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Maker's marks

Discussion in 'Custom & Handmade Knives' started by Keith Montgomery, Nov 26, 2008.

  1. Keith Montgomery

    Keith Montgomery

    May 9, 2000
    Knifemaker Harry Mathews posted on the CKCA website wondering if the organization would be interested in putting together a listing of maker's marks. He had quite often seen posts on knife forums from people looking to identify a maker from the maker's mark on blade. Harry has stated that he would be willing to set up an email address for makers, or anyone else that would be able to help, to send information to. He will store the info until it is figured out how it will be cataloged.

    What would be required would be photographs, or well done drawings of all the marks that a makers has had over the years. Information as to what years each mark was being used would be of great help. The maker's current contact information would also be useful, though that is something that will in many instances change over time.

    This would be an invaluable resource. It would require some work on the part of the makers, and a great deal of work on the part of whoever takes on the job of cataloging all the marks and corresponding information. What I am trying to ascertain by starting this thread, is how much support the CKCA and Harry will get from custom knifemakers, and any others that have the kind of info that would help make this as complete a reference as possible.

    It would really be great if we could get as many maker's marks of knifemakers that have passed away, or quit making knives, as possible.

    This is going to be a huge endeavor, but it is one that the CKCA would be willing to undertake if they can get enough support to make it worthwhile.

    I am also posting this in the knifemaker's Shop Talk forum.
     
  2. Jon Brand

    Jon Brand Gold Member Gold Member

    May 28, 2007
    nice idea.
     
    Last edited: May 25, 2009
  3. Lorien

    Lorien Moderator Moderator

    Dec 5, 2005
    how about we use this thread to provide photographic evidence of marks?
    I'll snap some shots and post them tomorrow or the next day, of the marks my knives have.
    Fun!
     
  4. T.K.C.

    T.K.C.

    May 7, 2005
    That is a neat idea!!
     
  5. delander

    delander

    567
    Dec 20, 2004
  6. Kevin Jones

    Kevin Jones Platinum Member Platinum Member

    Oct 28, 2006
    Great Del, that's just what we are looking for. Will you post them on the CKCA forum along with the others so Harry can pick them up there?
    It's amazing how you can date some maker's knives by the mark that's used.
    Jerry Fisk's knives can be dated in the same manner.
     
    Last edited: Nov 26, 2008
  7. Hmathews

    Hmathews

    Feb 22, 2005
    I will try to answer a few questions that might arise up front. This is an idea that Charlie and I have been thinking about for some time. Our idea was for it to be an on going, up to date data base of maker’s marks. Until the creation of the CKCA we weren't sure how to make it available to the individuals interested in knives and ensure its longevity. It is our hope that the CKCA will incorporate access to the data base into its web site and offer access to any interested party. This is yet to be determined.

    We are willing to invest a lot of time in accumulating as many of these marks as we can in a format that one day will be a searchable database. We don't intend or want to make a dime out of this, nor do we think anyone should. Our thoughts were that if this was a book it would be out of date the day it was published. If it were a project that was done by an individual or two individuals as soon as they were not able to keep up, the project would end. But if an organization that had an interest in it being created and maintained got behind it, then it would not depend on the individual and others would be involved to ensure that it was kept up through the years. It is our hope that the CKCA can provide this. With the CKCA there would be no association with a particular makers group like the Knifemakers Guild or the American Bladesmith Society, but an association with all makers groups as well as makers not associated with a national group.

    The first step has been taken which is to begin gathering the data. That is going on now. The determination on how to best present the data and how to provide access is yet to be determined and there will be plenty of room for others to be involved. Information like that provided by Del will be very valuable and I hope one day to be able to see that same type of data on most makers. But for now if we can just identify the makers and their marks we will be getting a good start. Any additional data will be the icing on the cake.

    Anyway here is the e-mail address. don'[email protected] Remove the "don'ttypethis" and "orthis" from the ends and you have it. Submission of a photo is indication that the owner is giving permission for its incorporation in whole or part in the knifemakers mark database and that no copyrights will be violated in doing so. I just thought I would throw that in cause it makes me feel better.:D

    Let’s see what happens.
     
  8. Jay Maines

    Jay Maines

    136
    Aug 1, 1999
    If memory serves me right, a few years back, one of the members of this forums started just such a project. He was asking for the markers mark to be stamped or acid etched onto a small square piece of steel, then sent to him.

