The Complete Online Guide to Knifemaking, MAKERS MARKS
Makers Marks can be etched or stamped into a blade. Typically they include the maker's logo and possibly name and location. TouchMark Stamps can be custom made to be either hammered into pre-heat treated steel or for hot stamping. When using a TouchMark or hammering the mark into your blank, it's important to get the hammer blow force correct. If possible, make several practice swings into a sample of similar scrap material or on the tang of the blade where the mark will not be seen. Another option would be to use a hydraulic press for more consistent pressure. After stamping is complete you may need to surface grind the opposite side to smooth out any material displaced by the sledgehammer blow.
Etched logos are usually done with an electro etcher. Logo templates can be commercially printed. These logos are reusable but can be a little tricky because many are not self-adhesive. Because the stencil does not adhere to the steel, use only a damp etching pad and apply firm pressure. The goal is to prevent any excess moisture from the electrolyte solution from getting under the stencil. Another option is to print out self-adhesive stencils on a craft vinyl cutting machine. These machines can cut beautifully detailed designs out of self-adhesive vinyl creating single-use stencils that are much easier to use. The machine is not that expensive and almost pays for itself when compared to having only a couple of batches of commercial stencils created. The only downside to a vinyl cutting machine produced stencil is the limitations of the machine. Very fine details like small text might not be possible.
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