Maker’s Mark: redux

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I haven’t posted for a while because I have been quite busy with non-woodwork related activities. Ever since my workshop build my garden has been something of a mess. The crater that was left behind after I tore down the old shed became a general dumping ground for all the rubbish that didn’t make it into the new one. That has all been cleared now, including a couple of tons of granite boulders that were under a tangle of weeds behind the old shed, which have now been moved to the top of the garden until I can find a use for them. I have also recently cut all my hedges, which produced 8 ton-bags full of cuttings for recycling; fixed my ride on mower so that I can cut my lawns properly; and cleared an overgrown area at the top of the garden, producing two more ton-bags full of green-waste recycling. I have also made a gravelled area to keep our new motor home on, shuttered with old telegraph poles.

There is still a lot to do; I still have to move the entrance to the rear garden which will involve removing an area of hedge and hedgerow, and relocating it somewhere else. So, there has not been a lot of workshop time recently. I have managed to work, on and off, on preparing some stock for a small dovetail box I want to build, but I’ll post about that another time.

gwThis post is about something else that I have managed to work on while all my yard work was going on. A while ago I posted about maker’s marks, and how I felt that I should have one. Well, I finally came up with a design. It incorporates the initials GW, for Goatboy’s Woodshop obviously, as well as a pair of stylised goat’s horns.

I decided to make a brand, and after a lot of head scratching, my dad suggested a brass stop-end. Brass is ideal for this application because it is relatively soft and easy to work. I should point out that this is a prototype, and so my focus was on seeing if it would work rather than on a pristine result. As such, I was perhaps a tad sloppy with the making of the embossed image. I simply drew the shapes on the brass with a fine point marker, taking care to make the G reversed (the branded image is a negative of the original, but the W and the horns are all reflectional ambigrams) and then removed the waste with my Dremel tool.

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The result is fairly scrappy, although it looks worse than it is because as the background surface is unimportant, I left it rough. I attached the stop-end to a length of copper pipe with a compression joint (a brass nut and olive), and the brand was basically finished. I used my propane blowtorch to heat the embossed image and pressed it into a scrap of wood. For a first try I was sufficiently pleased with the results to knock up a willow handle.

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I will likely make some more of these brands, perhaps another the same size as this one, and a larger one, but I will try to make the image crisper next time. The beauty of using stop-ends and compression joints is that the brands can be easily swapped over, so I won’t need to make another handle.


20150614_214650Oh well, back to the garden.

 

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