Branding Iron with Charred Oak Handle

Handmade branding iron with a beautiful charred oak handle

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In this Instructables, I show how I made my own branding iron. I’ve wanted one of these since I first started woodworking. They are a really cool way to sign off any of your own work. You can order them online and get them made in a CNC but I wanted to practice working with my hands. It didn’t turn out perfect but happy with it! I used an oak dowel which I charred to protect the wood, and it looks cool.

For this project you will need:

(Disclosure: Some of the links posted are affiliate links, meaning, at no additional cost to you, I will earn a small commission if you click through and make a purchase.)

Step 1: Steel Grind

Picture of Steel Grind
Picture of Steel Grind
Picture of Steel Grind
Picture of Steel Grind

 

I started with a block of flat bar steel. It was 3cm wide, and I wanted it to be 4cm long. So I marked it up ready to cut it down to size.

I used the angle grinder to cut it down with a cutting disc. It was around now I realised that it was way too thick. The trouble with it being so thick is all the heat would soak up into all the thickness, meaning that it would take twice as long to get up to temp. It was currently at 2cm thick, so again, I marked it up and chucked it back into the vice to cut down.

Once that was cut down it was 1cm thick, and 3cm by 4cm. I took it over to the bench grinder to smooth out the edge that had been cut on the angle grinder.

Step 2: Engraving

Picture of Engraving
Picture of Engraving

 

I printed off my maker’s mark which is essentially 2 ‘C’s interlocking. I cut out the logo from the paper, leaving a negative space stencil from the paper. I used a sharp razor to do this. With my logo, it doesn’t matter if its upside down or facing forwards, this means I could glue it down either way. But if yours has any words or something important, you need to make sure to mirror your image before sticking it down.

I then used some spray glue to hold it down to the face of the steel. I then coloured in the space on the steel with a sharpie, in case the paper got ripped off too early I would still have something to follow when engraving.

I put the piece of steel into the vice and using my Dremel put a cutting disc and began to cut away the material around the sides of the logo. I used this to clear out the bulk of the metal and cut around 3 or 4mm down. Leaving the logo at the top.

After that, I moved onto using some carbide cutting puts to get the inside of the steel. I took my time here and went nice and slow. After an hour or so I had cut away enough material to leave my stamp.

Step 3: Welding

Picture of Welding
Picture of Welding

 

I marked up the centre point of the back of the stamp. I then used a welding magnet to hold a piece of 10mm steel rod in line with the centre. And used an arc welding to weld to the two pieces together.

I then used my welding hammer and flap disc to clean up the welds.

Step 4: Oak Dowel

Picture of Oak Dowel
Picture of Oak Dowel
Picture of Oak Dowel
Picture of Oak Dowel

 

Traditionally people would take a solid block of wood and turn down a handle on a lathe. Unfortunately, I don’t have a lathe, so bought a thick 22mm oak dowel to use for the handle. I trimmed it down to 10cm long with the mitre saw, but you can do this by hand if needed.

I knew the steel rod was 10mm thick, so would need to drill a 10mm wide hole into the wood. If I had jumped straight up to a 10mm drill bit it probably would have cracked the wood, so I started with a 3mm and worked my way up to 10mm.

Step 5: Wood Wax

Picture of Wood Wax
Picture of Wood Wax

 

For the finish, I wanted to char the wood with a torch. This technique gives the wood a beautiful burnt look, but it also adds a really great durable protection to the wood. I was careful to never actually set fire to the wood. Once it had called down I sanded it down with some 1000 grit paper so it was nice and smooth. Then I used my own beewax wood polish.

Step 6: Final Images

Picture of Final Images
Picture of Final Images
Picture of Final Images

Step 7: Video

Don’t forget to watch the video above. And if you enjoyed it head over to my YouTube Channel and hit subscribe.

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