Homemade Branding Iron

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Project by MrFid posted 12-29-2016 06:30 PM 3297 views 25 times favorited 7 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Hi folks,

I posted this on another forum I’m also on, but I wanted to show you all as well. What follows is a similar writeup of what I wrote on the other forum as well. Questions, comments, critiques are all welcome. Thanks for looking.

I had created a 3D model of what I’d need. You get your project (which you upload) “printed” in stainless steel at this website. For a 1.5″ by 1.5″ brand with a 1/4 inch rod on the back (which I can cut threads for) it was about US$45. You can also create in precious metals, but for platinum my brand was gonna cost $13,000. Their process for metal is that they print in wax, then create a cast from the wax, which they then pour the metal into like a traditional forge.

The brand came out terrifically, very clean and well forged. I was working on other stuff and set it aside for later.

Well, later came this week, and I went at it. First task was to clean up the branding surface, which I did on a flat surface. Took me about 20 minutes. I started with 100 grit sandpaper, and worked my way up to 600. There were small imperfections which I think would have caused the brand to burn unevenly. Not too bad at all, and I did all the sanding by hand.

Next I cut 1/4-20 thread on the post I’d designed into the back. I had made the post just over 1/4 inch diam, so I brought it down to size at the grinder. Then used a die to cut threads. Not the prettiest job ever, but it got done and works fine. I’m no metalworker. I didn’t take any pictures of that part haha.

Then I got a coupler nut and some threaded rod, and cut the threaded rod to size. The rod is maybe 5 inches long. I probably could have gone shorter but decided to leave it a bit longer for safety.

Last was a scrap piece of walnut turned to a handle on the lathe. Fun. I used a skew chisel in lieu of sanding, so it’s not a perfect finish, but very close. If you’re not using a skew for turning, I’d highly recommend learning how to use one. Then epoxy the rod to the handle and she’s done.

The pictures shown are from before finishing the handle, which I did with a coat of BLO.

I heated with MAPP gas, and it took about 15-20 seconds from cold to ready. There’s no easy way to tell how hot it is, so you basically only get one shot. Best to do a practice burn on a scrap piece of wood of the same species. The brand shown was my first and only attempt so far, and it came out well, so there is probably some wiggle room. Or I got really lucky.

I’ll happily take questions on this process. Shapeways was a great company to work with.

-- Bailey F - Eastern Mass.

7 comments so far

View scott0317's profile


58 posts in 2955 days

#1 posted 12-29-2016 06:56 PM

can you share the website of the company that made the stamp. would love to order one.

-- I've almost got all the tools I need, almost.

View MrFid's profile


910 posts in 3404 days

#2 posted 12-29-2016 07:27 PM

can you share the website of the company that made the stamp. would love to order one.

- scott0317

Hey Scott,

Absolutely! It’s

I made mine with Sketchup, but they accept all kinds of files from CAD programs. They also have some site-specific design programs, but I know Sketchup well enough that that was easiest for me.

-- Bailey F - Eastern Mass.

View bobasaurus's profile


3749 posts in 4683 days

#3 posted 12-29-2016 11:50 PM

I also made a shapeways branding iron and it turned out okay. The text was pretty crude at the small size I designed, though. If I made it again I would leave off the text or make the whole thing larger.

-- Allen, Colorado (Instagram @bobasaurus_woodworking)

View oldrivers's profile


3154 posts in 3066 days

#4 posted 12-30-2016 01:26 AM

Very Nice!

-- Soli Deo gloria!

View MrFid's profile


910 posts in 3404 days

#5 posted 12-30-2016 03:14 AM

Thanks folks for the comments. Allen, sorry to hear that your text didn’t come out crisply. Mine is pretty good. The brand size is 1.5 inches square.

-- Bailey F - Eastern Mass.

View drawninstone's profile


41 posts in 2092 days

#6 posted 12-30-2016 12:50 PM

Very cool! I’ve been thinking about getting something like this, so thanks for all the info!

-- Darci,

View splintergroup's profile


7162 posts in 2722 days

#7 posted 12-30-2016 02:51 PM

Thanks for the introduction to these!

$45 is not bad at all. Sure some finishing work is required but you get your own design for about 1/2 the cost of the “other” brands that limit your choices to what they offer.

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