Home Forums Bows and Equipment Pen Advice

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    • Stephen Graf
      Post count: 2371

      I need some suggestions for a good pen to write on bows with. Preferably something that is available in multiple colors, to allow for light wood, dark wood, black glass, etc..

      Everything I have tried so far has been a problem. Sharpies fade out… paint pens bleed… all pens seem to dissolve when poly is applied over it.

      I have sprayed over the writing with some success, but the ink still seems to bleed into the wet poly.

      Seems like everybody else has solved this problem but me. Any advice for the guy pullin up the rear?

    • William Warren
      Post count: 1384

      India ink is indeliable when dry on paper. I don’t know how it would work on a bow finish, I have not tried it. A cheap way to find out is to get a bottle of black and a crow quill pen and try it on some test wood. India ink comes in a range of colors. A more expensive pen would be the refillable Rapidographs. I have a few that I use for drawing. A drawback of the Rapidographs is they will clog up if not kept meticulously clean. Not a worry with the crow quill. The crow quill just wears out quicker and you have to dip alot to keep it full, but one dip will probably do what you are wanting to do.

    • Chad Sivertsen
      Post count: 84

      I use India ink from either a quill pen or Rapidograph pen. Be sure to let it dry well. Never apply ink on a wet finish, be sure to let the finish dry, apply the india ink and let it dry thoroughly and then apply the final finish. When you apply the final put a thin coat on first and let it dry before adding another coat. We are trying to avoid soaking the ink with any solvents.

      I’ve had good luck applying the ink directly to the wood, then finish over that.

      Be sure to do tests on scraps.

      Have fun.

    • Clay Hayes
      Post count: 418

      I just scrimshaw any words or images into the wood. It’s a lot of work, but it doesn’t come off.

    • Mark Turton
      Post count: 759

      Try the pens used to mark CD’s can’t think what they are called.

    • Stephen Graf
      Post count: 2371

      I got a tip from a fellow that uses ipe a lot. Ipe, being oily, doesn’t take finishes well. So he puts a coat of lacquer on first.

      What he told me was that the new lacquers are more flexible than old formula’s and will thus handle bow flex. It also doesn’t seem to make ink bleed.

      So I tried it. I put a coat of lacquer over the writing, and then used poly as usual. It worked well. And it seems to give the poly a better feel and deeper look.

      Who’d a thunk.

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