Whats happening at Torchcraft....
Ranch sign with family brands, established date and other favorites, such as bluebonnet flowers that "Mom" loved.
Customer has two large rocks at his entrance and wanted to put these signs on the rocks with lights behind to be seen at night.
Cut from 1/8' plate for mounting on the new metal building. Customer has these brands sand blasted and powder coated before mounting.
Preiously this customer ordered a gate for his new home in South Texas. That gate is posted on this blog. Now a fireplace screen was ordered to show the same buck used on the gate. Hopefully, he will send a picture of the screen with a nice warm fire blazing in the background.
Customer designed a 20 foot gate with two oak trees hanging over the ranch brand. The frame is made of 3" square tubing with 3/4" square tubing pickets. Oak trees are made from 1/8" plate steel. Gate weight is approximately 575 pounds........
New home needs a new gate. Gate depicts the things that are important to the owners. Square tube gate frame with cattle panel covering the face of the gate. Gate was powder coated.
King Tails Animal Hospital in Jackson Florida. Customer sent his custom logo to be mounted on the front of the clinic. Each piece was cut and a stainless bolt welded to the back side. Each piece was taken to a powder coating place where they were sand blasted and coated with the proper colors. A template was made for the customer to drill the holes in the wall for proper placement of the pieces. Very nice customer to work with........
Had a repeat customer from Louisana order a gate for his dad. Gate was a gift to his dad. You can guess that the gate is located in the Eastern area where dogs are used to hunt deer.
Recently while visiting the Uvalde area we were driving around nearby towns and I recognized a sign that I did quite some time ago. I like the buck as he seems to be rubbing the velvet off of his antlers on the small brush.
This order was for Father's Day. Super Cub with tundra tires is the joy of a dad in Alaska. Cut from 1/8" plate and approximately 24" long. The N numbers are vinyl and applied onto the side of the white pained bird. Great customer to work with.
This address sign is made by rolling a 3/4" square tubing into a 42" circle. The address sign is cut from 3/16" plate and hung with chains. The lettering is cut in reverse. Left unpainted for a rusty presentation. Legs will be set in the ground for mounting.
This gate was ordered with the ranch brand and address numbers included. The numbers are cut from 3/16" plate and reflective silver vinyl is applied to the top of the numbers for easy identification at night. Gate is located in South Texas near San Diego.
Sign depicts the farm operation of cattle and farming. Vintage tractor with maize growing in the field. Bob White quail border the name of the farm.
Customer asked for a wind blown tree for the very high winds that they experience in Wyoming. Name of ranch with address. The sign is cut from 3/16" and painted black. Chain links welded for hanging.
A repeat customer. First order was a Blue Marlin for coastal home. This order is a Sail Fish to balance out the wall display. The fish is cut from 1/8" plate and heat tempered. Finished with automotive clear coat.
Here is a clear message that this property is private and entering it without permission is not a good idea. Cut from 3/16" and left unpainted for a rusty sign to develope over time.
Couple have a new house with wooden poles arching over the drive way. They wanted their house number displayed along with their last name and motorcycle silhouettes.
Los Senderos Ranch in Cotulla, Texas ordered some signs for their metal buildings on the ranch. This particular sign is large. The antlers are 108" wide. Cut from 1/8" plate steel. Customer took the unpainted sign to Corpus Christi to have it sand blasted and powder coated. Their installation was perfect.
Had a very nice customer wanting to create a sign for his grandfather's ranch near Mountain Home. Very rocky country as it is near Rocks Springs. The sign is one of my favorite as it has a goat in it. "Old Chivto" might be his name as he is standing on the rock and watching over things. The customer did his own installation with a family member and it appears to be a very nice job.
Initials cut for farm entrance to celebrate the newly married couple who will live there. Cut from 3/16" plate and painted.
