Branding Iron – Make your mark
Do you want to personalize your projects?
Do you currently personalize your projects?
How do you personalize your projects?
With projects to family and friends I usually mark my name and the date.
There are many ways to personalize your completed projects.
Printed Peal-n-Stick labels which are then covered with a protective coating.
Hand Write you name/date and again cover with a protective coating.
Attach a little engraved plaque.
Here are a couple of examples of engraving a small plaque.
Have you considered using a Branding Iron?
Branding Irons are not off the shelf products, you have to order them with your custom design.
They are nothing more than a block of engraved brass made to your specifications.
There are two (2) kinds of woodworking branding irons available.
An electric flavour and a non-electric flavour.
The electric are nice, plug it in, wait about 15 minutes to reach branding temperature and brand away.
Some electric versions allow you to have interchangeable brass plates.
Cost in the order of $105.00 to $115.00.
The non-electric takes a little more work.
Using a common propane gas torch as your heat source, you heat the brass block for about three (3) to five (5) minutes and now you are ready to brand.
The non- electric are heads are screwed into the branding iron handle and then they are pinned in place.
It is way too much work to change heads and I would not recommend it.
Cost in the order of $65.00 to $80.00
How to use the non-electric branding iron is very simple.
Using the propane gas torch heat the brass block from the bottom to the top of the block and from side to side.
Do not heat in a fireplace, the intensity of the fireplace could damage the brass block and your engraving head.
The instructions recommend to brand prior to applying stain, varnish and paint.
I have been very successful branding projects which have been finished with no problems.
You will have to experiment with the products you use to see what works for you.
Here are some results starting from the bottom:
Painted/coated Pine project.
Untreated piece of Pine.
Untreated piece of MDF
And a piece of untreated piece of plywood.
When branding, rock the head slightly from side to side to get a uniform brand.
On the bottom painted pine you can see that I did not apply sufficient pressure to the right side.
You have one shot at branding.
It is very difficult to re-heat the brass head and reposition it over an existing branding.
Practice on a few pieces of scrap first, just to get the feel of the tool and method.
My first branding iron purchase was the non-electric type.
And with that I have successfully branded hundreds and hundreds of yard art, furniture and toys.
If I would have known then what I know now about branding irons, I would have purchased the electric.
So let’s hear how YOU make your mark!
Happy Toy Making and Happy Branding