    Jay Maines
     
  9. ddd

    ddd KnifeMaker / Craftsman / Service Provider Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    Apr 6, 2003
    Here are some of the knifemaker's marks and logos I picked of knives
    displayed in my books. First Edmund Davidson's etches:

    All the best,
    David Darom (ddd)

    From my book "Edmund Davidson The Art of the Integral Knife" (2008)
    [​IMG]
     
  10. ddd

    ddd KnifeMaker / Craftsman / Service Provider Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    Apr 6, 2003
    Here are Tim Hancock's marks and name etchings. Because most of
    his marks are done on Damascus steel, I asked Tim to mark a flat
    piece of steel with samples of everything he used on his knives.
    I needed it for his book to be consistent with the design concept of
    my new book series.

    It is a piece of steel with true historic value....

    All the best,
    David Darom (ddd)

    From my book "Tim Hancock The Western Bladesmith" (2009)
    [​IMG]
     
  11. ddd

    ddd KnifeMaker / Craftsman / Service Provider Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    Apr 6, 2003
    Speaking of knifemaker's logos, check out how cleverly Steve Johnson
    uses his basic name etching logo design in some of the many etches he used
    and is using on his knives. Most of these were picked off knives displayed
    in my books. Steve kindly sent me the rest...

    There is even one he designed especially for a knife he made for me.... :)

    All the best,
    David Darom (ddd)

    See the updated illustration further down this thread, in post #36....


    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Dec 6, 2008
  12. ddd

    ddd KnifeMaker / Craftsman / Service Provider Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    Apr 6, 2003
    To pick up the knifemaker's mark, use the macro setting on
    your camera and get in as close as possible for a sharply focused
    result. Crop the logo section and finally change Brightness/Contrast
    or the Levels of the image for a perfect reproduction of the logo.

    All the best,
    David Darom (ddd)

    [​IMG]
     
  13. Lorien

    Lorien Moderator Moderator

    Dec 5, 2005
    Here are a couple of marks from a couple of knives. I have a few more that I want to get photos of as well.
    My camera is a pos, 2 MP with no macro function. So I do the best I can after the fact, shopping it.
    Anyway...

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Nov 27, 2008
  14. ddd

    ddd KnifeMaker / Craftsman / Service Provider Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    Apr 6, 2003
    Lorien,

    Back up a little for the LAMEY mark so that it will be in focus.
    Otherwise, use natural soft light, like outdoors with overcast skies,
    or some open shade and the results will be good even with
    a 2 MP camera!! Sharpness is critical. all the rest is easy to fix
    if needed.....

    All the best,
    David Darom (ddd)
     
  15. Lorien

    Lorien Moderator Moderator

    Dec 5, 2005
    Thanks David! I suppose if I got it in focus, I could always crop after the fact. I'll try again!
    I just built a lightbox, (slow morning!) and I'm going to start spending more time behind the lens. I have several years of university level photographic training, but a lot of that time was spent with an SLR and processing actual film. The digital age threw me for a loop, but I'm hankerin to get back in there. I love taking pictures!
     
  16. I think it is a great idea as long as everybody has access to the datdabase and not just CKCA members.
     
  17. ddd

    ddd KnifeMaker / Craftsman / Service Provider Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    Apr 6, 2003
    Well Lorien, once you got the sharpness, you got the final etch....

    All the best,
    David Darom (ddd)

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Dec 5, 2008
  18. ddd

    ddd KnifeMaker / Craftsman / Service Provider Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    Apr 6, 2003
    Mike,

    The whole idea is to have such an image/data bank open to
    everyone all over the world.....

    All the best,
    David Darom (ddd)
     
  19. Lorien

    Lorien Moderator Moderator

    Dec 5, 2005
    I made sure Matt saw this thread. Hopefully we'll see some Lamey t shirts one day;):D
    Thanks David!
     
  20. Kevin Jones

    Kevin Jones Platinum Member Platinum Member

    Oct 28, 2006
    Mike, up to now ALL the information on the CKCA website and forum is open to the public with the exception of our member discounts on collector/maker insurance, knife photo services and posting privileges on the forum.

    Certain areas will convert to "member only" in the future, however features such as our "maker's links" page and the proposed "maker's marks database" which offers benefits to enthusiast worldwide will remain open to all who choose to use it.

    Speaking of worldwide, we do currently have members in nine countries and our very comprehensive maker's link listing covers makers (member & non-member) all over the globe.
    We are currently in the process of expanding our maker's link listing to a new format which will include additional information on the makers and the knives they make. This may be a good place to also include their maker marks.
     

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