"Quality is like buying oats. If you want nice, clean, fresh oats, you must pay a fair price. However, if you can be satisfied with oats that have already been through the horse, that comes a bit cheaper."
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post #12 of 12 Old 08-06-2019, 04:30 PM
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I have made hundreds of furniture projects and never signed any of them. Everybody tells me I should but I never have, have thought about a branding iron as my penmanship is pitiful, and the prices on them have come down over the years

But the grandfather clock I built my wife had a Grizzly logo on the bottom plate that is unseen, couldn't bring myself to tossing the plywood from the crate the shipped my lath in

I think they spend as much on the crate as the lathe LOL But it helps to stop damage sometimes

There is no app for experience
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