Monday, February 27, 2012

Chalco Hand Stamps

One problem I thought about for awhile was how to label my saws.  Several contemporary makers use medallions, but I like the look of the stamped back better.  In one of my Internet ramblings I revisited Bill Carter's site to see what he had been up to lately  I clicked on his link to Ian Houghton's Chalco Stamp and Die Company. 
If you haven't seen them yet it's worth a click.  They do some very cool work in not only stamps but dies and engravings.  First I ordered a "CADY" stamp.
It's a great stamp, and Ian was a great guy to work with.  The stamped logo adds that extra touch to my saws.  With my museum background I am very interested in an authentic look to my projects and I focus on working many elements into my saws to give them the proper look.  It's the attention to detail that decides whether a saw is elegant or chunky.  Quite a few saws you see being made these days don't seem interested in their lines and consequently they get fat backs, rectangular blades, and blocky handles.  These elements are not without precedent, (for example take the fat backs on most Hill late Howel saws) but if you are going to the trouble to spend a few hours custom making a saw, you may as well invest a little time in making it elegant as well as functional.  If you plan to hang it out for your friends to see, don't let it be a testament to your untrained eye or impatience.  Beyond basic design, what truly makes any project are the details, and having a stamp like this one is the icing on the cake.  I was so enamoured with the look that the CADY stamp gave to my saws that I had to order another.  This one says SPRING. 
Unfortunately I have a box full of backs ready for my next few saws, so the SPRING stamp won't see any use until the next run of backs I make, but I do need to crank out a few smaller ones some time soon, so stay tuned.
And check out the Chalco Stamp and Die webpage:
Little hand stamps like mine are pretty mundane compared to some of the other work these guys have done, click through their pages and see what I'm talking about.