Branding Iron

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About Branding Iron

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  • Location
    Midwest United States - Between Two Rivers!
  • Interests
    Forging my boys into great men, and creating great memories along the way.

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  1. Really, no one sees the eagle?! My wife accuses me of being a bit color blind, but this is more significant. Perhaps I should get my eyes checked.
  2. More important is the effort given in finding the right piece of wood for the mallet head. A good tight grained burl, tap root base or gnarled piece with a ton of tight grained visible eyes from limbs (at least 1/2 dozen for a good sized mallet) should suffice nicely. A good head can be cut, worked green and put to immediate use without issue. The handle would be best to use at least something air dried to avoid any major twisting.
  3. Some under the Rockies and many more stored in warehouses awaiting the next Y2K. Just kidding of course. The Boomer generation here in the U.S. represents a significant portion of collectors and those who have the means to spend large sums on their hobbies. There will be some amazing estate sales in my lifetime! In the interim I’ll continue to make my wish list for metal and wood working tools...
  4. Awesome, thanks for sharing extra pics!
  5. +1 On caulking. Even if you create a flat surface on the bottom it may not be what you want on the top side after mounting. Get it on your base shim if needed and caulk. Beautiful porch by the way! Someday I’ll build a slate roofed gazebo just because slate shingles look amazing... How did you attach your 6x6’s on the bottom? I just built a porch using 8x8 Ash beams for support columns and ended up slotting the bottom and using stainless steel T brackets attached to the concrete. Curious to see other methods I may not have considered.
  6. This may sound foolish, but dig a couple small test holes in your dirt floor to verify there is nothing underneath. Dirt in second picture appears to be level with top of sill plate. Simply using a plate compactor on your dirt floor and filling in low spots would be my suggestion if you don’t need a concrete floor. Ag lime and crusher fines are typically very cheap. However, depending on your proximity trucking may not be and the labor to spread and compact may leave you feeling $3,000 wasn’t such a terrible investment. Also, there is a difference between ag lime and limestone crusher fines even though they are both limestone products. Crusher fines are more widely available - both would work just fine.
  7. Looking great! Hope you’re putting main rafters / trusses up before side roof metal. It would be a huge pain trying to work atop of a metal roof...
  8. I’ve seen some ugly gates and that does not make the list with or without the accessories. Personally I really like the unpainted version. Was it weathering poorly or just ready for a change?
  9. Headed to Savannah, Georgia, U.S.A. For a quick getaway with the wife. Anything specific sites recommended for smithing enthusiasts?
  10. As I recall you mentioned purchasing a drawknife not long ago. Put it to use and shape your stand.
  11. Anyone have a contact number for Mr. Wynn or perhaps he’s even on this site? I’m in his area this week for work. Sent an email, but sometimes they get lost.
  12. Welcome! You might try checking out Mississippi Forge Council for some local knowledge and classes too. I’ve been spending a fair amount of time in MS for work lately and will probably try to work in a class or two while I’m down there. Think there is a gentleman in Oxford who was advertising classes in their local publication. MS seems like a good place to pick up tools at a reasonable price, wish I had more time to look for some during the day. Was able to stop at a couple roadside vendors and pick up some tongs and a hot cut for $20. If leg vises weren’t such a hassle to fly back I’d have a few more in my position as well!
  13. Branding iron - You've mentioned Osage Orange. That is probably my #5 option. What are some of the drawbacks and benefits you've noticed? Have you dealt at all with purpleheart or African blackwood? Drawbacks to Osage Orange for me includes difficulty getting straight grained pieces although for smaller handles twist really shouldn’t be an issue for this wood. Also, it’s quite easy to ruin a handle if shaping with a drawknife. Maintain a high angle and switch to a spoke shave early to avoid this issue. Otherwise it’s a beautiful wood, stands up to extreme abuse and has exceptional rot resistance. No dealings with Purpleheart or African Blackwood.
  14. I’m fond of Osage Orange myself for mid to heavy duty handles. Ash and hickory would follow close behind. My go to wood working mallet I made from a green cut ash tree chunk with lots of knots (the more the better for mallets). 15 years later with lots of abuse it hasn’t even so much as started a crack. Find something local to you and use it - it’s probably exotic to lots of other people in the world! Below low is an Osage Orange handle on a fine rounding hammer made by Littleblacksmith.
  15. Looks like a woodworking finish scraper to me. Fairly common in different configurations to accommodate needs of project (think of cleaning inside corners for this one). Most of what is encountered now are Stanley scrapers with a 2-4” square or rectangular blade. I wouldn’t use it for scraping paint, lots of newer junk for that!