Carrizo Springs, Texas is the county seat of Dimmitt County. Recently they have constructed a new complex that included a 5 foot diameter metal seal cut from 1/2" plate steel. Torchcraft was awarded the project. This is hand cut from the 1/2" plate steel and sent to a sand blaster / powder coating company for finish.
I recently had a job that required using 1/2" plate steel. I have been playing with the scraps of that 1/2" plate. A good friend of mine who lives on the Kenedy ranch ask me about making the famous La Parra brand. I made him a regular cattle/horse brand but also cut the lettering out of the 1/2" plate steel along with the brand itself. La parra means grape vine in Spanish. Here the lettering is sitting on a block of oak, which make a good background.
Customer bought an LED shop light to be suspended over a large ranch house dining table. He wanted art work to hang over and around the light fixture. This piece is what was created for that.
Here is a unique sign for a customer that might like bikes. He was kind enough to remember to send a picture after he hung it in front of his entrance.
Ice house between San Antonio and Floresville recently opened up and wanted some western art on their new building. This art spans about 24 feet in width. Cut from 3/16" plate and painted with a brown enamel.
This sign represents a lot of about the owners. The ranch, located in Texas, has had the same brand in their family for three generatioins. Cattle are raised on the ranch and aviation has been a part of the the family history for a long time.
Customer furnished the idea of having five birds sitting on a limb with numbers on each bird. This piece is fresh cut without paint and width is 40" wide. Thickness of metal is 3/16".
Oil field service company in Dilley ask me to create a drilling rig scene for a wall in their office. The rig is 10 feet tall with a substructure of 15 feet wide. Complete with Christmas tree, flow line and tank battery. Everything is cut from 1/8" plate steel and painted black.
If you drift down to San Diego Texas, where the Big Bucks roam, look for the Mew Ranch. I have made a new friend and customer who has a nice ranch and offers hunting of all kinds. You can visit the Mew Ranch website at www.southtexashuntingservice.com
A fun couple dropped in the store the other day while out riding their bikes on the labor day weekend. Turned out they bought a couple of pieces and the question came up as to how they would manage to get it home since they were on their bikes. They managed to get one item in a saddle bag and the larger item was attached to the back of the seat rack with shrink wrap and packing tape. I enjoyed these two and hope they come back someday.
A super nice couple from Oregon came into the store recently and ordered a dreamcatcher to be made with the silhouetts of a lab and sheppard who had gone on. This was to be a gift for their son who lives in South Texas. We ended up adding a third dog that is still with their son. The dog silhouettes were copied from photos that they had. It took some tweaking to get the heads right but we finally managed to get the right look and stance. I very much enjoyed meeting and working with the folks. Hope they will return someday.
Customer in Big Springs Texas, who has ordered several times before, needed signage on a rock wall at his home.
Customer's design (his wife's ) but it sure looks good. You can see the great city of Big Springs in the background.
Always good to hear from Big Springs.
Over the years I have accumulated several good friends that started out as customers. This is an end table that a good friend/customer from Rock Port put together with mesquite wood for the top. Beautiful work. Whitetail deer and quail are featured on this one.
Previously posted is the insert to the other half of the gate being built for the hunting ranch. This is the same size of just under 8 feet wide and cut from 1/8" plate steel. The entire piece is cut from one sheet of steel. It will be taken to Chama, welded into the gate and painted.
A large gate is being built for the hunting ranch in Chama New Mexico. This scene will be an insert on half of the gate. Across the top of the gate will be an eagle, trout, mountain lion and turkeys. The bottom of the gate has two large windows. The sign shown here is a little less than 8 feet wide and cut out of 1/8" plate steel. The trees and mountain scene is a general copy of art that the ranch owner already owns and is hanging in the lodge. The other side of the gate is the same scene reversed and has an elk bull with two cows.
New Wine Church near Poteet, Texas. Beautiful new building with a nice cross on the front and an arched entrance with their name across the top.
