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  #1  
Old 01-15-2007, 01:23 PM
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ElkBowHunter ElkBowHunter is offline
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MAKERS MARK (I need help)

I just received the new Knifes 2007 for my birthday. After an afternoon of looking through all of the really great examples I realized what a complete novice and amateur I really am.
After riding the emotional rollercoaster of envy and doubt, along with resignation and then determination there was one thing that universally stood out to me.
All of these knives have a better ?Makers Mark? than I have been able to come up with.
Some looked etched, electric or laser.
Some looked stamped into the metal.

I need people with much more experience and knowledge to help me out.
I?m looking for ideas on exactly how to get a nice, crisp, sharp blade mark.
Ideas on how to handle blasted or Damascus uneven surfaces.
Actually, any help at all would be greatly appreciated.
Ken


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  #2  
Old 01-15-2007, 01:43 PM
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Check out my article on blade marking in the current (March '07) issue of Blade Magazine.


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  #3  
Old 01-15-2007, 05:49 PM
jim graham jim graham is offline
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Don, Great job on the blade artical. The timing was super. I,m having problems with my stencil making.

My mark is coming out with blank spots, ever so tiny. I was looking at my stencil in the light and could see the same pattern in the stencil. I,m guessing I eighter cooked it to long or not enough. This is the direction I,m headed do you think I,m right. I washed it really good and rubbed it with the sponge after going threw the developer both in warm water and cold. I,m thinking I may have over heated it will under the light. Do you think that could cause a problem that would create the ecth not comming threw.

Anyone with exp. making their own dura stencils shoot back your thoughts.

Thanks Jim
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Old 01-15-2007, 07:53 PM
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Jim, I am afraid I can't offer any advice on stencil making- as I said in the Blade piece, I leave that part to the pros. Maybe Bob Warner will chime in here.


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Last edited by Don Cowles; 01-16-2007 at 07:31 AM.
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  #5  
Old 01-15-2007, 08:36 PM
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Are you having problems putting a makers mark on your blade, or are you asking for help to design a makers mark?
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  #6  
Old 01-16-2007, 09:04 AM
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I already have the design, and coming up with the digital part to rearrange or change the design is not the problem.
I use an electric etch system and make my own stincils. I get just OK results on polished metal and poor results on anything textured.
So, I could use a little help with the electric etching, but what I really want out of this is new ideas on how to or where to get stamps made up and how to use them or what the better blade makers are using to produce a nice ident on their blades.
It looks like some of the marks are pressed in while the metal is still soft, before heat treat and anneal. Or is it Laser. Where and how do you do either of these?
Or maybe there is some new idea I don't even know yet.

Just a frustrated wantabe...


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Old 01-18-2007, 09:51 AM
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I'm gona jump on my soapbox again...... I really believe that the first thing an individual needs to consider when marking their knives is the mark itself. The mark MUST clearly identify the knife with the maker. By that I mean that I strongly believe that YOUR NAME must be a part of that mark. I cannot count the number of individuals who have walked into my shop with a knife that had a fancy logo or initials on it, asking if I knew who made the knife, because they wanted to purchase another from the maker. If you can't identify the maker from the mark on the knife, then your losing sales!

OK, now that I'm coming down off my box....


I'm lucky in that there are no other "Caffrey" names making knives, so for me a very simple stamp, with block letters, which can be easily read and identified works great. If your name is more common, then you have to be a bit more creative, but the name needs to be there none the less.

You asked about how the stamping is done...... I do mine during heat treating. The stamp was custom made by Henry Evers Corp. (Everstamp). On my last normalizing cycle, just prior to quenching, the stamp is placed on the ricasso, and given a single hammer blow, quickly flipped over and my MS is stamped on that side of the ricasso. The mark is impossible to remove without destroying the knife.


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  #8  
Old 01-18-2007, 04:23 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jim graham
Don, Great job on the blade artical. The timing was super. I,m having problems with my stencil making.

