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Ink Or Paint Markers For Steel

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  • Ink Or Paint Markers For Steel

    For the last couple weeks I've been taking inventory of all the stock I've accumulated in my shop over about 30 years. I have several racks mounted on the walls about a foot below the ceiling. The biggest one above the overhead door where some of the longer stuff has been stored. In the back garage I have two more racks that I inventoried a few years ago. I have another A frame rack under my welding bench with all sorts of short pieces of angle, flat, round, tube, rod etc. some is SS, some is alum, brass etc. I should have kept better track of all this stuff when I bought it but you know how that goes.
    Anyway........ I've made lists of what is on each rack along with the length and if I remember..... what I used it for, that's a tough one.
    So what I'm looking for is a good marker that I can use on some of these lengths of stock. I want to mark the size and length so I can see it with out taking it off the rack.
    At one time I bought a couple paint markers. I think they were made by Markall or something like that. They had a 3/16" diameter fiber tip, they didn't mark well at all, and when they did it was sloppy and runny and you couldn't write small with them. What can anyone recommend that would be good for this purpose??
    The way it's been is if I need a piece of stock for something I usually just go out and buy it rather than look for a piece of it in the shop.


  • #2
    I just use a fat permanent Sharpie marker.
    "Let me recommend the best medicine in the
    world: a long journey, at a mild season, through a pleasant
    country, in easy stages."
    ~ James Madison


    • #3
      I've tried different color ones, you just can't see them on hr steel. OK for SS and alum.



      • #4
        Try Milwaukee Inkzall Jobsite Marker. It comes in black, red, silver and gold colors. You can mark oily and dusty metal. It's OK when fresh.
        Last edited by MichaelP; 12-18-2017, 03:46 AM.


        • #5
          I find correcting fluid to show up quite well on most metal surfaces. It is available in a squeeze type pen and of course is white.


          • #6
            Paint pens. The big tip ones like you used, for large marking, minimum line width around 0.093". Small tip types for smaller writing, if you need that.

            Staples has lots of types and sizes, for instance.

            I have used both types, and find them to be quite acceptable. Used the large tip type to mark my tools in a rollaround at work (the tools supplied in the lab area were virtually unusable, but the boss used them happily). Mine would take walks into other toolboxes until I marked them.

            Point being that the paint marker paint stayed on the tools despite use by numerous folks.

            Keep eye on ball.
            Hashim Khan


            • #7
              Nissen metal markers are purpose made for marking metal. They have been used for years and are quite durable. McMaster Carr probably is s source.

              Jim H.


              • #8
                Most of those pen markers run $4-$8 each. Just go to WalMart and pick up a Testors Model Paint Kit. I remember when they were about a buck fifty for 10 colors but now they're about that per bottle. While you're there, pick up a few model paint bushes. As you mark the ends, make a chart of matching colors as an index.


                • #9
                  I should have been a little more specific in my first post rather than carrying on.

                  The Sharpie and other ink markers are just fine for alum. and SS, also for CF stock. Black and most dark colors seems to be the ones that stand out the most.
                  The issue is with HR because of the dark gray slag. Depending on the quality of the surface black ink is OK but hard to see unless your right on top of it.
                  The rougher surface finished HR which in the last few years is all I seem to find now (CCI) Cheap Chinese Import crap the black doesn't show up too well, that's where the paint type marker is needed.

                  JC, I'll look into the link you posted. They look like the Markal ones I have.



                  • #10
                    I just started using the Milwaukee paint markers last week. They work fine, but for A36 and A500 steel tube I have to use a paper towel to wipe the oil and grunge layer off to mark it. On 4140HT DCF I have a lighter residue of oil, dust, etc that needs to be removed before marking. Then it marks nicely. How long it will last I don't know, but I have started marking my drops so I can keep track of what is what for future small projects. My local vendor only had them in red and black, but I understand they are also available in white.
                    *** I always wanted a welding stinger that looked like the north end of a south bound chicken. Often my welds look like somebody pointed the wrong end of a chicken at the joint and squeezed until something came out. Might as well look the part.


                    • #11
                      Take a look at the steel tipped or solid paint markers. Markal may have similar. These are the ones I am familiar with. They have been around for years, are long lasting and pretty much impervious to surface contamination such as oils or slag.
                      Jim H.


                      • #12
                        Markal and Nissan are now owned by, another buy out / merger /consolidation.
                        LA-CO Industries Inc.

                        Anyone surprised??



                        • #13
                          Have you tried welder's pencils? Markal makes a brand called Silver Streak. They work pretty well, and the line they draw is pretty visible when approaching it with a torch (whether plasma or oxyfuel).



                          • #14
                            Silver pencils from the hobby store work well on HR steel and other black materials.


                            • #15
                              Stamp the opposite end of the bar from where you are cutting from. It won't rub off.

                              OPEN EYES, OPEN EARS, OPEN MIND

                              THINK HARDER


                              MY NAME IS BRIAN AND I AM A TOOLOHOLIC