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!

Step 1: 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... 
<p>Would it be possible to laser cut a woodburning brand like this?</p><p>Anyone any experience with that?</p>
<p>This tutorial was great! A total money saver and a lot of fun. There were a few things that I did differently, but I couldn't have made my wood brand without this tutorial. Thanks a ton!</p><p>(My brand is about 2&quot; x 3&quot;)</p><p>My Changes:</p><p>I reversed my image on the computer, printed it, cut it out, and glued it onto the metal. I couldn't make the graphite transfer work, but this was perfect. I used regular copy paper and a very thin layer of regular Elmer's glue. </p><p>I used a Dremel engraving bit, a teeny tiny round one, to outline the design and just barely scratch the metal below. I was using a rusty old hunk of steel that was pretty tarnished, so I could lightly score the design into the rust. Then, once the design was one, I scrubbed off the paper.</p><p>I had purchased a set of cheap tungsten carbide bits for my Dremel off of Amazon. It was thirteen bucks and it was a huge lifesaver. They were infinitely better than any of the diamond bits I've used from Dremel and, despite being abused for this, every one of the ones I used is still in working order. </p><p> Anyway, I ground around the design with a ball-tipped bit and then used a variety of bits to eat away at the rest of the blank space surrounding the Bee. Without the set I bought, this wouldn't have worked, because of my unsteady hand and the odd little shapes in my design. </p><p>After I had everything done and I'd tested the brand to satisfaction, I cleaned it up and used some jeweler's polishing compounds to, well, polish the whole thing. This isn't necessary, but I think the finished piece looks more professional even with the tarnish, once it has been polished. </p>
<p>Again, thanks to jonathon.ewell for an awesome Instructable! I spent twenty bucks on supplies, instead of eighty on a manufactured brand, and I was able to do it myself! </p>
<p>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! </p>
<p>Depending on the flavor of JB Weld you use, it looks like temperate ratings range from 300-500 or so degrees Fahrenheit. If you're using a torch you'll get a lot hotter than that, and in general I think repeated heating/cooling would end up separating the bond. There may be some other high temp bonding agents out there however.</p>
<p>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!</p>
<p>Thanks! I definitely want anything I post to be helpful, I've had (and continue to have) lots of people help me learn, so I want to pass it on. Best of luck in your building endeavours! </p>
Nice 'ible Johnathan! I'm a woodworker and would like to make one of these for branding my projects &amp; 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. <br>..Jon..
<p><strong>I actually just posted a full tutorial on how to do just that!</strong></p><p><a href="http://lawsoncycles.com/how-to-make-a-wood-brand-aluminum-part-1/" rel="nofollow">http://lawsoncycles.com/how-to-make-a-wood-brand-a...</a></p><p><strong>Using aluminum as your branding material actually works very well, in addition to being much easier to shape.</strong></p><p><strong><br></strong></p>
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). <br>Hopefully that helps!
Really awesome idea. Thanks for sharing :)
Well done! <br> <br>To help with the mirror image, I use Microsoft Word or a copier that has a setting to make reversed images.
I use GIMP (open source image editor) to do a lot of stuff, its super easy to flip or rotate images in that too!
My wedding ring is part tattoo, part branding :D
Wow, a wedding brand.<br><br>I only bought my wife a ring...

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Bio: I'm an IT professional in Philadelphia - but thats just my day job. I love to repurpose things, and since I grew up not having ... More »
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