I was recently asked to make a Burning Man branding iron approximately 1" in height. I had not made a branding
iron before, but it seemed simple enough. The trickiest part was the small scale, but I love welding so I jumped
right into this project.
Step 1: I collected all the necessary tools and materials.
*this project was made at TechShop San Jose
-"what will you make?"
Step 1: Materials and Tools
Acquire all the necessary tools and materials:
1" print out of the Burning Man logo for reference
1/8" weldable steel square rod
angle grinder w/ cut off wheel
Step 2: Prepping the Material
Cut stock metal to size. I clamped my rod into the vice and using the angle grinder and a cut-off wheel started cutting. Cut 2 sections for the legs (slightly larger than 1"), a couple of 1/4" pieces (to become the head), and several larger sections
at arbitrary lengths for connecting all the pieces together and forming a handle.
Bend leg sections to match the design of the Burning Man logo. Again, I clamped my rod into a vice, this time
striking the open end with a hammer until bent into position.
I also bent a few of the connecting rods in the same fashion.
Step 3: Welding!
Start welding! (My favorite part of the process)
Once I had all the metal cut, bent, and fully prepped it was time to start putting it all together.
I used a helping hand to hold all of my small pieces in place as I welded.
First I welded the small 1/4" pieces to a larger piece (that would become the handle) to make the head. (I briefly
skipped to the next step and grinded the head before I continued welding.) Then I connected the legs to their supporting
rods. And lastly, I added some bracing to attach the whole thing together.
Step 4: Grinding and Finishing
As I mentioned in the previous step, after I welded the head to the handle I used a grinding wheel to
quickly shape the head to its proper dimensions. Once the whole thing was assembled, I took it to the grinding wheel to
grind the branding surface to level.
Step 5: Branding Time!
That's it! Now it is ready to use.
It's crude and dirty, but hey it does the job.
Just heat it up and starting branding!