Where can I get a custom maker's mark for my dad?
July 11, 2007 5:10 PM   Subscribe

My dad is a wood craftsman. He has a maker's mark that he's been using since before I was born. After 30+ years of use, it's not making its mark so well anymore, and I'd like to get him a new one. But from where?

It's made of metal, and he heats it before pressing it into the wood, where it burns/brands the mark. It used to look great, but now looks like this.

I'd like to get him a new one, but I have no idea where.

Preferably from a reputable place online, but I'd also be willing to travel in the greater Philadelphia area. He makes such wonderful stuff, and I'd hate for him not to be able to put his signature on it anymore.

(Yes, I realize he probably knows where to get them and could get his own, but he's just not the type of guy to do that.)
posted by misanthropicsarah to Sports, Hobbies, & Recreation (5 answers total)
Best answer: Lee Valley offers both traditional and electric branding irons. I've ordered a fair number of woodworking items from them and they've always been a great company to order from. I don't have a maker's mark so I can't comment on the quality of that item.
posted by macfly at 5:19 PM on July 11, 2007

A suggestion: don't replace it, refurbish it. (I suspect he has sentimental attachment to something that he's used for 30 years.) A machine shop that works with dies should be able to cut away more metal to deepen the lettering and then grind the whole surface a bit to even everything out, so that all the letters show up evenly.

Or I suppose you can get some fancy electric brands. (Lee Valley, mentioned above, is widely known as an excellent supplier of woodworking tools.)
posted by jellicle at 5:48 PM on July 11, 2007

Best answer: When you say he's not the type to get a replacement himself, what do you mean, exactly? Does he just think it's an unnecessary hassle, or could it be that he actually takes pride in the fact he's been at this for so long that he's actually worn away the piece of iron he uses to sign his work?

If it could be the second, be careful about doing him a favor and having it reground. What about having a new one made and putting the old one on a decorative mount that he can hang in his shop or office?
posted by contraption at 6:15 PM on July 11, 2007 [1 favorite]

Seconding refurbishment. I don't know names offhand, but you should be able to find a metal shop on Sansom Street that can do it -- check with companies that do jewelery casting.
posted by desuetude at 6:49 AM on July 12, 2007

I'm with contraption. I do nothing that would deserve a maker's mark (generally I'm trying to hide the fact that I ever touched whatever it is), but I get *really* touchy about my stuff in general, and my long term stuff in particular.

You'll presumably know him better than we do, but if it were me, I would not be happy about anyone who wanted to adjust/move/improve my stuff. You can present me with new stuff, and if I like it or feel like I need it, I'll use it. Even if I don't use it, I may appreciate the gesture.

Or not. I'm occasionally sucky that way. (But I will put on a good face.)
posted by LoraxGuy at 7:34 AM on July 12, 2007

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