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For those who are including serial number markings ...

Discussion in 'Luthier's Corner' started by Rodent, Apr 13, 2009.


  1. Rodent

    Rodent A Killer Pickup Line™ Commercial User

    Dec 20, 2004
    Upper Left Corner (Seattle)
    Player-Builder-Founder: Honey Badger Pickups & Regenerate Guitar Works
    a couple of questions for discussion for those who include serial number markings on your instruments:

    - what's your placement preference: body, neck, both

    - what's your marking preference: decal, handwriting, embossing, other?

    - what methods have you previously used/discarded, and why do you prefer your current method vs. your previous one(s)

    If at all possible I'd like to keep this discussion focused on serial number markings and avoid having it drift off into branding (logo) type markings

    all the best,

    R
     
  2. Phil Mailloux

    Phil Mailloux

    Mar 25, 2005
    Brisbane, Australia
    Builder: Mailloux Basses
    Back or front of headstock depending on the model type, decal. I like the profesional look of decals + the fact the edges are almost invisible once you've uilt-up enough lacquer on top of it. I tried silver/gold paint pens and that didn't work for me + my writing sucks.
     
  3. JC Basses

    JC Basses

    Mar 12, 2009
    Rocklin, CA
    I use a wood letter/number punch on the back of the headstock. It seems to get the job done, very subtle.
     
  4. We use the serial number as a production number as well (we typically have over 200 instruments in some level of production! :eek: ), so there is an ink stamp at the heel of the neck and in the neck pocket with the serial number hand written, as well as other bits of useful info (type of fingerboard for necks, color if any for body, etc). The serial number is hand written at the back of the top of the headstock by Keith just before the final clear coat, prior to this a decal is placed there with a circle and "Made In USA" on it:
     

    Attached Files:

  5. vbasscustom

    vbasscustom

    Sep 8, 2008
    yeah, i use the number punches, but instead of punching it, i heat it up really hot and brand the numbers in the back of the head, and in the neck/pickup cavity
     
  6. gyancey

    gyancey

    Mar 25, 2002
    Austin, TX
    I'm currently using some left over Letraset (dry-rub decal) from the past. I don't think it exists anymore, so I'll have to figure out something else once my supply is up.
     
  7. Hi.

    Since my last build was two decades ago, I can't really say what I do ;), but both the pickup cavity and back of the headstock would be my #1 choice. And will be, once I'll build again.

    What I'd like to say to all the younger or otherwise new builders: SIGN YOUR WORK and put an identification number of any kind somewhere on the instrument. I do regret that I didn't back then.

    Regards
    Sam
     
  8. scottyd

    scottyd Commercial User

    Nov 17, 2006
    Waco Tx
    Builder/owner Redeemer Basses
    I put mine in the decal, seems kind of odd having a serial number that's only 2 numbers long but in about another 5-6 years I hope to be putting serials on that are 3 numbers long lol
     
  9. Son of Magni

    Son of Magni

    May 10, 2005
    NH
    Builder: ThorBass
    I use number punches. The kind you strike with a hammer. And I stamp it on the back of the headstock near the end, and inside the controls cavity.

    It's a little rustic maybe because they're not perfectly spaced, but I think goes along with the basic handmade concept...
     
  10. Rodent

    Rodent A Killer Pickup Line™ Commercial User

    Dec 20, 2004
    Upper Left Corner (Seattle)
    Player-Builder-Founder: Honey Badger Pickups & Regenerate Guitar Works
    good chatter on this so far :bassist:

    I originally had considered hand signing, and later considered decals. I have an issue with waterslide decals not being perfectly clear at certain angles in certain lighting, so I refuse to use them anymore.

    the pressing idea is in-line with my thinking the past couple months, and just tonight I got to wondering if there was some sort of letter/number stamps I could use together with my arbor press to stamp the serial number on the rear of the headstock. I'd like to do this after the finish is applied so that the indent remains clean and not full of buffing compound

    anyone know of a letter stamp set that can be fit to work in an arbor press?

    all the best,

    R
     
  11. I've been using punches on the end grain at the end of the headstock. I discarded decals just because I think stamped looks better.
     
  12. pilotjones

    pilotjones Supporting Member

    Nov 8, 2001
    US-NY-NYC
    McMaster, search on "steel type sets". Page 1913 in the current online catalog. The holders are made to be struck, so there should be no problem using a press. You could cut off the top of the handle if your arbor press doesn't have enough stroke to fit it in. Not cheap, though.
     
  13. You could always put a couple "0's" in front, give it a nice 4 digit serial number! ;)
     
  14. MX21

    MX21

    Sep 28, 2007
    Grass Valley, CA
    I ordered a set from Harbor Freight for $7.99. We're only punching wood, so cheap ones should work fine.

    http://www.harborfreight.com/cpi/ctaf/displayitem.taf?Itemnumber=90124

    MX
     
  15. scottyd

    scottyd Commercial User

    Nov 17, 2006
    Waco Tx
    Builder/owner Redeemer Basses
    Lol, I actually did that until about #0013 but stopped because it just felt like cheating!
     
  16. pilotjones

    pilotjones Supporting Member

    Nov 8, 2001
    US-NY-NYC
    True enough about the wood-only requirement, and there's no comparison price-wise. I think he's looking for a holding tool with it, to place in the arbor press, though.
     
  17. vbasscustom

    vbasscustom

    Sep 8, 2008
    hey scotty, just out of curiosity how many bases have you built anyway?
     
  18. Jazzdogg

    Jazzdogg Less barking, more wagging!

    Jul 29, 2006
    San Diego, CA
    Do any of you include information other than sequential numbering in your serial numbers?

    When I build a piece of furniture I use a number that includes the date, a sequential number, and my location, e.g., 09031426SD tells me the piece was commisioned on March 14, 2009, was the 26th piece recorded in 2009 (ties back to my financial records), and was built in San Diego.
     
  19. scottyd

    scottyd Commercial User

    Nov 17, 2006
    Waco Tx
    Builder/owner Redeemer Basses
    numbers 18, 19 and 20 of the Redeemers are just about complete then there're the 5-6 unmentionables that came before them, sad sites, those unmentionables…or what’s left of em I’ve still got number 1!
     
  20. Rodent

    Rodent A Killer Pickup Line™ Commercial User

    Dec 20, 2004
    Upper Left Corner (Seattle)
    Player-Builder-Founder: Honey Badger Pickups & Regenerate Guitar Works
    mine are 10-13 digit alpha numeric and contain the model reference, the year, string quantity, right/left hand designator, sequential number, and possibly a special designator for significant custom feature(s)

    I like what McMaster had to offer, but that's a little out of my price range at the moment

    all the best,

    R
     

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