Makers mark

mr.rims

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Dec 8, 2005
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I have the opportunity to buy a very well made custom knife which has no makers mark. To me that stamp or mark on the knife validates it for my use. When I use it, let others use it, show it to friends or hunting companions I want that mark which identifies the maker. This is a very nice knife I am considering at an excellent price by a part time maker. I'm kinda perplexed as to buy it or not. I want it for a user and not a safe queen. Is my concern out of line? I apologize if this has been coverd in depth before.
 
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If it's well made and you like it, go for it!
You could also post a picture in this thread (or sent it to me by email if you don't know how to post pics), maybe someone is familiar with the model/maker.
 

SharpByCoop

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No one here is going to tell you not to buy it if you like it. Not me, anyway. The point you raise is valid nonetheless, and it creates another question...

May there have been a reason the maker did NOT want to sign his work on this one? Or, is this his norm?

Last option is to contact the maker and see about the history, and whether sending it back to him for a mark is worth it.

Coop
 
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May 9, 2000
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It's not unusual to see custom knives with no maker's mark. If it's a good knife for a good price, and it's going to be a user, I wouldn't be concerned. If you know who the maker is then you really don't need a maker's mark.
 

mr.rims

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Dec 8, 2005
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Thanks for the replies. I do know who the maker is and have considered asking him to just etch his name and city as it's still in his posession. Maybe that's what I'll do. He is a part time maker and told me by email that it's just something he hasn't done but he is thinking of doing it now.
 
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Nov 20, 2001
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Honestly, there are a lot of really well made knives from good makers at a good price. If you have a pressing need for such a knife, then go ahead. otherwise though (i.e., if it is an opportunistic purchase), then I would be very hesitant.
 
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I would ask the maker to mark it if he has the capability, but an etching machine and stencils cost a good chunk of change, so if he does not have the equipment, maybe there is a place near him that can engrave his name.
 
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May 12, 2003
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Guys,

I have struggled with this one too.

Seeing there was no mark on one of my knives...somebody once asked me if I wasn't proud of my work...What can a guy say to that?Hell yes I am proud of it...but it is a humbling moment when you have to tell a Master Smith that you don't have twelve cents in your pocket for gas money to get home...

At the time I was struggling to afford the good belts and handle materials so I could put a decent knife together...I was and still am...selling a knife in order to afford the materials to make the next...

An etching machine...(about a $200 investment...)was more money than I had

A stamp is no small investment either...and there is a whole controversy around stamping that I have not settled on....

My local engraver wanted about $20 a blade to cut the name in...and he scratched hell out of the one I let him try...so much so that I had to re-grind the booger....

On the advice of a well known maker I tried a vibro pen...but it seemd to dig deepr in places...and was not a clean professional mark....

Before I hit Atlanta a few years ago... I did not know what a pantograph was...Tim Britton explained it to me...he's a nice guy.

Love to have one...but there's that money thing...again.

So it came down to bustin' ass to get a blade finished nicely...and then ruining that nice finish with a crappy mark...or leaving it unmarked.

I know a lot of guys will say mark it no matter what...but I have opted to supply good documentation for the origin of the knife....in place of a mark...then maybe in years to come...the knife will have a paper trail...that may mean something...not as good as a mark...I know.

But an etcher will be the next equipment I purchase...so hopefully those days are over....

If you are going to use a knife...a mark should not make to much difference...

And honestly...I know...and all the makers know...if you do not mark your blades...you lose the best sort of advertising their is...a good customer...who is hapy with your product...and who wants to show it off....

So the maker is the one who loses out if he doesn't mark his blades....

Shane
 
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FWIW, several years ago I bought an etching machine that Alex Daniels built. I don't know if he is still offering them, or what he charges now, but as I recall it was only around $100 at that time. (though I could be totally wrong. going from memory here.)

If money is a big issue, maybe the maker could settle on some kind of simple stamp that he could make himself from a scrap of tool steel. Scagel's trademark Kris stamp comes to mind. I mark my minis with a maltese cross stamp that I made myself. Though a full name would of course be preferable since no one will know what your simple mark may stand for 100 years from now.
 
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