We all want to leave our mark on the world. With a branding iron you can at least leave you mark on your work. I used Fusion360, a CNC mill, and the wood lathe to create this branding iron.
Don't let the tools I used keep you from making the project though. I used them because I have access to them and I'm trying to learn Fusion360. This project could be made with a printed out design, a Dremel tool, and a scrap of wood with a hole drilled in it. Don't let a tool keep you from creating.
Here are the tools that I used. Again, you can substitute what you have to accomplish the work
- Techno-Isel CNC Mill
- 1/16" flat end mill
- Jet Horizontal Bandsaw
- Delta 10" tablesaw
- Drill Press
- Tap and Die Set
- 5/16" bottoming tap
- Jet 10" wood lathe
- Woodturning Tools
- Scroll chuck for wood lathe
- Handscrew Clamps
- 3/8" x 1.5" x 1.5" Brass flat bar
- Wood for handle (I used walnut and oak)
- 5/16" threaded rod
- 1/2" brass compression fitting (used to make ferule on handle)
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Step 1: Design Your Brand
I used Fusion360 to design my brand since I planned to use the CNC to mill it. I'm not very good at Fusion yet since this is my first project using it. There are a ton of great Youtube videos out there to help you.
I imported a .dxf file I created in AutoCAD. REMEMBER TO REVERSE THE LOGO (Ask me how I know :-) )
Use the push/pull command to extrude the logo
I then drew the shape of the stock and extruded it also.
Use the CAM function to create your toolpaths
Export to your GCode.
Alternatively, if you are going to use a Dremel or similar tool to carve the logo, you can design the logo in any graphics program and print it out at the desired size. You'll still need to REVERSE THE LOGO so that it will be correct when branding.
Step 2: Cut the Stock
From a larger bar, cut a 1.5" long piece of brass.
I used a horizontal bandsaw because I have one. You can use a regular hacksaw to get the job done.
Step 3: CNC the Brand
I used the Techno-Isel CNC at school to mill the brass.
Secure the stock in the machine. I used a drill press vice that was then secured in the machine.
Use the machine's software to run the G Code file. Set the speed and feed rates according to your machine's specs.
If you don't have access to a CNC machine, use spray adhesive to attach the pattern to the brass stock. Use a Dremel with different bits to remove all of the undesired material on the brand.
Step 4: Drill and Tap the Brand
Secure the brand in your drill press vice and drill either a letter F or 17/64" hole approximately .25" deep.
This could be done with a hand drill and guide if necessary. Getting the hole square is key.
Use a bottoming 5/16" tap to thread the hole. Don't crank down too hard on the tap handles as the brass is easy to strip.
Step 5: Cut the Handle
I laminated walnut and red oak to jazz the handle up a little. The core is 3/4 x 3/4 square of walnut. I laminated 1/4" oak strips around the core to complete the blank.
You can make it all out of a single block. If you are going to turn the handle, a block approximately 1-1/4" square by 6" long is appropriate. You can also make it square or hexagonal with just a table saw.
Step 6: Turn the Handle
Using a mini lathe I turned the handle to shape.
I drilled a 5/16" hole in one end and reinforced it by fitting a compression sleeve onto the tenon.
Finish shaping the handle so that it is comfortable to hold. Sand.
Step 7: Assemble the Brand
I used a long 5/16" bolt that I had lying around. You could also use a piece of 5/16" threaded rod.
Thread a nut partially onto the bolt.
Thread the bolt into the brass part of the brand.
Screw the nut down as a jam nut
Cut the head off of the bolt and glue the handle on.
Step 8: Try It Out
Heat the brand with a propane torch.
Press it into a piece of wood to leave your mark.
Use the brand on all of your future projects to leave your maker's mark.