Ranch is located in Clayton, New Mexico. All of the critters included in this sign are native to that country. The only animals that are not included is a mountain lion and antelope. There are plenty of antelope and some really impressive ones. I really enjoyed putting this sign together as the customer who ordered it listed the items that he wanted included and I got to design it as I saw it. The sign was a gift from a genuine friend. Size is about 6 feet wide and cut from 3/16". The cactus bush to the right of the coyote is called "Cholla". Right now the cactus is in bloom with beautiful purple blooms. The tree is a pinion tree. The country is heavy with jack rabbits, so they are proudly displayed on each side of the ranch brand. I have been to the ranch recently and it is a beautiful.
Ranch in South Texas is remodeling their entrance. I was asked to cut the name and quail. I am glad to see quail in the picture as quail are getting hard to find in South Texas. Cut from 3/16" plate, primed and painted.
This is the second insert made for the Chama New Mexico gate. The first insert features an elk bull and two cows. This insert features mule deer buck with doe and two more mule deer bucks. The basic design is copied from a wall hanging that the customer has in his lodge.
The gate that this insert goes on is is a very large gate. Each side will have an insert and critters across the top. This insert is about 41" tall by 91" wide. Cut from 11 gauge (1/8") plate for the weight consideration. Each insert weighs about 50 lbs. Gate will be located on a 6,000 acre ranch in Chama New Mexico.
Order came from Virgina. Couple sent a picture of themselves which became the center piece of the overhead sign. The sign was sent to two pieces to minimize freight. It looks really nice the way it is installed. I hope that dream continues for a long time.
Customer in Wyoming ordered a sign that needed to be 24" by 24". This is hard to see in the photo but it is painted brown and made from 3/16" plate steel with holes drilled in all four corners.
Years fly by. This ranch entrance was prepared for an old friend's son who was very young when I first met him. Grew up and now has a place of his own. This is his design and I was please to make it for him. Cut from 3/16" plate steel. Primed and painted. The three pieces are welded in place with welding tabs to keep the lettering up and off the main pipe. Really looks good to me.
Previous posting showed the barn scene during daylight hours. This picture shows how it "pops" when night lights are mounted. Very nice display.
Barn with scene mounted on outside wall. Cut from 1/8" plate steel, primed and painted black. This scene was mounted so that lights are mounted to highlight each piece. Next posting will show that display.
The best part of this sign job was who I did it for. The man is Fred Vellutini, a World War II veteran who could pass for a 50 year old. As I only talked to him on the phone, I was really surprised to learn his age. He owns property in Northern California and we had a really good conversation during the ordering of the ranch sign. He had to satisfiy all of the members of his family and this is what he came up with. The best part of the conversaion was when he told me that he was out having dinner while wearing his WW II hat. Some man walked by and asked him if that hat belonged to his dad. Fred said "no sir, my dad was in World War I.....he had his own hat!" Too cool. Super nice and I hope he gets to enjoy that ranch for many years to come.
Cardholder was custom made according to the customer's directioin. State of Texas cut from 1/8" plate steel and tempered finish added. The name is placed on top of the state and welded in place. The card holder is mounted on a large horseshoe. Horseshoe nails are welded on the sides of the card holder to keep the cards in place. The entire piece is clear coated.
Received order from a custom for a ranch sign to be given for a wedding gift. Horseshoes were used for hangers. Sign cut from 3/1`6" plate. Primed and painted black.
Realtor wanted to give their client a gift for the new property that they bought. The couples initals are cut in each star. The entire piece is cut from 3/16" plate. Drilled for wall mounting.
Race car driver who's nickname must be Rhino, wanted a display for his medals. The piece has the rhino on top with three steel rings to hold rods. The medals which have ribbons tied to them, are hung from the rods.
A recent request from a customer who wanted his 5 sons silhouette's cut out for a family sign that he was giving to his wife for her birthday.. The picture supplied by the customer was perfect for silhouettes and turned out very good. Cut from 3/16" plate. Primed with automotive etching primer and top coated with industrial black enamel. Finished product photo was taken in my shop.
