Sunday, December 12, 2010

Owner's Mark Stamp


In a previous post, I shared some thoughts and observations on plane owner's marks and I ended up wondering how to make my own metal owner's mark stamp. Well, it's been over a year, I still don't know how to go about it, but I have finally gotten my hands on an original to aid in my quest.

It was made for one "C. B. STILWELL" by "JACOBS & CO 74 WASHN.ST BOSTON".

Here's a photo of the stamp and the mark it makes:


I am hoping that by closely examining the stamp, I can figure out how it was made. It seems clear to me that files were used - very tiny files, for the exterior of each letter. But I haven't yet sussed out how the interior sections were shaped.

Here's a closer shot of the business end:


I know I could pay someone to make one for me, but that just isn't my style. I might get there one day if I can't figure this out...


13 comments:

  1. I would think they were cast from a mold, similar to how sorts were cast for use in typesetting.

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  2. Hey Dan,
    The recesses were punched down first with tools called "Counter Punches". Then the exterior shape is carefully filed.

    Check out this video series he has a really good explaination of the process for type. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eExllUeGtvc&feature=related

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  3. Dan,

    George Wilson, who worked at Colonial Williamsburg for a number of years, has posted a couple of threads over at Sawmill Creek (in the neanderthal section) about making stamps. Might be helpful (?).

    Abi

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  4. Roy's woodwright shop is offering a class on making these:

    http://www.woodwrightschool.com/name-stamps-w-peter-ross/

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  5. Daniel, Trevor, Abi, and Charles - Wow! Thanks everyone! I think I will study up and give it a try. I'd love to take the class at Roy's, but I just live to far away - someday...

    Roger (email) - Thanks for the great info.

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  6. I just received a new one from Chalco, and it seems fine, but these old ones are cool. Coincidentally I was pondering the same subject today at work, and have been looking at examples on eBay. I suspect the key is in the punches used to form the letters. Probably a limited set of shapes to form specific segments, and then refine with files??

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  7. I have long wondered how to go about getting a owners mark stamp, so the topic was awesome. Thanks to the commenters for hooking us all up with great leads.

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  8. Look up touchmarks to. That's the common phrase used by smiths.

    Happy Holidays!
    Best Regards,
    Albert A Rasch
    In Afghanistan™

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  9. Hello Dan, My name is Emily, I live in Italy, I have the same passion for wood and old tools. I watch a lot of passion with your blog, congratulations on your shop-keepers and the arguments you propose. Augoro a Merry Christmas to you and all those who follow your blog. (sorry for English) Emilio

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  10. john j - I think that punches are mostly used to form the inside of the letters. I haven't tried it yet, but I'll post the results when I do.

    John - Yes, great stuff shared by all! One of the things I love about this blog is the sharing of information from readers via comments.

    Albert - Thanks for the terminology. Happy Holidays to you!

    emilio - Merry Christmas to you! Thank you for commenting - I am glad you enjoy the blog. Are old tools easy to find in Italy?

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  11. Thanks for sharing this. You did a great work!!

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  12. Kevin - You're welcome, and thanks!

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