Writing on Blanks

Discussion in 'Rod Building' started by Tyler84, Sep 6, 2012.

  1. Tyler84 New Member

    Posts: 23
    Seattle, Wa
    Ratings: +2 / 0
    I am struggling with writing on my blanks. I have been using extremely fine tip fountain pens with testors metalizer model paint thinned down. This has been the only ink/pen combination that I have found to work even remotely well. How do some people write in script with perfect lines? This makes no sense, I am having trouble getting the right ink, something that will flow well through the fountain pen without smudging. Any tips from the experts?
  2. Mike Ediger Active Member

    Posts: 1,399
    Spokane, WA
    Ratings: +151 / 8
    Tyler, Windsor and Newton White 974 works well. If you don't want to use ink, a Pentel gel pen coated with Krylong Fixatif works well to. Gives you additional options for colors as well.
    Mike
  3. LD Active Member

    Posts: 1,058
    Spokane, WA
    Ratings: +80 / 6
    I struggle with this as well. Practice does help, so if you have a section you do not care about have at it. I also saw where someone routed a slot in a 2 x 6 so the blank sits almost flush with the top and you have some place to rest your hand. I have a few blanks to build and will be trying this method.
  4. S Fontinalis Active Member

    Posts: 463
    Ratings: +180 / 0
    why not get a custom water slide decal, slide it on and varnish/epoxy over it.

    IMO, this is much better looking that someone trying to scribble on a fly rod and something i'll be getting when i build my Kabuto this winter.
    Patrick Gould likes this.
  5. otis48 New Member

    Posts: 1
    Ratings: +0 / 0


    At this point,considering my penmanship and the difficulty of find just the right writing instrument [I`ve for a drawer full of all types],Im looking into making a platen and inking the info/logo directly onto the rod.

    What do youse think?

    I have some rather thick plastic that was designed for this..or aluminum foil which would be easy to cut but have a limited life span.

    Anyway,the idea is to avoid paying $6 per decal or getting pissed trying over and over again to get the inscription just right.

    My plan is to make a bunch of ultra light switch/speys specifically designed for my river {Truckee].These are going to be the equivalent of 4 wt single handers only looooong for extending the drifts and increased sensitivity to the river floor....but that`s another story..
  6. Tyler Speir Artist

    Posts: 719
    Puyallup, WA
    Ratings: +12 / 0
    I make sure I wipe my blank well with alcohol before I start writing to get the oil off the blank that will cause the pen to slide and not stick. The key is to use a silver or gold ball point pen if you want it to look nice and clean. Felt tips are just to bold even the fine point. Make sure when you epoxy over the writing you don't touch the writing with the brush.
  7. sroffe Member

    Posts: 442
    Seattle, WA
    Ratings: +16 / 0
    Perfect? I just do the best I can. I also make sure the blank is clean. I use fountain pen tip and some silver ink that I got at a rod building supply. Just do the best you can, practice, and don't worry to much about perfection. It's what will give your rods a personal touch.
    Mike Ediger likes this.
  8. Kurt Schnell New Member

    Posts: 5
    forest grove oregon
    Ratings: +0 / 0
    I use a .8 mm Pentel Slicci ink jell pen and I also use a graphic arts pen using gold leaf and copper paint. I have also used Rustoleum hobby acrillic paints with good results. As mentioned above practice first on a flat surface then on a scrap piece of blank. I also have DA handy for screw ups .
    [IMG]
  9. WABOWMAN Active Member

    Posts: 439
    Port Townsend,WA
    Ratings: +31 / 0
    I use gelly roll pens that you can get from any craft store(Michaels). They come in all kinds of colors. I also have bad penmanship so I have my daughter write for me. You do need to take a hair dryer to it to make it dry. Also scotch bright the area so to give it some tooth then finish over it.
    Dave Evans likes this.
  10. Elkman Ryan

    Posts: 98
    Silverdale,WA
    Ratings: +0 / 0
    India ink.
  11. Dave Evans Active Member

    Posts: 531
    E. WA / N ID
    Ratings: +98 / 0

    I tried the gel pens on my last build but it kept wiping off. Good advice here! Now I know what to do.
  12. RRivera Member

    Posts: 43
    Olympia, WA
    Ratings: +3 / 0
    Same as Wabowman on removing a little gloss off the finish with fine steel wool lightly on the area then clean it up with alcohol before writing. Gel pens from craft store works fine. I then apply a very light coat of clear spray acrylic.
  13. freestoneangler Not to be confused with Freestone

    Posts: 3,965
    Edgewood, WA
    Ratings: +705 / 1
    The rod builder I learned from taught me how to use the Testor's metallic paint and quill style ink pens that calligraphy artist's use. It's important to get the correct quality quill pens. Also, to get enough ink on the tip to complete the script in one pass if possible. That said, if one simply has really poor writing skills, this is a challenge regardless of what writing method you use -- and the label option suggested would be the better route.

    I have pretty good penmanship... no doubt honed by repetition from 4 years of high school drafting classes and then engineering school where we still did mechanical design and kinematics class the old fashion way... with a radial arm, pencil and vellum. Still, it usually takes me a few tries to get the alignment and look I want. Keep a fresh supply of small patches of old cotton undershirts and Acetone handy to wipe off the "aw-shit's" and lay down a re-do.

    I like that tip about cutting a slot in a block of wood to align and stabilize your hand...might have to give that a try if I ever get back into high volume of years past.
  14. Mikey_Mac Member

    Posts: 81
    Seattle, Wa
    Ratings: +9 / 0
    I saw about a year ago a we page of a member that does crazy awesome mountains scenes and stuff like that. Anyone know who that is? If my memory serves right (which is not saying much), he runs his business out of Easton or Cle Elum?
  15. Ryan Higgins Active Member

    Posts: 303
    East Wenatchee, WA
    Ratings: +33 / 0
    I use gel pens, but I have my girlfriend do the writing. Her penmanship is much better and she can keep it straight on the blank. That or I order a decal.