Cut from 3/16" plate and top side is ground to a shinny finish. The photo shows the lettering in scattered fashion on a table top, in order to take the photo. The customer will weld pins on the back side for mounting and clear coat the metal to maintain the silver shine.
The owners of the ranch that this sign was made for actually have names that start with T and A, but the running joke is the basis of the art in the sign. This sign is 48" wide. Braced in the back with 1"X3/16" flat iron. Sign was primed with automotive etching primer and top coated with industrial black enamel. Chain links were welded on far left and far right corners. Going to Oregon.
Austin customer ordered address signs cut from 3/16" plate, with lettering and numbers cut in reverse. They will be set in a recessed area of the brick and lighting behind.
I recently posted a picture of the Fair Oaks Ranch sign while it was still in my shop. It is now mounted and has lighting. This is really a nice and shows up very well with the lights.
Customer from Giddins bought art for his ranch gate and recently sent pictures of the gate with all of the art mounted. It really looks good to me. I like all of the game that is represented on that ranch. I really do appreciate it when customers send their photos so I can post to my blog.
The praying cowboy is a very common scene but this scene brings the cowgirl to the cross as well. The two saddle horses and the dog complete the scene. This piece is cut from 3/16" plate steel and welded to an entrance gate.
Longhorn steer head with name across the horns is always a popular sign display for a ranch entrance.
This set up is made to hang whatever but it is enspired by two little real people and cat named LoLo. The little boy is two years old and LoLo is in his sights. The little girl is too new to care. Although they probably have wings, I haven't seen them. LoLo keeps a close eye as a wise cat will do. The horseshoe/ hooks are made from pony shoes.
Ten feet in width by 30" tall is a sign cut for Boerne, Texas country club. It was mounted on a masonry wall and I am waiting for the picture of the finished product. It was mentioned that it might be hung unfinished. The masonry work was done by Lundberg Masonry of Boerne, Texas.
Headed to North Florida for the gate topper to Fantasy Farms. Cut from 3/16 and ribbed on the back side to give it strength.
Had to look it up but Finca is farm or property. This particular sign goes to a coffee plantation in Puerto Rico. It displays "the farm of Pagan". Mountains and prize roosters raised on this farm set the design. To be mounted on the entrance gate and hand carried on an airline to it's destination. Again, the thickness of the metal is 3/16" and will be painted black.
As the dates on the sign indicate, they have achieved their 100 year mark of holding on the family farm. The customer provided an old photo of the tree from back in the day and it also had a horse and buggy in the photo. Although the tree is a direct copy the horse and buggy design was substitued to spread the sign out in width. Apparently the place is referred to as the Family Farm. People are to be commended for keeping the places in the same family. I once talked to a lady who said her grand dad placed the old farm in a corporation so that no hier could sell off any of it. He said that he and his family had worked and suffered way to long for some XXX to sell it and buy a boat!
Another design by the customer. I like to shoot the pictures before the torch is turned off. It may not appeal to you the viewer but it just rewards me that I can cut these signs with a regular hand held torch. Yes, I am rolling around in it like a dog that found a dead coon. They claim that action is a hold over from early animal hunting instinct to mask their odor in order to hunt better but I tend to think the dog just likes to be a little "macho" and show off his new smell. Probably makes up a good story to go along with it the odor.
Metal address numbers are cut out and painted black. In order to make the address visible at night, I have applied a very high grade 3M vinyl of reflective letters over the numbers but in a reduced size. Very visible at night and very important for emergency situations. There were two of these created to place one on either side of the ranch entrance for traffic coming from either direction.
Totally designed by the customer (wife I believe) but it really looks good. Very creative and unique. Nice rance entrance sign design.
