A Copper Name-Plate For The House
You cannot go into a shop and buy a name-plate for fixing to your front gate, and it costs quite a bit to get one made specially. You can, however, make one yourself, and if you do it to your parent’s satisfaction what more could be desired?
You will want, first of all, a strip of sheet cooper, about I2 in. by 4 in. Get it fairly thin, though not nearly so thin as the tinned iron that is used for making condensed milk tins. Perhaps it will be as well to tell the man in the shop where you buy it what you want it for, and hew will give you the right material.
We said, above, that you will need a strip of copper about I2 in. by 4in. These are good average dimensions, but before you decide measure up the space where you intend to fix the plate. Perhaps your gate will not take quite such a wide strip.
The next thing to do is to draw your plate, with the appropriate lettering, on a sheet of paper in full scale. You should not try your hand with regular-shaped letters, as the slightest inequality of height or spacing will brand the work as that of an amateur. Rather, go in for fanciful letters, for little defects will then pass off as some smart conceit of yours.
Now transfer the design to the copper, using carbon paper for the purpose, and this done you must chase or cut the pattern into the metal. Nail the strip by the four corners to a flat piece of soft wood, and chase with an old screw-driver, sharpened up to a chisel edge. The chaser is placed on the line that is to be cut with the forward tip of the blade slightly raised. By gently tapping the with a hammer it travels along almost without assistance. Be careful not to cut right through the copper.
When all the lines are intended turn the plate over, and placing it on an old hassock or thick mat, hollow out the letters. The tool required for this is easily made by filling a short steel rod until it has a domed head. You, of course, hit it with a hammer.
The letter, being hollowed out on the underside, are raised on the upper side. Now we have to put a matt surface all over the background of the design.
A stout French nail, with the point cut off and the stump end filed into cross lines, makes an admirable tool for the purpose. Hammer this tool all over the ground-work and obliterate the pattern of the tool.
The next thing is to cut the edge of the plate with shears, or, if a fanciful edging is desired, with a metal fret-saw. Now polish nicely and the plate is completed.