Branding / stamping questions

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Forum topic by BTimmons posted 185 days ago 1089 views 1 time favorited 38 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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2117 posts in 1120 days

185 days ago

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


8476 posts in 2283 days

#1 posted 185 days ago

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


216 posts in 1241 days

#2 posted 185 days ago

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

13833 posts in 973 days

#3 posted 185 days ago

The buster stamp is really cool.

-- Mother Nature created it, I just assemble it. - It's not ability that we often lack, but the patience to use our ability

View BTimmons's profile


2117 posts in 1120 days

#4 posted 185 days ago

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


2495 posts in 986 days

#5 posted 185 days ago

You could get a wood burner and just sign it.

-- Bondo Gaposis

View BTimmons's profile


2117 posts in 1120 days

#6 posted 185 days ago

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


2188 posts in 846 days

#7 posted 185 days ago

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.

-- "The American Republic will endure until the day Congress discovers that it can bribe the public with the public's money." Alexis de Tocqueville, 1835

View BTimmons's profile


2117 posts in 1120 days

#8 posted 185 days ago

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

-- Brian Timmons -

View distrbd's profile


1075 posts in 1081 days

#9 posted 185 days ago

Here are 2 links for branding tools:

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

-- Ken from Ontario

View distrbd's profile


1075 posts in 1081 days

#10 posted 185 days ago

View mrjinx007's profile


1376 posts in 402 days

#11 posted 185 days ago

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

361 posts in 869 days

#12 posted 185 days ago

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


2411 posts in 2377 days

#13 posted 185 days ago

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

-- "If we did all the things we are capable of doing, we would literally astonish ourselves." Edison

View 7Footer's profile


1011 posts in 583 days

#14 posted 185 days ago

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!

-- If a kid asks where rain comes from, I think a cute thing to tell him is "God is crying." And if he asks why God is crying, another cute thing to tell him is "Probably because of something you did." -

View rhett's profile


697 posts in 2302 days

#15 posted 185 days ago

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.


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