Picture of Make a woodburning brand

So, this all started because I'm getting married. And for wedding favors we wanted to hand out little wood disks with a magnet glued on the back, with a monogram woodburned into it. Sounds great right? Except we need to make like 200 of these things. So no way I'm doing it by hand. Thus..

Why not make a custom brand that you can use as much as you like?

I wanted to make one that would last and that could be used many times over the years. I thought a simple coat hanger wire one would distort after lots of use, and I wouldn't be able to get the detail I wanted.

I had never done anything like this...

But I won a cordless Dremel from the Halloween Challenge! Time to put that thing to use!

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Step 1: Materials

Picture of Materials
Total cost of construction was only about $25, it would have been even cheaper but I needed to buy special bits for my Dremel.

What you'll need:

- The design of whatever you want to wood burn
- A piece of metal plate stock - I used 1/4", that should work for most everything
- A solid or hollow metal rod for a handle

- A Dremel or other rotary tool - I won one from Instructables in the Halloween challenge, thanks Instructables!
- Tungsten Carbide cutting bits - get a fine and regular size
- A hacksaw or other metal cutting device
- A vise to hold the workpiece
- A sharpie, and a pencil or carbon transfer paper
- Safety gear - earplugs or headphones, safety glasses
- Some sort of welding gear to attach the handle to the brand, or a high temp bonding agent of some sort

First thing to do is make up your design
- Some things to know - A design with straight lines is easier to carve than one with lots of curves (not that it stopped me)
- You need to remember to MIRROR your design! Or else your brand will always be backward!
- The smaller the detail, the harder it is - again, didn't really deter me but just FYI

Choose your metal stock
- You need the metal you use to be thick enough so that you wont cut through, but not so thick as to be tough to heat
- The handle should be generously long - you don't want a brand on you!

Once you've bought or scavenged everything, time to get started... 
jeffkino11 days ago

I am IMPRESSED! Here's a few things which I really liked about your instructions...First, your easy going delivery didn't discourage a novice like me... Second, you took time to stress safety which is often just mentioned...Third, you are polite and positive; you didn't come off as a KIA (Know It All)...And finally, the tone of our replies shows you to be very approachable without the person inquiring left feeling like a dummy. Thank you!

FN641 year ago
Nice 'ible Johnathan! I'm a woodworker and would like to make one of these for branding my projects & have a couple questions. Could this be done with aluminum? Would it take the heat and hold its form? I think it would be much easier to cut the pattern into and I have the stock, tools etc. Thanks.

I actually just posted a full tutorial on how to do just that!

Using aluminum as your branding material actually works very well, in addition to being much easier to shape.

photo 2 (22).JPG
jonathan.elwell (author)  FN641 year ago
Hmmm, aluminum would definitely be easier to cut or mill, but I think it would deform over long term heating/cooling cycles. By all means give it a whirl, if you use aluminum you'll probably want a relatively thick block, maybe an inch or so thick, and you'll need to make a threaded handle or something (unless you have a TIG welder and can do aluminum, in which case props to you).
Hopefully that helps!

very nice! I wonder if something like J B Weld would work to hold the handle to the brand, will have to try it and see. Thanks!

Really awesome idea. Thanks for sharing :)
Tupulov2 years ago
Well done!

To help with the mirror image, I use Microsoft Word or a copier that has a setting to make reversed images.
jonathan.elwell (author)  Tupulov2 years ago
I use GIMP (open source image editor) to do a lot of stuff, its super easy to flip or rotate images in that too!
cerene2 years ago
My wedding ring is part tattoo, part branding :D
Kiteman2 years ago
Wow, a wedding brand.

I only bought my wife a ring...