This order from from a family member who requested the name sign to give to a good friend that guided his mule deer hunt in Utah this year. Cut from the normal 3/16" plate and holes drilled for mounting to the house. Generally, it is suggested that some stainless steel washers are used to maintain a gap between the sign and the wall to avoid moisture from gathering between the two surfaces. Stainless screws are recommended as well.
This refreshing sign is about 40" wide and just looks right for a farm sign. What is a farm without chickens?
Farm sign that displays a nice 12 point buck, an old John Deere tractor with cow and calf pair. Holes drilled for mounting and cut from 3/16" plate steel.
Here is an old fashion type sign that was mounted over and by the door to an office. I remember the signs that hung under the sidewalk awnings and as kids we would always jump up and slap the signs as we walk down the side walk in from of the stores. Hopefully, this one will hold up to that.
The Circle B Ranch sign that is hanging in the shop area is a custom sign for a California customer who said his family was a five horse family. Sign is cut from the typical 3/16" plate and painted black with the Rustoleum black hammered finish paint.
Hog hunting has long been a South Texas sport whereby dogs are used to hunt, bay and catch wild hogs. Can be a very rough sport as the hogs have sharp teeth and dogs do fall victim to the charge of the hog from time to time. Most hog hunters are fair hands at stiching up cuts and some require vets for the job. Good hog dogs are valued and well maintained. Each dog may have a specialty job during the hunt but it is a team effort which includes the hunters. Most land owners are very happy to have the hogs removed as they cause a lot of damage to crops and land.
Although it is not common for local cowboys to rope hogs/pigs, it has been done. The problem occurs after you make the catch. Now what to do with him? This piece was created for the La Salle county fair and hog cookoff as an auction piece. Withs a full belly of wild hog and a few cold beers, the piece may bring a fair amount. Cut from the normal 3/16" plate and painted black.
I am guessing that this is the 23rd year that Torchcraft has created the trophies for the hog cookoff in Cotulla, Texas. There are some others but not included in this picture. Each hog is set on a Texas base and a brass plaque will be added to each one representing the award given. Some of the steady winners must have a collections of these by now but we keep making them each year.
Coastal guide, Capt. Paul has his name cut into the body of the fish. Cut from 3/16" plate and tempered for various colors. Fish is clear coated and made to be displayed indoors.
Cutest barn in South Texas. Home to some cute ponies that pull carts, buggies and wagons. Brand was a Christmas gift from the husband to the wife. Cut from 1/8" plate and painted with Rustoleum hammered finish black paint.
Company name but out of 3/16" plate steel and 1/4" studs welded to the back side for mounting on a decorative concrete wall.
I am totally amazed that the customer could mount all of the pieces in such perfect fashion. The iron was taken to a powder coating company for sand blasting and coating. Should last a very long time and really looks nice. I was honored to have a part in this project.
A repeat customer built a beautiful outdoor fireplace for which he needed a screen for. The opening is rather large, 44"x44". The customers last name is Vrana and he informed me that he wanted a crow scene because crow in Czech is vrana! I have a special love for crows as I actually had a crow for a pet at one time. The crow is sitting on my shoulder in the picture below.
Super neat job for a customer who wanted to give this to his friend who started his own brewing company. The brewing company is Guadalupe Brewing Co. in New Braunfels, TX. The logo is a cowboy riding/rowing a keg of beer down the Guadalupe River. The brewing logo was cut from 3/16" plate steel, tempered and clear coated.
Customer designed his sign and it is one of my favorites. I like the old cow head with turned down horns. I also remember the K Bar pocket knives that were popular when I was young. This piece was cut from 1/4" plate, painted black and has welding tabs on the back side for welding to the gate.
A visitor from the coastal area, came to my store and requested a piece made to replicate the gold medallion that hung from his necklace. The man is a towboat captian who pushes barges up and down the waterways. Sometimes, these barges extend to 750 feet in length. Definitely have to plan to drive that train. The art piece that was made is 30" in diameter. The Christ figure is a separate piece which is bolted onto the art with stainless hardware. It is to be mounted on their home where they have had lighting installed to highlight the art as a symbol of their Christain belief.
