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How to mark anvil and vise

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I m fortunate to have the ABANA conference near me this year. As a result, i am loaning them an anvil and vise to use.  I have been told to mark them clearly and very well.  I have been thinking about the best way to do that, and thought I’d reach out to this august group for ideas and suggestions...so, how should I mark them?  (I’m also going to take photos of all sides and note manufacturer markings as well)

What say ye?  And thanks in advance for any and all suggestions.    

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Do you have letter punches? Thats an option i think on the softer steel.  Touchmark would work too

Spraypaint? 

You could put tape and a sharpie lol on the bottom, or you could roll up a paper with your name on it and stick it in the horizontal square hole in the body of the forged steel if there is one.  Anything that you can prove its yours and noone can sabatoge.   Brass inlay? ;)

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Stencil 2 sides and bottom. In your tool colour if possible.  Same on the shaft(s) of a postvise.

For antitheft marking I like to stamp something like my driver's license number in any indentation in the base so it's not clearly visible.  A rubbing of the side would also make  good claim fodder.

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I used to have a construction company. You can't prevent all theft, much less negligence, but you can discourage it, and make recovery easier.

I settled on Federal Safety Purple paint, the kind they use to mark radioactive waste on nuke sites. No one else was using it, and it showed up in red mud, grass, etc.

An electric or air powered rotary tool or engraving pen will write on steel surfaces, and is faster and easier to use than metal stamps, especially in awkward locations or non-flat surfaces.

Take good photos of everything from several angles. If you have a lot of items, do a video with a running narrative description.

All of these things should be done as part of your insurance anyway, in case you every have to make a claim. Store a backup off-site.

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Stencil your name on the anvil and put a stencil or tag on the vice..  Plus, if you're there at the end, just come get it, or ask one of us to put it aside.  Maybe a picket sign with your name and we'll put the anvil and vice there.  When we broke down Salt Lake's teaching tent's equipment, we neatly sorted all the different group's equipment. 

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Don't know if this would work in the US, but here in the UK we use house number (or name)  followed by the  post code, identifying it with a premises. It is then easy to ensure an item is retirned to it's owner.

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Unfortunately clearly visible marking on stolen anvils are usually ground off; which is why I suggest a "hidden" one as well.  For just sorting into the right groups; as visible as possible is a plus.

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Well, here's the thing .....

You first have to recover lost or stolen property, before you can begin to prove ownership.

Guns and cars are thoroughly stamped with identifying numbers, ... but are still routinely stolen, ... and never recovered.

 

If I thought I needed to worry about the theft of "loaner" tools, ... they would never leave my shop.

Now, that surely is a sad state-of-affairs, ... but there's no virtue in being a victim.

If the organizers don't want to take responsibility for borrowed property, ... then I'd be reluctant to get involved with their event.

 

 

.

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Generally, I've found things to be pretty safe when loaning to a professional group, especially if they're large pieces that are hard to "accidentally" drop in a pocket or tool box.  A blacksmithing group is likely to be full of good joes.

 

Still, it makes sense to mark your pieces simply so you don't get back the wrong pieces.  One post vise looks much like another, and there could very well be two identical Iron City vises loaned to the operation, etc.  So pick a nice color and give your tools a splash of paint.  If you have letter stamps, stamp your name somewhere obvious, and then somewhere that'd be awkward to get to, and grind off.

You can't stop theft, but I really don't see someone trying to make off with a big tool like that. If you give it a splash of paint so a potential thief can see it's clearly marked, that's half the battle won right away.  Take pictures so you can show the people in charge, email them copies so you can prove you showed them proof of ownership.  Kick back and relax with a cold one!

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The prominent splash of non-standard paint is a huge theft deterrent as noted. Not always 100% effective, but nothing is.

We were helping my wife's uncle build a log cabin in the mountains on weekends. Some lowlife went down the road breaking into and looting every single building. He went so far as stealing the shower stall and electrical panel box, as well as the loose items like Coleman stoves, extension cords, etc. Eventually caught and items seized, the Sheriff had a pile of items to auction after everyone had a chance to recover anything they could identify.

He left all of my purple painted tools behind: too identifiable. My sole loss was a hatchet.

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Don't know why this thread has taken a dark turn on possible theft.  But going back to loaning equipment to ABANA:  In the five ABANA conferences I've worked at, I've never heard of any large item stolen.  In fact, the only item I recall from the 20 plus sets of equipment ABANA borrows each conference for the teaching tent, is one pair of gloves.  For which, ABANA promptly paid.

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Like many threads here we covered the original question and then wandered into the wilderness addressing other semi related issues.

The tool colour  is a great help when you have a multi smith demo and a thunderstorm hits unexpectedly.  Most of your tools will get into your bucket---especially if it's marked with your tool colour; and the rest will generally show up at the next smithing meeting...

As for marking other tools: I have a very nice drawknife with folding handles that I bought from a local fleamarket cheaply; and bought it again when it showed up there again---marked with my tool colour several years later....still cheap having paid "double" for it and I warned the dealer that whoever sold that to him was most likely a thief and showed him other tools marked with my colour in my vehicle. I lived in the inner city...

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