Results 1 to 11 of 11

Thread: sharpie pens

  1. #1

    sharpie pens

    I usually label my rough turned bowls with a carpenters pencil denoting species, weight and date. Sometimes it is a pain to use a pencil and I would like to use a sharpie. Will I regret using one? Does the ink soak in deeply to green wood? How about semi-dry wood?
    I tried a search of the archives and came up empty handed. And no I do not use a sharpie to sign anything.

  2. #2
    Tim, you should seal the wood first, if you do you shouldn't have any issues. I seal anything I make with a 50/50 mix of poly and thinner, let it dry then sign the piece. After signing it, finish it like you normally would. If you use water base finish, it's still done pretty much the same way. Yes, your signature could be removed, but to remove it, they will ruin the finish.
    Len

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2015
    Location
    San Diego, Ca
    Posts
    878
    For a rough turned bowl, I typically use an ink pen but have also used a sharpie. I suppose that the dye or ink could soak in, but my rough out thickness is 10% of the diameter so there is a lot of wood to be removed. It has never been an issue for me.

    BTW, what do you use to sign your finished works?

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    E TN, near Knoxville
    Posts
    4,816

    no issues here

    Quote Originally Posted by Tim Hoyt View Post
    I usually label my rough turned bowls with a carpenters pencil denoting species, weight and date. Sometimes it is a pain to use a pencil and I would like to use a sharpie. Will I regret using one? Does the ink soak in deeply to green wood? How about semi-dry wood?
    I tried a search of the archives and came up empty handed. And no I do not use a sharpie to sign anything.
    Tim,

    I use Sharpies on almost every green turning blank AND dry blank. This wood is usually cut back when turned so the ink depth is not an issue. However, on some that I belt sanded to clean up the rough bandsaw marks after drying and found the ink penetrated only very shallowly. A lot might depend on just how wet the wood is and the actual species. The Sharpie marks show through Anchorseal just fine but it is often difficult to write on top of the dried wax.

    It would be easy enough for you to do some tests with very green and partially and completely dry roughed bowls of various species. Before final turning shave the surface with a knife or something and see just how deep the ink penetrated. I'd test both end and side grain.

    When I want to label on top of wax (or on dark wood such as ebony) I write on a strip of tape. I use either white gaffers tape or a piece of special green 3M masking tape made for "hard to stick surfaces.". Both tapes will stick fine to dried wax. This is the special masking tape: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00004Z4AY BTW, this is my most used tape in the shop and used in the house too. (Great for the ends of solvant/finish cans too - the only part you see when putting them on the shelf!) You could easily label every bowl with a strip of this tape and avoid the ink issue completely.

    When preparing blanks I also use a bright red sharpie to highlight any visible cracks or defect in the wood, before sealing if I'm going to seal it. This eliminates unpleasant surprises when I go to use them. BTW, I like the one-handed click Sharpies - wanting more and not finding them locally I finally broke down last week and ordered a few dozen from Amazon.

    One little tip I've mentioned before: to keep Sharpies and pencils handy at the bandsaw, lathe, etc, I wrap a bit of soft iron wire around them and hang them from magnets:

    magnets3.jpg magnets.jpg

    This helps me put them back too since when I start to set one down or pick one up the wire reminds me.

    JKJ
    Last edited by John K Jordan; 01-09-2018 at 12:29 AM. Reason: forgot to say "iron" wire

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2016
    Location
    Elmodel, Ga.
    Posts
    129
    I don't think that marking green wood would be a problem if you turn it after it dries to remove. The only problem I have had was when I signed my work after final sanding and before applying a topcoat, I had the sharpie run like crazy because I used a solvent based topcoat.

  6. #6
    Good idea on the red Sharpie! Thanks for a lot of great information.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Location
    Gassaway, WV
    Posts
    1,190
    I use Sharpies a lot, even sign my bowls with a fine sharpie. The ink in the sharpies is alcohol base so don't use it with shellac. Poly type finish won't have any effect on it. Have tried different pens but come back to sharpies.
    Fred

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    lufkin tx
    Posts
    1,881
    Local info is the best and quickest--simply test for yoself.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Kapolei Hawaii
    Posts
    2,684
    I use a construction crayon to label wood species. Dirt cheap and they come in various colors. Even white and yellow for dark woods.
    I use an archival pen to sign. Supposed to be run proof and permanent. I have not had issues. Sharpies, despite the name, is not actually permanent. And they do run in wood.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Aug 2016
    Location
    Spokane, WA
    Posts
    194
    I use a sharpie if I need to label a rough turned bowl, in penetration is minimal and always turns away when I'm finishing the turning. For signing I use an archival pen (Sakura Pigma Micron 08) as it is supposed to be permanent and not supposed to fade. After signing I let it dry for a few minutes. If I'm finishing with an oil I just wipe it on and if I'm using a solvent based finish I blot the first coat and there is no smearing. If I need to wipe a solvent based finish then I wait ten to fifteen minutes after signing.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    Atikokan, Rainy River district, Ontario
    Posts
    3,337
    I use whatever marker that is handy to put date and sometimes the species of wood on the rough turned pieces, though species I often don’t need to put on them as I can tell what it is.

    For marking after the piece is finish turned, I use a pyrography pen, that will not disappear after a few years as a lot of markers will.

    I have never had a problem of the marker not being gone after returning, as the marker ink will hardly penetrate at all.

    Dry rough turned bowls.jpgreturning.jpgSpalted Black Walnut.jpgSweet Cherry burl HF.jpg
    Last edited by Leo Van Der Loo; 01-14-2018 at 12:22 PM.


    Have fun and take care

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •