Bespoke Branding Iron

Forged Handle photo brand photoWe’ve just produced a bespoke branding iron for a customer who makes rifle stocks. He asked for a really simple logo to be drawn out and laser cut – he brought the sketch in on a post it note so I could draw it on the computer there and then. Once the piece had been laser cut, I forged the handle from 8 mm round bar, with a long taper to weld to the back of the tiny laser cut brand. We tested it out on an offcut of timber we had in the workshop, see above! A personalised branding iron would make a fantastic & unique gift for a woodworker of any kind.

Gilding a Restored Church Finial

Gilded finial photo Jenny gilding photoA local fabrications company recently got in touch as they knew we have done a lot of gilding for our weathervanes. They were doing a large restoration job for a church, including all of the railings and this finial which sits on top of the spire. The finial is clearly very old; the centre part being wrought iron but a lot of the scroll work being more recent repairs done in mild steel. We collected the finial from the company once the welding work was complete, and have had it electroplated and powdercoated, before applying several layers of paint to give it a very solid, non porous base to apply the size & gold leaf to. I’ve used extra thick 23.75 carat gold leaf so it’s suitable for the exposed location it will be situated. The photo above shows me brusing off any excess gold leaf bfore the job was finished.

Collie Weathervane

Collie weathervane photoOur Border Collie weathervane just about to be packaged and sent out. The customer wanted us to show some of the detail of their dog’s markings, but wasn’t too keen when I suggested cutting them out, so I have painted them instead! Looks great, and will stand out better than cut outs would. We could paint the markings of any collie if a photo is provided – a fantastic way to personalise a weathervane.

Bespoke Swinging Sign

Swinging Sign PhotoA bespoke swinging sign we sent out this week with a design to reflect the property’s history! Our customer lives on a farm in a converted barn that used to be a puppet theatre when the farm was a childrens farm, and he contacted us with a sketch showing his idea. It was very good drawing actually; it looked great on paper but there was a bit of work to do in turning the puppets into silhouettes and making the design function in laser cut steel. I made a few minor alterations and added a couple of improvements to the design but this one is largely the customer’s work.

Bespoke Flower Stand Candelabra

Flower Stand PhotoA photo showing two of a set of bespoke flower stands we’ve made this week. This idea is that the central column will be filled with oasis and the display will work outwards from there. There are two candelabra platforms holding a total of 14 candle dishes; I can imagine these looking pretty spectacular when decorated. We put a lot of work in to them though and it almost seems a shame that the steel frame will be hidden!

Our customer had a pretty clear idea of what they were after, so we just needed to create a functioning final design for the stands and then make a prototype, which we did a few weeks ago. They loved the look of this first stand, and the only issue with it was the weight, as once it’s full of soaked oasis it will be very heavy. So in order to reduce this, we’ve cut the base from thinner steel, and cut holes in the platforms to try and save a little bit more as it all adds up. These still weigh a fair bit but are considerably lighter than the prototype so should be much easier to work with. Look forward to seeing photos of them decorated!

Fish Weathervanes

Grayling Weathervane Photo Marlin Weathervane PhotoWe’ve recently been asked to create two fish weathervanes; first a Grayling and then a Marlin. Both were gifts for our customer’s fishermen husbands. We didn’t want to have the laser cut fish welded flat on the bar as is the style with most of our weathervanes, so it took a bit of work finding the best way to show off a distinctive fish profile while making a functioning weathervane. After a bit of trial and error, we’ve ended up with the tube being welded into the body of the fish, which is raised well above the arrow bar. Really happy with how they have turned out! These will both be available to buy in our online shop as soon as I have time to update the website:

https://www.blackfoxmetalcraft.co.uk/weathervanes

We can create weathervane designs based on any fish at no extra cost – please contact us on 0161 6814293 to discuss your ideas.

Steam Train Weathervane on Shed of the Year

Weathervane screen shotOur LMS Jubilee Steam Train weathervane was recently featured on Channel 4′s ‘Amazing Spaces – Shed of the Year’ Competition! The shed it is mounted on was shortlisted in the summerhouse category, and features various pieces of railway memorabilia including a section of railtrack outside and all sorts of vintage posters decorating the walls inside. Our weathervane takes pride of place on the front gable of the building, and can be seen on the following link:

http://www.channel4.com/programmes/amazing-spaces-shed-of-the-year/on-demand/65677-001

It’s series 4 episode 1, and the summerhouse with our weathervane on is featured between about 17 and 20 minutes in. Unfortunatley it didn’t win the category, but fantastic that it was shortlisted in the competition!

Beauty Salon Weathervane

Weathervane Photo

Weathervane Rough IdeaHere’s a weathervane we’ve produced recently for a Beauty Salon owner, along with a description and images showing how we reached the final design.

Initially, our customer contacted us asking for a bespoke weathervane for her daughter in law, based around a ‘nail varnish emoji’. Other than this she was not specific, and was unsure as to how it would come together. But we like a design based challenge! So, my initial idea was to take aspects of the nail varnish emoji, so the close up of fingernails and the bottle of polish, and frame these in an ornate, vintage style mirror, which would form the sail for a banner weathervane. I roughly photoshopped it together for the customer and emailed it over, but she wasn’t that keen on the design. We couldn’t think of a better way to depict the emoji, so decided to abandon this route. She then sent over a clip art of two ladies having their nails done, and wondered if we could produce something similar.

So the photo above is the idea we went with; initially I had drawn more traditional looking antique chairs, but we all felt that this made the design look too formal; the customer said she was after something a little more relaxed and fun. So I drew a couple of more modern looking stools, and relaxed the posture of the two women a little, and there you have the final design! A lot of work went into this bespoke weathervane design, partly because beauty salons and nail varnish emojis are not a strong subject of ours, but I think we’ve learnt quite a lot here and have ended up with a unique design that everyone was very happy, & the finished weathervane looks very classy.

Bespoke Hand Forged Bracket

Tortoise bracket photo Scan from sketchbookA bespoke, personalised hanging basket bracket design with a Tortoise! I drew the Tortoise itself based on our Horsefield named Mr. Percy. I’ve highlighted some of the markings on his shell in the form of cutouts, and the same with his eye. I then printed several copies of this off the computer along with the basic shape of the bracket, which I’ve literally just doodled around in my sketchbook; the photo above shows an example. I felt this sketch worked pretty well, so I scanned it back into the computer to tweak and create the final design. I ended up altering it quite a bit; I felt the solid ground would be more suitable underneath the Tortoise than the plant based filigree you can see in the sketch.

The hook for the hanging basket bracket was made by hand in our coal forge, and the design cut using a nitrogen shrouded laser. It’s all TIG welded together, and the finish is a black powder coat, with a protective layer of zinc electroplate underneath.

Bespoke Business Sign

Bespoke Shop Sign PhotoWe’ve produced this bespoke business sign for a shop in central Edinburgh. All the details were specified by the customer, such as the powder coat colour to match the existing colour of the shop front, the text style and colour, and the business logo in the centre of the sign. So it’s completely personalised to match the customer’s requirements. This was all painted by hand, and the final coat of paint is just drying now, ready to be sent out this evening.

The main difficulty we had with this sign was the bracket from which the sign will hang. Because the building is listed, the bracket had to fit in with planning laws, and approval was given on the condition that no new holes were drilled in the shop front. So when manufacturing the bracket, we had to make sure the holes matched up exactly with the holes aleady there.