Well there have never been many elephants in South Texas but I liked the silhouette of this elephant and the typical African tree. Made a nice lamp and it is a nice change from the many whitetail and domestic critters that usually get named on such projects. The lamp shade is my wife's selection.
Customer wanted some art on a gate he was building. Old tractor, milo and his father in law's Piper Lance airplane. That cold scene is in New Mexico.
Recent order for last name cut out of 3/16" plate to be mounted on the back of work truck. Painted white to match the truck cab and looks very nice on the black headache frame. Notice it was mounted high enough to not block the rearview of the driver.
The gate that I built for display out in front of the store, kept having a problem with the color of the saddle for being visable from the interstate highway. First, I painted the saddle red like the lettering and it just didn't contrast with the background. Secondly, I painted the saddle silver to see if I could get a better contrast. Still didn't have the "Pop" that I needed. Well, guess what, YELLOW seems to bring out the look that is well displayed and visible. The saddle and lettering is cut from 1/8" plate to keep the weight down on the gate.
Well, the photographer came forward with a much better picture of his rig. This truck can go anywhere and look good doing it. Torchcraft art welded on the back of his headache rack as well as the custom tailgate. Not only can this guy shoot a camera but he can fabricate too. Again, I am honored that he has chosen to display my art in such a unique way. Thanks Eddie
Here is the The Hopper sign mounted and I sure do like the way it turned out. What a neat way to display your sign. The name sign is a perfect display in front of the home. Hung by chains from a stand that once held a flag pole.
Well, if you need to put a name and put two cats but have limited room, let one cat hold the O! Works for me and the customer liked it too.
When this little girl came to Torchcraft, I thought of a lot of things that she can proclaim. When momma aint happy.....ain't nobody happy! Welcome but Behave! Go Away. Howdy seemed to be a good one. You can order this little darling and say whatever you decide. Cut from 3/16" plate and painted for outdoors.
One of my favorite things to do is combine tempering of the steel for colors and adding brass for added color and dimension. I found this design while looking through a magazine many years ago. It was actually hanging on African queen's necklace and made of gold. I guess brass is a poor man's gold but it gives a nice look to the sun's face.
Custom brand made for customer who's initials are LV but his wife's name starts with a G so he modified he brand to accomodate the G with the number 6. This brand is made with 1/4" x 1" strap steel.
Well, this is brotherly love in true fashion. A fellow in Washington state wanted to give his brother in Memphis, Tennessee a sign for his new farm. The brother favors the image on the sign......a chichen playing a guitar. This may have something to do with the fact that the Tennessee brother is involved in music. The font used is IRON MAIDEN for you that are young enough to recognize that name. It was explained to me. The sign is shown in raw steel prior to painted black.
Over the years, Torchcraft has made many pieces for gates made by other fabricators and Torchcraft makes gates from time to time. I recently made a gate to display in front of my store to show the public that I welcome gates and always ready to place names and art on them. The gate shown here is
a 13 foot gate with a 2" outside frame and 3/4" pickets. Heigth is approximately 72" at the top of the arch and had 60" sides.
This is a repeat on an original order from Incarnate Word. The picture shown is of the crown after it is primed with etching primer and before the top coat of black paint. The metal this is cut from is 1/4".
The Torchcraft Difference....
Torchcraft cuts most outdoor signs from 3/16-inch (7 gauge) new plate steel. Indoor signs may be cut from 1/8-inch steel. It's easy to see from the photo the difference in thickness of Torchcraft steel vs the "other guys". Most other artist cut from a flimsy 14 gauge steel such as the one pictured above that I picked up from a local art show. When you think about your metal sign, do you want one as thick as a paper clip or as thick as 4 dimes? Thats an 82% difference.