My mark is coming out with blank spots, ever so tiny. I was looking at my stencil in the light and could see the same pattern in the stencil. I,m guessing I eighter cooked it to long or not enough. This is the direction I,m headed do you think I,m right. I washed it really good and rubbed it with the sponge after going threw the developer both in warm water and cold. I,m thinking I may have over heated it will under the light. Do you think that could cause a problem that would create the ecth not comming threw.

Anyone with exp. making their own dura stencils shoot back your thoughts.

Thanks Jim
I have fair to poor results making my stencils. Exposure time seems to be the critical factor. I did find that the exposure times given in the stencil maker instructions were useless. By experimenting and wasting a lot of time and stencil material I found exposure times that worked for my particular stencils (about half the exposure time the instructions recommended.)

I also ordered some stencils from Marking Methods and the quality is far better than anything I made. The marks are far cleaner and crisper than my home-made stencils even though they were made from the same artwork.

So, now I have my makers mark stencils made professionally and use my stencil maker just for specialty blade markings that will have limited use.


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  #9  
Old 01-19-2007, 12:08 PM
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Jeremy Krammes Jeremy Krammes is offline
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I get my stencils made by Electro etch (http://www.ecemmi.com/). They can do what ever you want. You just have to send it to them in a file they can use on there computer. It costs $45 for new art, and that includes the stencil. After that they are $15 per stencil. To me it's worth it, rather than having a crappy mark on a great knife. I have never had a problem marking a blade.

Jeremy


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  #10  
Old 01-25-2007, 09:13 PM
TJ Smith TJ Smith is offline
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My shop is kinda cold so I ended up heating my developing fluid to around 90 degrees. Give or take .
I made the light box by Warner and have a 42w actual flourscent bulb in it
I expose for 2.5 minutes. i then use a vibrating jewelry cleaner with developer to finish the stencil. It takes up to 7-8 minutes sometimes to develop.
My guess on the spots is to long an exposure and not enough time in develpoer.
I have done Names with scrollwork that came out great. Nice and crisp.
The etch needs to be deep. If the pad is to wet you will get smoke or cloudy looking etches. Clean up with fine sandpaper on a hard sanding stick. To wet or to dry is like walking the top of the fence on one foot in the dark.
Trial and error
$.02
TJ Smith


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  #11  
Old 01-25-2007, 09:58 PM
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ElkBowHunter, I'm not sure where in Central Oregon you live, but I'm in Prineville and would be happy to show you how I mark my blades. I etch my name using a Marking Methods stencil. You can see what it looks like on my website below. Give me a call at 416-2556 if you like.

Thad


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  #12  
Old 01-26-2007, 11:08 AM
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ElkBowHunter ElkBowHunter is offline
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Thanks Thad, I'll keep your number. I live SE of Bend at Horse Butte.
I've been thinking of trying to get some sort of local meeting of knifemakers organized.
I just finished up as the President of the Archery club the last couple of years, so I have time to give to something else.
Jay Fisher (www.jayfisher.com) has lots of ideas and explainations for marking.
Ed Caffrey's opinion on having your actual name on your piece is worth thinking about. It does away with the need to copyright a logo.
What's fun about the electric etchers is it's easy to change to something else. If you don't like the result, just bead blast it off, touch it back up and try again. You can't do that with an Everstamp!
I think the trick to the electric etchers is in the development of the stencils. Exposure time, development time, cleaning, etc. The last one I did, I exposed (cooked) too long and the stencil is cracking around the logo, so I get spider web lines around the etch.
I'll have to play with it much more.


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  #13  
Old 01-26-2007, 10:52 PM
jim graham jim graham is offline
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TJ, You were right on both counts. I've been putting some time in on checking my methods and through trial and error I can now get a good mark with my stincils. Yes I was over heating the cook time and not pouring in enough developer and not rubbing with the sponge hard enough to clean the logo good. Thanks for you response and you were dead on. Jim
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