We’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.
A stunning candelabra we forged from an old reclaimed garden fork! The wooden handle had snapped off the fork, and the prongs were incredibly rusty so had been retired from the purpose it was originally intended. I’ve bent out the prongs in 4 different directions so it stands very stable, and I’ve curved the ends around forming the start of a decorative scroll. The texture was quite pitted due to the amount of rust and dirt covering the tool; some of this has smoothed out through being hammered at a yellow heat, but we didn’t want to lose all of it as we felt it added character to the Candelabra, and reminded you of it’s original use. The finish is just natural beeswax, applied when the piece was at a black heat.
We’ve recently designed and produced a bespoke branding iron for a Canoe paddle maker. I designed the logo, and due to it’s complexity, we cut it in 3 mm steel, with a backplate welded behind it to help take some of the heat away. These paddles look fantastic (the Union Jack one is particularly impressive!) and is great to see our branding iron being so well used. We’ve just cut ourselves a branding iron based on our Fox logo; looks great but as we don’t really do any woodwork I’ve yet to brand anything with it…
Last week we designed and forged this boot scraper from 12 mm round bar. It’s long legs are designed to go at least a foot into the ground, therefore keeping it sturdy when in use. Each leg is welded to a piece of flat bar with a sharpened top edge. It was a little difficult making the two legs match, but pretty happy with how this has turned out. Not at all bad for something I drew in chalk on the workshop floor! This piece could easily be personalised; the central flat bar could be laser cut with any bespoke design as long as it’s still strong enough to be used, and any name or word could be punched into the metal when hot.
This week we’ve designed and made this hand forged poker from 12mm square bar. The customer’s initials are laser cut into an oval shaped handle; a great way of adding a personalised touch to a functional piece. The sharp, contemporary laser cut design contrasts, yet blends well with the traditional forged twist and drawn out end, and the black beeswax finish helps bring the two styles together. Will look great next to any log burner or fireplace and would make a fantastic personalised gift! Any design as long as it’s not too conmplex could be laser cut into the handle, whether that be a logo, an image, or letters as shown here. It is cut from 5 mm thick steel giving it a really chunky look and feel.
We made this set of hooks from a pair of broken garden shears. The blades are forged by hand each with a rats tail end and the blades welded together to keep them in position. Mounted flat against a wall or door, the wooden handles are also effective for hanging coats. Perfect for an allotment shed! We’ve produced several pairs as Christmas presents for friends and family this year, all of which have gone down very well. Just need to stockpile a few pairs of broken / blunt / never used shears and we can upload this product to the website so it’s available to purchase.
Candle holders made from reclaimed forks! I’ve made them in our forge, heating the prongs and twisting them around. As the metal is so thin it’s very easy to turn them into a sparkler by accident! As they are made by hand, each one is slightly different. The candle dish is TIG welded onto the fork, and the beeswax finish is applied while the piece is still hot. These can be purchased on the following link: https://www.blackfoxmetalcraft.co.uk/forge/fork-candle-holders.html
I love Blacksmithing. I did a course last summer, it was fantastic. Heres a photo of me at work. The other photo is of my great great grandfather who was a Blacksmith on the Tatton Park estate in Cheshire. I’m not sure exactly when the photo was taken, but I find it really fascinating and would love to know more about him and his work.