Branding Irons

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Blog entry by Mr. E posted 04-12-2014 06:35 PM 2144 reads 0 times favorited 6 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Recently I had a logo drawn up for me. After years of just simply signing my initials in sharpie and/or inlaying a Montana quarter, I was going to finally bite the bullet and have a custom stamp made (not like a rubber stamp, but more of an embossing imprint). The starting price on the site was around $160. Pretty steep but sure would be really cool to finally have one. After sending them my info for a quote I was taken aback by the $380 price tag for my 1 1/4” logo. That’s when decided I could settle for a custom branding iron. That would take me back around the $160 – $180 range. While shopping prices and ideas I ran across a shop that was selling vintage Japanese branding irons. Pretty fitting since I was in the middle of making a Japanses style box for a friend. At $15 a pop and $4.00 shipping + $2.50 for each additional it was well worth buying 3 to try out. Here’s what came in the mail in under two weeks from Japan to Montana!

6 comments so far

View tomd's profile


2222 posts in 5020 days

#1 posted 04-13-2014 01:17 AM

That is a great idea, I can’t make out the coin is that a quarter ? I think you made a real nice find.

-- Tom D

View clieb91's profile


4264 posts in 5184 days

#2 posted 04-13-2014 02:03 AM

Neat find. Like the hot plate idea for warming them up.


-- Chris L. "Don't Dream it, Be it."- (Purveyors of Portable Fun and Fidgets)

View Mr. E's profile

Mr. E

108 posts in 2916 days

#3 posted 04-13-2014 03:13 AM

Yes that is a quarter in the photos. Great size for a branding iron head.
The hot plate idea came from a fellow LJ who I wish I could credit. I read the idea before I thought I was interested in branding irons. The heads had to be sanded a bit so they would sit flat. The hot plate evenly heats the head while not getting it too hot.

Thanks for looking

View JKMDETAIL's profile


223 posts in 2904 days

#4 posted 04-15-2014 05:31 PM

Great Idea….now what do they mean?

View whitewulf's profile


456 posts in 4186 days

#5 posted 04-15-2014 05:53 PM

I was hoping someone would ask. ;-)

-- "ButI'mMuchBetterNow"

View Mr. E's profile

Mr. E

108 posts in 2916 days

#6 posted 04-17-2014 03:06 AM

Well…. I’m guessing buying a branding iron is much like getting a tattoo in another language. I’m not sure what they say for sure. But these are some of the descriptions from the seller. (A Canadian lady living in Japan and married to a Japanese man).

“This is a vintage branding iron called a “yakiin”. These were/are used on wood, leather…food…anything you want to brand.”

The “P” I got simply because it looks like my first initial.

This is the description it came with-

The katakana syllable ア (a), whose equivalent in hiragana is あ (a). It is the first syllable of the gojūon order, and its position in gojūon tables is ア行ア段 (A-gyō, A-dan; “row A, section A”).”

The katakana syllable ラ (ra), whose equivalent in hiragana is ら (ra). It is the thirty-ninth syllable of the gojūon order, and its position in gojūon tables is ラ行ア段 (RA-gyō, A-dan; “row RA, section A”).

The third one is my favorite and an awesome tongue in cheek way to brand my creations.

“This is “shiba” which means “firewood, fuel, brushwood”.

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