Branding iron is a popular technique to indicate wood or leather products ownership. It can be crafted at home. Let’s check how to make a branding iron for wood by using 3D printing or power tools.
First, carve the logo into aluminum or brass using carving tools. As brass and aluminum are metal, they should be carved with power tools. There are 3D printing services available that carve metal as required. Attach the carved iron to a handle. The branding iron is ready to heat and stamp.
Making a branding iron is easy and can be done yourself. Let me guide you through the entire process to get a perfect branding iron for your brand.
5 Steps To Make Branding Iron For Wood Using 3D Printing: Try Now
3D printing makes it easy to make burning iron since it’s affordable and readily available. Check the detailed instructions below to make your branding iron.
Step 1: Create A 3D Logo Or Art
First of all, create a logo or art of your branding in 3D. You may use CAD software to get this job done. CAD is a popular software for creating 3D objects. Merge all the items you made on CAD and export. Make sure you design the logo by considering the size of the iron.
Step 2: Get 3D Printing
Now you have the branding logo, it’s time to get it for real. There are 3D printing services available all over the world. Find one and submit your exported file. They don’t usually take much time to deliver the printing. Mention the material and color you want during the order.
Step 3: Make The Handle
It’s time to make the handle. Wooden handles are recommended since you will heat the iron while using it. To make the handle take a block of wood. For a more comfortable grip, carve the corners. Create a hole in the center of the handle with a drill press or a hand drill to attach the iron block.
Here, make sure you keep the drill bit on balance to have a straight hole on the handle.
Step 4: Attach The Handle
In this step, it’s time to attach the handle to the iron block. Insert a carriage bolt through the hole in the wood. Put a nut into the top of the handle and tighten it. Place the large hexagon nut of the iron into the bolt of the handle and tighten them.
That’s it. Now you have your branding iron for woodworking. You may varnish the handle for a better look or use a sharpening file if the edges are not smooth.
Step 5: Check The Branding Iron
Now you are done with the making, it’s time to test the branding iron. Get a propane torch and heat the iron for 40-50 seconds. Test the iron by sealing it into a wooden piece. If any portion of the logo or art doesn’t get sealed on the wood, this is because the surface is not perfectly leveled.
This can be fixed by using a sharpening file. Test the leveling by scratching the surface of the iron block with the sharpening file.
You can ignore it if the missing portion is not much visible. This is how you make a branding iron with 3D printing.
Make Branding Iron At Home With Power Tools: Easy Steps
If you have a metal cut saw and rotary tool at home, it’s possible to make the branding iron at home yourself. You don’t require any 3D printing in this method. Here is the detailed instruction.
Step 1: Cut the Iron
First, cut a piece of aluminum or brass using a metal cut saw. I recommend you use a piece of 1cm thickness and 4cm width or close to it. Otherwise, it will be tough to cut it with the saw. Also, this thickness will get the heat for a burn easily.
Cut the piece into squares and smooth the edges with a sharpening file. Your piece is now ready for the next step.
Step 2: Get The Logo
By considering the size of the iron piece, print your logo into a piece of paper. Place and stick this logo on the iron plate.
Step 3: Carve The Logo
This is the most important step in this method. To carve the logo, you need some tools, such as a dremel rotary tool and carving bits. In this step, you will cut only the whiter parts of the logo that are not part of the design. The engraving and carving bits will help you to get the logo in shape.
It will take around hours to complete this carving. Once the logo is made, sand the plate with 400 grit sandpaper. This will provide the surface with a smooth finish.
Step 4: Prepare The Handle
It’s time to prepare the handle now. Take a piece of wood and shape it into a handle. Make a hole in the center using a drill press. Insert a large bolt into the hole and tighten it with a nut in one end and weld the other end with the bolt.
Your branding iron with the logo is done. This is how you make a branding iron at home with common power tools. The carving of the logo is the most difficult part here.
What Are Some Common Mistakes While Crafting Branding Iron?
The process of crafting branding iron looks simple, but there are some common mistakes you should avoid. Don’t forget to get the iron a smooth finish. Otherwise, there won’t be a perfect burn on the wood.
The edges will stay sharp if you cut the iron piece from a bar. So, sand the edges with sandpaper or a sharpening file. While heating the iron, touch only the wooden handle, as the rest of the parts will stay heated.
What Is The Purpose Of A Branding Iron?
The branding iron is a traditional method to leave an identifying mark. This method is commonly used in the wood, steak, and leather industry. It’s a permanent seal that lasts forever on the object.
The branding iron method begins in ancient times and is still so popular. You don’t need to waste time to get a permanent mark. There is no maintenance required for a branding iron. Just heat the iron and place it into the wood.
What Is The Best Material To Make A Branding Iron?
The most common material for making branding iron is aluminum and brass. Aluminum is affordable and provides good detail of the branding. The only problem with aluminum is it doesn’t withstand irregular heat and won’t last long for regular use.
On the other hand, brass plates are used for heavy use and last longer than aluminum. They also withstand high temperatures and don’t cause any defects in the design.
Is A Branding Iron Permanent?
Branding iron leaves a permanent seal on the wood, leather, and other materials. There will be no damage to the mark even after years. Woodworkers prefer branding iron as it’s permanent and creates a unique product appearance.
The branding iron is not like any sticker or attachment. In the wood, the heat leaves a burn mark. This is why it doesn’t fade away with time. So, there will be permanent branding on your product.
Is It Possible To Heat A Branding Iron On The Stove?
Branding iron requires enough heat to leave a mark or burn on wood. You may heat a branding iron on the stove. To heat the iron on the stove, make sure it’s a clean-burning flame.
Add some charcoal to the flame and wait till they turn red. Place the branding iron into the charcoal. Keep the wooden handle out of the flame. After 2-3 minutes, the branding iron will be ready. Don’t touch any other part of the branding iron except the handle.
What Is A Good Size For Branding Iron?
There is no fixed size for the branding iron. It will depend on your brand logo and how much detail you want. There are branding irons in both circular and square shapes. The standard size for a branding iron is 1-2 inches. Branding iron of this size will look great and have good visibility.
If it’s just the logo, keep it within 1-2 inches. Branding iron with text requires a larger size than that, as similar fonts need to be distinguished from one another(G/C).
Should You Wet Wood Before Branding?
You should place the branding iron with proper pressure to get a cleaner burn. If you want the perfect mark, your surface and branding iron must be flat. Before you brand the wood, wet it with a cloth or spray some water on it.
The marks will be more visible if you wet the wood with a cloth. Make sure the branding iron is hot enough before branding. If you are branding a finished product, check if everything is fine, such as the heat and the surface.
Crafting branding iron is easy if you know the proper use of tools. Get the logo done by a 3D printing service if you don’t have the required power tools. Smooth the metal surface to get a perfect burn on the wood. I guess now you know how to make a branding iron for wood. Just try and make one for yourself.
Branding iron. (n.d.). Wikipedia. Retrieved February 8, 2023, from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Branding_iron#
Recommendations for Branding Livestock. (2017, March 2). Wyoming Livestock Board. Retrieved February 8, 2023, from https://wlsb.state.wy.us/editable-page/brand-recording/downloadFile?filename=IRON%20GUIDELINES_20170302_121500.pdf