Whenever you make something for sale, you should always sign your work. On acoustic guitars this is very easy. On the guitar, there is a large amount of hidden space. Inside the body, you can write important details and sign the instrument, and just about nobody will ever know.
Proudly Sign the Inside of Your Guitar
Many guitar makers sign the label of the guitar. While this is a good practice, and every guitar receives an autograph, labels can be damaged or fall off over time. You need a way to hard mark the piece, so that that no matter what happens, it can be identified as yours.
I have found that the best place to hard mark the instrument is on the inside, near the tail block. Sign your work between the lower face brace, and the kerfing, on the treble side of the top. This area is perfect for a couple of reasons.
First, the area is completely invisible. When looking through the soundhole without any device for help, you cannot see the signature. The braces hide the writing, so the inside looks clean for the customer. Second, it’s a large clear area. This means you can afford to add details about the build. It lets you record important numbers about the guitar, and keep them right near your signature.
Things to include when you sign your work:
I like to include the number of times I have made the model, the month/year, the company name, and my signature. You can add or remove details from the ones that I use, and tailor it to suit your needs.
Using a new Sharpie marker, lightly write out the details when you sign your work. Make sure to keep the marker moving, and do not linger in one spot. The top will draw ink from the marker as you sign. If you press a long time in one place, it can bleed through to the top and become visible. As long as you write with a purpose, you will be fine.
The biggest reason for you to sign your work…is it’s yours. You do not want your instruments to be unidentifiable in the future. You may end up making a guitar that last 100 years. The label will be long gone by then, and they will have to rely on other markings to identify the guitar. You’ll be dead by then, but at least you will get the credit for having made a world class instrument.
If you have any questions on Always Sign Your Work, please leave a comment and I will be glad to answer them. Also, please share this with your friends in Pinterest! Happy building.
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