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.
This 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.
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.
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.