Signing/Dating your work (Followup Question)

  • Advertise with us

« back to Woodworking Skill Share forum

Forum topic by Woodstock posted 08-27-2010 10:00 PM 2862 views 0 times favorited 10 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View Woodstock's profile


253 posts in 3311 days

08-27-2010 10:00 PM

Topic tags/keywords: question finishing traditional arts and crafts

Hi All,

I searched the LJ database for any threads on permanently marking wood projects.
(In my case I want the “date made” placed on the project.)

The general summery fell into two camps. One buy/make a wood brand. Or two use a Sharpie permanent ink marker.

I chose the pen as most of my turnings are small & round & not flat enough anywhere for even a small brand. But I ran into a problem yesterday that I thought I solved, but another problem took its place.

Sharpie on bare (sanded) wood surface bleeds. Which I had suspected would happen.

So my solution was to put down sanding sealer on the area & put 1 coat of shellac down to seal the surface. Then after the second coat was dry & lightly sanded date the piece, let the ink dry & continue with more wipe-on finish coatings. Which would seal the date made into the surface & so it would not be worn off with use if it was dated on the top surface coat.

But the Bulls -eye shellac immediately dissolved the ink the next go around. In reading the label on the shellac it says to “clean up with alcohol” which I suspect may be similar to the solvent in the Sharpie.

Any suggestions on another way to ink the date & still be able to cover-over the ink?

-- I'm not old. Just "well seasoned".

10 replies so far

View majeagle1's profile


1426 posts in 3519 days

#1 posted 08-27-2010 10:17 PM

I had the same problem with the sharpie markers and found another one that I really like.
It is a “Galaxy Marker”, made by AmericanCrafts. If you google them and then find a retailer online
that you like to buy them from. They only come in a medium and broad point. The medium is the one
I use, still a little broad, but o.k.
I use Danish Oil on my boxes and AFTER they dry, I then sign them and let the ink dry. Then I go ahead
and use whatever wax I want to on it. No bleading or smearing….........

Hope this helps….......

-- Gene, Majestic Eagle Woodworks,,

View swirt's profile


2773 posts in 2995 days

#2 posted 08-28-2010 04:12 AM

sharpie and shellac both use alcohol as evaporative solvent. How about wood burning with just a pencil point burner?

-- Galootish log blog,

View Gregn's profile


1642 posts in 3007 days

#3 posted 08-28-2010 11:49 AM

I sometimes use India ink on small pieces. But haven’t used shellac so not sure how well it would work. Just a thought.

-- I don't make mistakes, I have great learning lessons, Greg

View Dave's profile


11429 posts in 2863 days

#4 posted 08-30-2010 04:29 AM

I use shellac and a sharpie. I put my first coat of shellac on then sand. I then use a sharpie, then use a small brush and one time pass over over my mark. Down hear we call it a touch. The coat is thicker than rubbing the shellac on but you are most likely going to sign in a place that is out of the way. So if it is a bit darker, like if you were using amber shellac, it wont be seen. It hasn’t bleed out on me yet. Also its 95 degrees down here some my dry time is about 1 minute.

-- Superdav "No matter where you go - there you are."

View twissty's profile


26 posts in 2875 days

#5 posted 08-31-2010 06:56 PM

A neat way to date your work is to drill a relief with an appropriately sized forstner bit and then epoxy a coin with this year’s date on it into it. Cover it completely with epoxy, sand/scrape flush, then finish with whatever you are using.

View ghazard's profile


382 posts in 3533 days

#6 posted 08-31-2010 09:06 PM

I think the solution you are after is a regular gel pen. I like the Pilot G-2 05, this is the extra fine point.

First of all, it is an excellent writing utensil, but that is a different forum all together! :)... secondly, on bare wood it gives a nice dark, thin line with no bleeding. You can find the G-2 07 (fine point) in lots of colors but I can only find the 05 (very fine) at the office supply stores in black or blue. Black looks really nice on bare wood.

I use poly on most of my projects and as long as you write on bare wood and let it dry for 20 min or so…poly covers it right up with no degradation of the line. It gets tricky if you forget to sign before applying the first coat of poly…the ink won’t absorb and will wipe off with the next coat.

Hope that helps.

Good luck


-- "Hey, you dang woodchucks! Quit chuckin' my wood!"

View TJ65's profile


1378 posts in 3073 days

#7 posted 09-01-2010 10:51 AM

I have found if you complete your project then sign it with a sharpie. When thats dry wipe a layer of poly over the top of it all.

-- Theresa,

View Woodstock's profile


253 posts in 3311 days

#8 posted 09-08-2010 02:30 AM

Thanks for all the suggestions.

I’m tracking down a possible solution as I’ve recently seen mention of a water based, acid free pen for the scrapbook crowd. Since the Bulls -Eye shellac seems to be a alcohol base product, I might take a wander over to the scrap book place the next town over to see about getting my hands on one to try out.

On the way back I’ll see about picking up a gel pen. (I had a bunch of gel pens a few years ago but gave them away as I’m left handed and I kept smearing the ink all over the place. Remember finger painting in kindergarten? Well it was almost that bad. And it doesn’t help being a son of a doctor either.)

I’ll report back when I find out anything.


-- I'm not old. Just "well seasoned".

View Ben Martin's profile

Ben Martin

34 posts in 3232 days

#9 posted 09-10-2010 07:37 PM

I usually sign and date with a dremmel. No way anyone will ever refinish and remove my signature unless the replace the section I signed.

View yrisarriwoodworker's profile


3 posts in 3347 days

#10 posted 09-11-2010 02:05 AM

Why not use a paint pen, they have a fine point and a chisel point? I used to use them a lot in the past for marking car parts and stuff. I’m a leftie as well, and you’ll have to be careful to not wipe it with your hand. But you’re not putting the Gettysburg Address on your project, so you can do it after a little practice.

-- Bill, New Mexico,

Have your say...

You must be signed in to reply.

DISCLAIMER: Any posts on LJ are posted by individuals acting in their own right and do not necessarily reflect the views of LJ. LJ will not be held liable for the actions of any user.

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics