Today, Joshua and I put the finishing touches on our first batch of pine boxes for the M&T Boxed Set – we burned our logo into the box sides. This was, I have to say, the most stressful part in the whole operation.
Joshua purchased the brand from Gearheart some time ago. Due to supply shortages (which seem common in many areas these days), one necessary part for the electric brand we’d wanted was backordered, but the company owner himself reached out and offered to send us a torch-heated branding iron at no charge while we wait. We took him up on this extremely generous offer so the box project could move forward.
Getting the brand just right is a bit tricky. If the iron is too hot, or it is left on the surface of the pine board too long, it can “overburn” and leave the logo looking hazy and without detail. Too cool or short, and there are light spots or even areas where lines are absent. Another factor is that the fore-planed surfaces of these boards, with their shallow fluted texture, can cause the brand to not make contact in the deeper valleys. Care is needed.
I made a simple jig out of scrap wood to guide the brand to the desired location on each box side. After a few test runs, we were ready to go. Our ideal logo emerges when the iron is heated to 250 degrees Fahrenheit, held in place for 6 seconds (not 7 seconds, and 5 is right out). I heated the brand with the torch as Joshua held the jig in place, took a deep breath, and pressed it into the first box. Success! I actually danced a little jig and shouted with joy when the first box was finished – possibly scaring a lady who was walking her dog outside the shop. In my humble opinion, these things look pretty sharp.
Joshua and his wife finished putting the wax seals on all the trade cards last night in their kitchen (we’re still a small operation, folks!), and we should be doing most of the brown-paper wrapping of individual issues this afternoon. The tenth issue is a great milestone to celebrate in the life of this publication, and we’re really enjoying putting together this commemorative set. This first batch should be heading out the door next week.