ausfire

Check twice, weld once.

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Sometimes you feel like a prize idiot. Had to make a brand today. Checked all the correct dimensions - letters 50mm high, less than 25mm between letters etc. Formed the curves in the forge and welded the whole thing up. Checked the letters for flush contact and welded on a neat handle. All good. Then I went to check the original order. The customer had specified RWJ with a long tail on the R. You can see what's wrong. It pays to check twice, weld once.

The brand is pictured below. Now I have to start again. DUH!!!

 

brand 01.jpg

 

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Even when you have the original order in front of you on the welding table, things can somehow go sideways.  Before you turn it over to the client, brand a piece of wood to be sure it works, and to check it against what the client wants. Then present the branded wood to the client to hang on his wall.  Make a second branded piece of wood to hand on your wall as a demo piece of your work. 

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Yes, I always test these things on a piece of soft pine. We have a panel next to the forge with a bunch of brand marks.

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The first branding iron I made was the letters DK, all made out of a continuous piece of 1/4 inch square stock. It was interesting and I was proud of it, until I put it to a test board and found out the letters were backwards. :lol:

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Naw you just need to brand them from the inside out...

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9 hours ago, Irondragon Forge & Clay said:

 It was interesting and I was proud of it, until I put it to a test board and found out the letters were backwards. :lol:

That makes me feel a lot better.  I'm not the only one.

I cut it up and rearranged the letters today, so all is good now.

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Heres a couple tips for brands. Especially working brands.

Relieve or vee out places where two elements contact each other. Your "R" has 3. If not, these intersections can cause too much heat and the joint disappears.

the working edge should be thinner than the back edge. you get a finer line and the heavier rear acts like a heat reservoir.

I had the same thing happen to me with a set of initials. They never told me the sequence. So i did first, middle, last. Alas, He was named after his father who he didnt get along with and used a different sequence.  Live, Learn,Fix

 

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I generally pass animal brand requests to a pro I know as the LAW about making and using brands can be quite specific here in ranch country. For instance I don't own a set of the Brand listings.   I do know folks who make working brands and they like to cut channel iron and use the sides with the thicker section near the base and the thinner edges. Also I was warned to never make a complete circle as that can cause the center to fail and rot.

I don't know if the old range law allowing you to be hung on the spot if you are caught with a running iron is still in effect...(Rustlers could register a brand that was a lot like another one and use a running iron to modify the brands on cows owned by the other ranch to look like their brand.  Wait till it heals and  when round up comes you are a lot richer!   Still some open range out here.)

Remember the Far Side cartoons about branding?

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On 5/26/2019 at 4:43 AM, ausfire said:

Sometimes you feel like a prize idiot. Had to make a brand today. Checked all the correct dimensions - letters 50mm high, less than 25mm between letters etc. Formed the curves in the forge and welded the whole thing up. Checked the letters for flush contact and welded on a neat handle. All good. Then I went to check the original order. The customer had specified RWJ with a long tail on the R. You can see what's wrong. It pays to check twice, weld once.

The brand is pictured below. Now I have to start again. DUH!!!

aus....hang on to that...maybe you can find a rancher with the same initials!!  LOL

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Nice to have examples of your work hanging on the shop wall to show visitors.

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I know someone with those initials but quite sure he would not want a branding iron lol. 

Don't worry Aus, you are not alone in your mixup. Good reminder as well. 

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