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Letter Stamping in Wood , Writing permanent messages on Wood

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Forum topic by anthm27 posted 07-13-2019 09:28 AM 1712 views 0 times favorited 46 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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anthm27

1124 posts in 1557 days


07-13-2019 09:28 AM

I,ve done a full search here at LJ,s and cant find an answer to my question.

Firstly, this is not about branding, I have a branding iron and it works great. My name and logo that never changes is good for all projects.

This is about leaving a one off message, a permanent mark on a project that is original.
An example may be (For My Nephew , Enjoy 2019) Or, another example may be ( Built for the 2019 LJ,s Beer swap)

So I figure I can easily get a set of metal letter and number stamps like these

My question, does anybody use these letter stamps on wood? Is there a way of then coloring the letters and leaving the wood surrounding the stamped wood natural color? Is there a better way?

I,m trying to get some way of writing messages on wood projects that is permanent.

Thanks in advance
Kind Regards
Anthony

-- To be a true artist one must stick to their own thought process


46 replies so far

View Redoak49's profile

Redoak49

4100 posts in 2436 days


#1 posted 07-13-2019 10:42 AM

I have had small round plates engraved with a message. Most are one inch diameter and then make a shallow hole with a Forstner bit and set the plate in it.

I also bought a cheap laser engraver and made one inch diameter wooden pieces to inset.

View John Smith's profile

John Smith

1912 posts in 610 days


#2 posted 07-13-2019 12:31 PM

Anthony, it looks like it is time to invest in a modest laser engraver.
you can engrave your message on a nice piece of veneer
and glue it to your project. (or, if you can, engrave the project itself).
I have tried the metal stamping on wood. as a sign maker, my eye to
lettering detail is generally good. but when it comes to stamping anything
with the metal stamps, I have yet had one come out to my liking. (it just looks funky).
I have 3 sets: 1/8” from HF and a 1/4 and 1/2” set from another source
and very, very rarely use them on anything but metal.
I suggest the entry level laser engraver.

using a metal stamp on wood actually crushes the fibers and no matter what
you use to color the depressed images with, I am thinking it will bleed badly
into the surrounding tissue – ruining the piece and making your signature mark
look less than professional. you have a very nice list of projects. you really need
to find a way to mark them outside of your stamp to keep the professional look.

.

-- I am a painter. That's what I do. I paint things --

View Nubsnstubs's profile

Nubsnstubs

1588 posts in 2177 days


#3 posted 07-13-2019 01:23 PM

The wood would probably move over time enough to erase what you stamped. Also, what John said. The stamps were made to be stamped into metal for identification purposes, not for messages on wood. I believe you would be disappointed if you went that route. .................. Jerry (in Tucson)

-- Jerry (in Tucson) www.woodturnerstools.com

View bondogaposis's profile

bondogaposis

5487 posts in 2798 days


#4 posted 07-13-2019 01:27 PM

The simplest way would be to get a wood burning tool.

-- Bondo Gaposis

View splintergroup's profile

splintergroup

2763 posts in 1670 days


#5 posted 07-13-2019 01:54 PM

I agree with the comments about using stamps, foremost in my mind is getting everything aligned nicely.

One thing that does work with indented lettering is to fill the impressions with nail polish and then sand the surface until everything looks nice and crisp. The sanding will remove any surface “bleeding” if the wood is not too porous.

Jim Jakosh signs many of his projects with, I believe, a simple ink pen.

Practice on a scrap of the same wood to test for bleeding and if it works, (and you have nice handwriting 8^), cover it with a clear finish and you are good to go!

I believe any message like you are thinking about looks best in the creators own handwriting, just like a signed painting from one of the masters….

View LesB's profile

LesB

2151 posts in 3890 days


#6 posted 07-13-2019 07:23 PM

For years I have used one of the vibrating engraving tools. This makes an adequate indentation in the wood and it can be done in your own handwriting, or you can follow a template. If you are artistic you can even make a design or again follow a design template. They are used for marking metal and glass but work fine on wood.

Here is one Dremel makes for only $20. https://www.amazon.com/Dremel-290-05-120-Volt-Industrial-Engraver/dp/B000VZIGA0/ref=pd_cp_469_1?pd_rd_w=M5UkT&pf_rd_p=ef4dc990-a9ca-4945-ae0b-f8d549198ed6&pf_rd_r=GCZWNEDP3N7GB6C4HY6G&pd_rd_r=6ce85b85-a5a3-11e9-a846-db1bda18ae84&pd_rd_wg=D7CCa&pd_rd_i=B000VZIGA0&psc=1&refRID=GCZWNEDP3N7GB6C4HY6G

-- Les B, Oregon

View MrUnix's profile

MrUnix

7434 posts in 2646 days


#7 posted 07-13-2019 07:52 PM

If you have a laser printer (or access to one), you can heat transfer anything you can print. I’ve seen people use a regular clothes iron to do it, but I prefer a cheap 25W soldering iron with a flat tip. YMMV.

Cheers,
Brad

-- Brad in FL - In Dog I trust... everything else is questionable

View anthm27's profile

anthm27

1124 posts in 1557 days


#8 posted 07-13-2019 10:51 PM



Anthony, it looks like it is time to invest in a modest laser engraver.
you can engrave your message on a nice piece of veneer
and glue it to your project. (or, if you can, engrave the project itself).
I have tried the metal stamping on wood. as a sign maker, my eye to
lettering detail is generally good. but when it comes to stamping anything
with the metal stamps, I have yet had one come out to my liking. (it just looks funky).
I have 3 sets: 1/8” from HF and a 1/4 and 1/2” set from another source
and very, very rarely use them on anything but metal.
I suggest the entry level laser engraver.

using a metal stamp on wood actually crushes the fibers and no matter what
you use to color the depressed images with, I am thinking it will bleed badly
into the surrounding tissue – ruining the piece and making your signature mark
look less than professional. you have a very nice list of projects. you really need
to find a way to mark them outside of your stamp to keep the professional look.

