Signing your work

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Forum topic by Jack Labor posted 03-03-2011 03:41 PM 1602 views 3 times favorited 7 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Jack Labor

50 posts in 2062 days

03-03-2011 03:41 PM

Topic tags/keywords: tip trick

I started signing my pieces from the start ( I prefer to sign them on the back, especially on smaller projects ) but I found that the ink would sometimes smear or run as I applied the final spray/brush on finish. Especially with open grain woods

I came up with an idea. I designed a logo on the computer and then made a mirrored (reverse) image of the logo. I then made several copies on a single sheet. I then made Xerox copies of the sheet.
(You can ‘resize’ the images to fit the piece.)

From there, I cut out one copy of the logo and positioned it ( face down ) on the Backing Board. Using masking tape, secure it along one end.

This should be done on sanded, raw wood. (before any finish is applied)

Using a small iron, set on ‘Cotton’(High Heat) I rub the hot iron over the back of the paper, being careful to press firmly and evenly being careful not to scorch the wood. When the paper is heated, the Xerox ink is “melted’ and transferred from the paper to the bare wood.
You can lift the end that is not taped to check the image to make sure all of the image is visible.
When cooled the logo will not smear or run when you apply your gel coat or spray-on finish.

I used this technique on the Victrola and Dog a number of years ago. After I transferred the ‘Victor’ and “Her Master’s Voice”, I went over the letters with a wood burning tool. Just to make sure it stood out just enough. But when you are transferring you signature or a small logo, the wood burner is not used.

Remember: XEROX not Inkjet or Laser Printer.

If you have any questions regarding this technique, please contact me at:

-- Jack Labor - Elmwood Intarsia - Artistry In Wood

7 replies so far

View knotscott's profile


7145 posts in 2794 days

#1 posted 03-03-2011 05:45 PM

That’s a clever method of signing your work. My method also uses ink, but I apply it with a rubber stamp that cost < $10. I clear coat over it to protect it. The size can’t be varied unless I were to use different size stamps, but it works well and looks a lot like a more expensive branding iron. I also like to add a penny from the year the piece was made.

The stamp looks something like this:

-- Happiness is like wetting your pants...everyone can see it, but only you can feel the warmth....

View David Craig's profile

David Craig

2136 posts in 2527 days

#2 posted 03-03-2011 06:25 PM

Clever idea. Using the Xerox would be about the same as using a laser printer though. The laser and Xerox both use toner which is what makes the ironing process work. Heat is used to transfer the toner on the paper and makes it usable to transfer to the wood using an iron. You are correct in stating you can’t use ink jet printers because they use liquid ink which is not heat transferable.


-- There is little that is simple when it comes to making a simple box.

View CanadaJeff's profile


207 posts in 3028 days

#3 posted 03-03-2011 06:44 PM

You should post an example to see!
Sounds like a good idea, is it a clean transfer or do you get a faded version because not all the ink gets absorbed into the wood?

View rogerw's profile


262 posts in 2108 days

#4 posted 03-04-2011 01:53 AM

cool idea. thanx for the post

-- >> my shop teacher used to say "do the best at everything you make for your mom because you're going to see it for the rest of your life!" <<

View Roper's profile


1370 posts in 3131 days

#5 posted 03-04-2011 02:12 AM

I just use my woodburning pen to put my signature on the bottom of my pieces,I only initial my minis.

-- Roper - Master of sawdust-

View bigike's profile


4048 posts in 2707 days

#6 posted 03-04-2011 04:17 AM

nice idea, I like it cuz you can size the sign to fit the piece.

-- Ike, Big Daddies Woodshop,

View redryder's profile


2394 posts in 2520 days

#7 posted 03-04-2011 09:27 AM

I like the “blog” by David….”Waterslide Decals”, easy and very professional looking. Remember when you were a kid and you put decals on your models?? same, same…....

-- mike...............

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