Makers Mark

rcarmac

Robert
Corporate Member
What is everyone’s feeling about adding a makers mark to your work.

I just finished up a piece that I am donating to a group. I have my logo on a branding iron, 1”x1”.

Its an important piece to the group and I am wondering if it takes something away from the item by adding. Of course it would be on the underside, but just curious what others think.
 

Bill Clemmons

Bill
Corporate Member
I stamp my name and the year of completion in a hidden location on every piece I build. I don't do it to brag but rather for future generations to know who built it, since almost all of my pieces are for family.
 

Raymond

Raymond
Corporate Member
If it's out of sight, then they shouldn't be upset about it - you are the creator of that piece.
 

rcarmac

Robert
Corporate Member
When I read the title, I thought it was going to be about the whiskey......... But if you are proud of your work, absolutely stamp it with your mark. If the workmen ship is so-so, then by all means copy some other guy's mark and stamp it with his .... ;) :p
hope I didn’t disappoint you too much or maybe got you thirsty
 
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rcarmac

Robert
Corporate Member
I stamp my name and the year of completion in a hidden location on every piece I build. I don't do it to brag but rather for future generations to know who built it, since almost all of my pieces are for family.
I got that is my struggle. Are you bragging or being self serving when you add it to a piece? I don’t want it to appear like marketing or promotion. More just recognizing who built it.
 

TB2

Kent
User
I sign and date every cabinet that leaves my shop. They may never see it but it’s there. Signed a wall in an old{200 year} house today that we are remodeling.
 

drw

Donn
Corporate Member
I am in Bill's camp; I have a branding iron my kids gave me for Christmas that says "Handmade By Donn Ward". Perhaps my great grandkids will appreciate knowing where things came from.
 

smallboat

smallboat
Corporate Member
It is not bragging. Simply recording a fact. If someone has a low opinion of your work, at least they will know who to avoid!

If your brand included a statement of value- " the finest craft in wood" I would say the question is open. If you are simply identifying the maker, who's to argue? ( ok, there's always someone to argue)
 

sandfarm

Joe
User
I also use a stamp.
I have Bob Timberlake furniture in my house. Some pieces Bob signed his name in the bottom of a drawer in big letters. That doesn't bother me.
A lot of very old furniture pieces were signed or marked by the maker. Your signed piece will make it worth more in a hundred years or so.
 

tarheelz

Dave
Corporate Member
I sign my work in a hidden place with a Sharpie or paint pen. I also include a description of the finish. (Occasionally I'll provide information on the wood.)

Before the coin shortage, I also embedded a coin from the completion year. Past year has just been handwritten dates.
 

red

Papa Red
Red
Senior User
I burn my brand on everything I make. On furniture pieces I sign and date too. I also sign my name on different parts throughout construction. Someone someday may see it!

Red
 

dancam

Dan
Corporate Member
On furniture pieces, I use a branding iron and also inlay a US Penny of the year the piece was completed. I also include a small description of the finish and wood species (usually on the bottom or back of a drawer).

On smaller pieces (boxes etc) I have a friend that laser engraves a maker's mark ("Handcrafted By------") on the bottom in small type.
 

Mike Davis

Mike
Corporate Member
When we first got married we had very little and my wife wanted a new dining table. There was a big fad at the time for a sort of country table that had fold down pieces the length of each side and painted legs. She really liked the sage green.

Well, the tables sold for $250 and we just didn't have it, so I said I could build it for about $30 and got started on it. That was when I cut the tapered table legs on the radial arm saw since that was all I had. Her father had given it to me since he never used it.

So, I made the table and she loved it. Until the fad faded.

A guy at work had a nice oak table with the standard factory spray lacquer finish and his kids had set glasses of ice tea all over it so the finish had flaked off and he wanted to sell it for $40. I bought it scraped off the rest of the lacquer with a card scraper and polyurethaned it. We still have it 30 years later and the finish is still good.

Now you are wondering what all this has to do with a maker's mark, I'm getting there...

I sold the table I made to a flea market near our home for what the material cost me.

We had an old friend who cut hair in his basement shop downtown in a nice older neighborhood. He also sold antiques in his little hair cutting shop. One day we both went to get haircuts and there sat my $30 table with a $300 price tag on it. I complimented his good taste in fine antiques and asked if I could look under the table. When I got it turned over I said hey come look here. There in one corner was my signature and the date of three years earlier.
 

Hmerkle

Hank
Corporate Member
YOU are donating YOUR "product"
JMHO, but you most definitely should sign and date the item. I do not think it is bragging, but simply stating where, who and when this item came from...
Finally you say "Its an important piece to the group" I will go so far as to say it is probably important to them where and who it came from!
 

Hmerkle

Hank
Corporate Member
On another note...
I turned some things years ago. Many of them have been lost or ???. But a few my wife liked and has kept, one in particular I actually still enjoy seeing. I am really mad now that I didn't sign, but especially date it because I do not remember when I turned that one!
 

mkepke

Mark
Senior User
My $0.02 - it doesn't take anything away. See my thread about the shop-made roll top desk I found in a thrift store. No makers mark that I've found yet, but it would be nice to find one someday...

-Mark
 

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