- John Smith

Thanks John,
Just out of bed here and reading your message, Thanks for taking the time to reply.

What you have said makes complete sense and you’ve put into words what was my suspicion about using the metal stamps on wood.

The Lazer engravers I know very very little about, I think I shall switch my research to them.

Kind Regards
Anthony

-- To be a true artist one must stick to their own thought process

View anthm27's profile

anthm27

1124 posts in 1557 days


#9 posted 07-13-2019 10:52 PM



The wood would probably move over time enough to erase what you stamped. Also, what John said. The stamps were made to be stamped into metal for identification purposes, not for messages on wood. I believe you would be disappointed if you went that route. .................. Jerry (in Tucson)

- Nubsnstubs

That also makes sense Jerry
Thank you

-- To be a true artist one must stick to their own thought process

View anthm27's profile

anthm27

1124 posts in 1557 days


#10 posted 07-13-2019 10:54 PM



The simplest way would be to get a wood burning tool.

- bondogaposis

What has steered me away from a wood burning tool in the past is that I am not good at free hand writing. If I could wood burn over a computer type written stencil then maybe that would work.
Is that possible?
Regards
Anth

-- To be a true artist one must stick to their own thought process

View anthm27's profile

anthm27

1124 posts in 1557 days


#11 posted 07-13-2019 10:57 PM


I agree with the comments about using stamps, foremost in my mind is getting everything aligned nicely.

One thing that does work with indented lettering is to fill the impressions with nail polish and then sand the surface until everything looks nice and crisp. The sanding will remove any surface “bleeding” if the wood is not too porous.

Jim Jakosh signs many of his projects with, I believe, a simple ink pen.

Practice on a scrap of the same wood to test for bleeding and if it works, (and you have nice handwriting 8^), cover it with a clear finish and you are good to go!

I believe any message like you are thinking about looks best in the creators own handwriting, just like a signed painting from one of the masters….

- splintergroup

Interesting ideas, The nail Polish one sounds good, Problem is my hand writing is abysmal at best.
I will take a look at Jim Oshkosh signed work and exactly what type of pen he uses.
Regards
Anth

-- To be a true artist one must stick to their own thought process

View anthm27's profile

anthm27

1124 posts in 1557 days


#12 posted 07-13-2019 11:08 PM



For years I have used one of the vibrating engraving tools. This makes an adequate indentation in the wood and it can be done in your own handwriting, or you can follow a template. If you are artistic you can even make a design or again follow a design template. They are used for marking metal and glass but work fine on wood.

Here is one Dremel makes for only $20. https://www.amazon.com/Dremel-290-05-120-Volt-Industrial-Engraver/dp/B000VZIGA0/ref=pd_cp_469_1?pd_rd_w=M5UkT&pf_rd_p=ef4dc990-a9ca-4945-ae0b-f8d549198ed6&pf_rd_r=GCZWNEDP3N7GB6C4HY6G&pd_rd_r=6ce85b85-a5a3-11e9-a846-db1bda18ae84&pd_rd_wg=D7CCa&pd_rd_i=B000VZIGA0&psc=1&refRID=GCZWNEDP3N7GB6C4HY6G

- LesB

Thank you for the reply, yes I now see the stencil that sold with that engraver, that could work.
So , do you go on and color your engraved letters before you coat the project?
Thanks In advance
Anthony

-- To be a true artist one must stick to their own thought process

View anthm27's profile

anthm27

1124 posts in 1557 days


#13 posted 07-13-2019 11:10 PM



If you have a laser printer (or access to one), you can heat transfer anything you can print. I ve seen people use a regular clothes iron to do it, but I prefer a cheap 25W soldering iron with a flat tip. YMMV.

Cheers,
Brad

- MrUnix

Another interesting , idea, unfortunately I dont have a lazer printer but i will definitely research this idea.
Regards
Anthony

-- To be a true artist one must stick to their own thought process

View Phil32's profile

Phil32

598 posts in 351 days


#14 posted 07-13-2019 11:57 PM

Craftsmen have been putting letters into wood for centuries- it’s called woodcarving. You can incise the letters into the wood. and emphasize it with gel stain or paint. Or you can carve raised lettering by cutting away the background.

This incised design by Scott Kim shows the entire alphabet, in order, in mirror symmetry. If you imagine a line down the center from top to bottom, left half is the mirror image of the right half.

-- Phil Allin - There are mountain climbers and people who talk about climbing mountains. The climbers have "selfies" at the summit!

View Dave Polaschek's profile (online now)

Dave Polaschek

4003 posts in 1029 days


#15 posted 07-14-2019 01:08 AM

To elaborate on previous answers, I’ve carved letters and then filled the letters with black wood filler. My box for my plane-making tools was lettered that way. I free-hand carved the letters with a v-tool on that one, but I have also printed onto a piece of paper, glued it onto the wood with kid’s purple glue, then carved the letters using the paper as a guide, and removed the paper (usually by just sanding it off). The rebate saw I made was carved that way (again, with a v-tool, as that’s the simplest I’ve found), but not filled.

I used to use a little NEJE laser engraver, but the plastic worm gear that controlled the horizontal positioning of the laser got stripped, so I chucked that and went to the old ways.

-- Dave - Minneapolis

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