Wood branding - Woodworking Talk - Woodworkers Forum
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post #1 of 24 Old 04-01-2015, 09:04 AM Thread Starter
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Wood branding

So I've always liked marking my projects so hopefully future generations of my family know they were hand made pieces. My wife bought me a great looking torch heated wood brand a few years back, and for the life of me I can't make it work uniformly. The one I got is pictured below, and the problem is and always has been getting a uniform burn. The top left might work well this time, but the bottom right won't, or vice versa. Well I've usually ended up using it multiple times and sanding off the first attempts, well last night I sanded through the bottom veneer on my otherwise perfect TV stand that I just finished. So I've just about had enough.

I'm considering the following.

1. Buy a less detailed brand, with the thought that less detail should be easier to get good results.

2. Buy a rubber stamp and use ink instead. My concern is will staining a project ruin the ink, and that the ink will fade over time. Thoughts??

The tools don't make the craftsman....
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post #2 of 24 Old 04-01-2015, 09:04 AM Thread Starter
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Here's the one I've been using.
Wood branding-imageuploadedbywood-working-talk1427893483.792663.jpg

The tools don't make the craftsman....
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post #3 of 24 Old 04-01-2015, 09:21 AM
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The ink can be ruined with the stain. I have tried that before on a something I tried to make with wood before.

Your problem is the tree is wayyyyyyy to intricate for a small branding iron. I am sure that the branches kind of blur together? You want to simplify your design so there are less parts to it. I would also suggest using a bolder font for your name and get rid of the circle around it. If you need some design help I can give you a hand. I am a web developer so I have access to Photoshop and Illustrator to make you a file.
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post #4 of 24 Old 04-01-2015, 09:43 AM
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Your challenges are some of the reasons I have folded off on a branding iron. I always figured the different densities of the woods, etc would play some role as to how well it transferred. Also, I wonder if when heating it with a torch it may not be heated evenly. Maybe someone who used the electric branding iron can chime in on their challenges and successes.

I've always wanted a nice branding iron, but I know most of my turning friends just use either a hand engraver for the bottoms or they use a marker and then put clear coat over it to seal it in. I'd prefer a more refined application, which currently is nothing :)

Mark

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post #5 of 24 Old 04-01-2015, 09:53 AM
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There are a wide variety of "branding irons" available in various sizes/styles/prices, but IMO some can be too large (for jewelry boxes) & too small for furniture. Consider using a wood burning iron found in hobby shops, which can make whatever size initials/designs/logos desired. Be safe.
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post #6 of 24 Old 04-01-2015, 12:55 PM
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I have an electric iron with my name on it and it says hand crafted by. Is what I do is cut out a bunch of thin light colored wood blocks and brand them. I then spray them with a clear finish from a rattle can. After you finish a project you can attach the blocks with double sided tape or velcro or even a pin nailer.

Don
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post #7 of 24 Old 04-01-2015, 12:59 PM Thread Starter
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I also want something more refined than a marker or an engraver. The initials on a wood burner wouldn't be my look either. Maybe I need to look at some new patterns....hmmm

The tools don't make the craftsman....
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post #8 of 24 Old 04-01-2015, 01:16 PM
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picture of the results that you are getting? How are you heating it?
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post #9 of 24 Old 04-01-2015, 01:22 PM
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Sounds to me like you don't have a large enough flame heating it to get a consistent temp on the entire iron.

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post #10 of 24 Old 04-01-2015, 01:34 PM Thread Starter
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Wood branding

I'll work on some pictures....I was so annoyed I didn't take any.

I heat it with a constantly moving flame across the whole surface. It gets hot enough that it instantly brands in, so quickly in fact that you can't leave it on form more than 4-5 seconds.

I've tried colder, hotter, shorter, longer. The frustrating part is every now and then, I'll get a perfect one, last night was the practice piece....then the next one which was on the actual piece worked terribly.

The tools don't make the craftsman....

Last edited by ryan50hrl; 04-01-2015 at 01:36 PM.
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post #11 of 24 Old 04-01-2015, 01:39 PM
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Get hold of brizak79. He works for a company that makes branding irons here in MI. I talked to him at the Detroit WW show. He can answer any questions you have, and can custom make anything you want, heated or electric.

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post #12 of 24 Old 04-01-2015, 01:47 PM
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Ryan
The only brand I've seen done was done with much force.
He pushed the hot iron extremely hard to the wood. He held it under much force until the wood began to smoke and I thought he was going to set it on fire.
After allowing it to cool, he sanded with some 150 grit sandpaper and the brand looked sharp.
Good luck
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post #13 of 24 Old 04-01-2015, 01:49 PM
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I have the same brand of brand but different design. I also have the one with the heat element in it. You have to wait forever for it to get hot enough to work right.I've used it where I could on some furniture pieces but you carefully rock it back and forth to get it to burn deep enough and get all of the design. I've found it best to over brand it then lightly sand it to clean it up so it looks right.

Do one thing at a time, do it well, then move on.
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post #14 of 24 Old 04-01-2015, 09:24 PM
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I got this electric one from Rockler. I also got the date attachment, so I could date my projects.

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post #15 of 24 Old 04-01-2015, 09:27 PM Thread Starter
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Is it easy to get an even mark? Have you used it on oak?

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post #16 of 24 Old 04-01-2015, 09:54 PM
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What I do, is heat the iron, then press it to the wood and rock it forward, backward, right and left. That way i get an even mark. Be sure to practice on scrap wood. The longer you hold it on the wood, the darker and deeper the brand gets. I haven't used it on oak, but I have used it on ash.

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post #17 of 24 Old 04-02-2015, 09:03 AM
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I also have the electric one from Rockler; it takes a while to heat up, and the rocking back and forth helps greatly. I use it on all wood, softer woods take less time, oak a little longer but comes out good. Mine says: HANDCRAFTED BY; and my name. I have also thought about heating it with a torch which might be quicker.
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post #18 of 24 Old 04-02-2015, 02:59 PM
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We (Brand-First) make branding tools with an insane amount of detail, in a ton of different sizes. You can see some examples of them HERE, HERE, and HERE. The issue with the brand most likely is that it is warped, making it difficult to get even marks, even when rocking the brand. Of course electric tools are more consistent in the heat department, but if you can heat up a flame heated tool evenly there's no reason you can't get a perfect brand that way; it's just a bit more work.
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post #19 of 24 Old 04-03-2015, 08:05 AM
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the wood species plays a fairly big role in the success of the appearance. in very grainy wood - oak & ash, the grain tends to muddy the look. while smooh grain - maple, pine, poplar will look better.
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post #20 of 24 Old 04-03-2015, 08:26 AM
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I have a branding iron that you heat up with a torch and consistent results have been a problem in the past. I find that if I heat the brand up so that it is scorching hot I can brand a scrap of the same species that the finished product is made of and that seems to dissipate enough of the heat to give me an even brand on the finished product. So instead of all of the heat from the branding iron being transferred to the finished piece first, it is actually the second brand. Try this on some scraps and see how you make out.
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