Branding / stamping questions

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Forum topic by BTimmons posted 02-26-2014 05:27 PM 2100 views 1 time favorited 38 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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2303 posts in 2719 days

02-26-2014 05:27 PM

I’ve been trying a few different ways to brand my recent projects, but haven’t found anything that works just yet. My biggest problem is size constraints. I need something that would go on the spines of my combs.

Click for details

This is the workable area that I could use.

I don’t want to fork over the $200 + for a custom electric branding iron. First I tried woodburning with a detail tip. Although I’m actually pretty good at drawing, it’s way too hard and time consuming to get decent results on such a small scale. Then I tried toner transfer with a laser printer. First with heat transfer, then with acetone. Then I realized that whenever I saw these methods illustrated on YouTube it was on pine or some other porous wood, but I’m using cherry and the results were always awful. The wood is too dense and fine grained for that method to work, apparently.

My brother the metalworker suggested I look at metal stamp kits like this. Anyone else gone this route? Any other simple, low cost suggestions are very welcome.

-- Brian Timmons -

38 replies so far

View PurpLev's profile


8548 posts in 3883 days

#1 posted 02-26-2014 05:39 PM

I am using those metal stamps, but mainly to stamp on metal – and mostly single to 2 characters max. for repeated operation of a brand, and for ease of use, I would suggest against those, and more towards a branding iron, or a custom made single stamp that would include your entire branding into a single punch.

-- ㊍ When in doubt - There is no doubt - Go the safer route.

View Woodendeavor's profile


276 posts in 2841 days

#2 posted 02-26-2014 05:50 PM

I use a custom r buster stamp as a makers mark.

you can get them in sizes as small as 1/8

View Monte Pittman's profile

Monte Pittman

30128 posts in 2572 days

#3 posted 02-26-2014 06:32 PM

The buster stamp is really cool.

-- Nature created it, I just assemble it.

View BTimmons's profile


2303 posts in 2719 days

#4 posted 02-26-2014 07:05 PM

Hmm. The Buster stamp might be worth looking at long term. For now I might just have to get the HF letter kit and just stamp “BT”. Funds are tight at the moment.

-- Brian Timmons -

View bondogaposis's profile


5148 posts in 2586 days

#5 posted 02-26-2014 07:07 PM

You could get a wood burner and just sign it.

-- Bondo Gaposis

View BTimmons's profile


2303 posts in 2719 days

#6 posted 02-26-2014 07:51 PM

I have a wood burner, just haven’t been able to get good results with text 1/8th of an inch tall.

-- Brian Timmons -

View JayT's profile (online now)


6003 posts in 2445 days

#7 posted 02-26-2014 07:59 PM

Brian, have you see how I am “branding” my shop built planes?

Starting with 1/4in stamps, then I use the stamped letters as a guide to carve out with a Dremel and fill with tinted epoxy. I don’t know why a similar idea wouldn’t work for your combs. Stamp the initials, then either use that as a guide to burn with a pointed tip or just fill the stampings with colored epoxy and sand flush.

-- In matters of style, swim with the current; in matters of principle, stand like a rock. Thomas Jefferson

View BTimmons's profile


2303 posts in 2719 days

#8 posted 02-26-2014 08:02 PM

Not a bad idea, Jay! I’ll have to try that.

-- Brian Timmons -

View distrbd's profile


2252 posts in 2681 days

#9 posted 02-26-2014 08:35 PM

Here are 2 links for branding tools:

but I still like the one LV sells:,43456,43462

-- Ken from Ontario, Canada

View distrbd's profile


2252 posts in 2681 days

#10 posted 02-26-2014 08:45 PM

I wonder if a BBQ branding iron could be modified to work on wood:

-- Ken from Ontario, Canada

View mahdee's profile


4041 posts in 2002 days

#11 posted 02-26-2014 08:51 PM

distrbd, I have really thought about those. I bet they can tolerate high heat; just have to be careful how much pressure is applied because it would be hard to place it exactly where it was once applied.


View Gerald Thompson's profile

Gerald Thompson

1141 posts in 2469 days

#12 posted 02-26-2014 08:53 PM

I saw a You tube video and the person said to use an ink jet printer as a laser does not transfer well. He used a wood burning kit from HF and one of the tips was a large round circle. This was used to make the ink transfer onto the wood.
I do not recall what I was looking for when I came across it.

-- Jerry

View DrDirt's profile


4526 posts in 3977 days

#13 posted 02-26-2014 08:54 PM

I would partner up with a local trophy shop that will laser engrave them for about 5 bucks.

Or you can use a razortip woodburning tool

-- “The two most important days in your life are the day you are born and the day you find out why.” Mark Twain

View 7Footer's profile


2569 posts in 2183 days

#14 posted 02-26-2014 09:14 PM

Brian when you used the heat transfer what kind of paper were you using? At first I was using regular copy paper (24lb. 98 bright) and it was crap, the paper burned too quickly and left marks on the wood. Then I decided to try some other paper I had (it was HP Premium Choice Laser, 32lb. 98 bright) that was considerably thicker, and that made a world of difference. I haven’t tried any other paper since because results have been so much better, but I would even try a lighter cardstock. I’ve been using that little Weller woodburning tool with the transfer tip on it. Also it does help a ton to dissipate some of the heat onto a piece of scrap before starting the transfer (or just plug it in about 2-3 minutes before you’re ready), unless you have the Walnut Hollow tool that has a temperature control.

I’ve been experimenting with several different methods for a while now too and heat transfer has given me the best results… And although I haven’t tried it on cherry I have had success with maple, oak, ash, purpleheart, poplar and plywood. And I always do the transfer before applying a finish.

Hope that helps!

EDIT: btw- your combs are badass!


View rhett's profile


742 posts in 3902 days

#15 posted 02-26-2014 09:21 PM

I agree with DrDirt, find someone with a laser engraver. You can get crisp detail down to 1/64”. Shouldn’t be a few buck per piece.

-- Doubt kills more dreams than failure.

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