The guides below aim to get you started with Bespoke Branding Iron creation
Creating a Bespoke Branding Iron – How to Proceed
Iron branding is among the most reliable techniques for casting permanent marks on a diversity of materials, like wood, leather, plastics, and many more. The technique finds extensive use in engraving and die-sinking applications. There are different types of branding irons available in the market for addressing the most specific needs of material marking. However, there are some great choices for customized manufacturing of these tools. You can even create a bespoke branding iron of your own. Keep reading to have a detailed insight into the process.
Stepwise Instructions to Create a Bespoke Branding Iron
Before proceeding with the process, let us have a look at what you will need to bring your branding equipment to life:
Material Requirements: Wood, Steel rod, Threaded insert, and Varnish
Tools Needed: Wood and metal lathe, Bandsaw Drill press, Pliers, Sandpaper or files, Threading die, and Blowtorch
Take Enough Precautions
Taking on the task of creating a bespoke brand iron sounds exciting enough. It is, however, important to understand the risks of the process. You are about to deal with extremely hot metal and taking enough precautions to prevent physical harm is necessary. Make sure you are prepared with immediate safety arrangements before getting on the go. Do not attempt to check the temperature of the metal being processed with any of your body parts. When you are ready with everything, proceed to the next step.
Design the Brand
The brand designing process can be conveniently addressed with a suitable CAD program. Start with extruding the design to a few millimeters and add a backplate to it. If your design has several individual parts, such as text, logos, etc., the backplate comes in handy to hold everything together. It also extends enough support for additional fixtures. Attach the different parts of your brand’s design into a single assembly with a small bridge. Take care to make a mirrored design to ensure that it creates a rightly aligned mark.
Order and Receive the Brand
Get the design of your bespoke brand iron 3D printed in stainless steel from a preferred online printing service. Attaching the design parts to a bridge makes them appear as a single piece. Since printing services demand charges for each part, you can save enough money through the bridge arrangement. Check the material guidelines of the service for stainless steel and ensure that your brand adheres to them. Upload the design file and wait for the printing service to automatically verify the same. Place the order and wait for delivery.
Go Ahead with Print Cleaning
As you unpack the 3D print of your brand design in stainless steel, it may require some cleaning. Start with removing the bridge with a pair of durable pliers. Clean the remaining stub with some sand, followed by slightly chamfering the cylinder all through the surface. You can now proceed with threading the cylinder.
Begin Threading the Cylinder
Threading the cylinder into the hard iron metal can be a little tricky. Start with holding the brand lightly through the vice and putting it in a drill press. The drill chuck applies downward pressure on the threading die while the handle is turned. Select and fit the correct die into the handle. Initiate a slow threading process with evenly maintained downward pressure. The die moves into the handle after a couple of turns. This will help to attach the support to your bespoke branding iron during material branding.
Make the Tool’s Handle
There are several ways to make the handle of the branding iron. You can clamp a block of oak in the wood lathe for making a simple handle. The process has nothing complex as such, but a lot depends on your comfort level with using the lathe. There are limitless options for experimenting with the handle’s design. In case a lathe is not available, the job can also be accomplished with everyday tools at hand. It’s all about shaping and you can take creative liberty.
Fit a Threaded Insert
When you are done with the handle, drill a recess at its end and fit in a threaded insert. Take caution to match this one with the thread in the metal band. Add some epoxy resin to the threaded insert before you start pressing it inside. This will prevent the threaded insert from coming out of the handle. If a hydraulic press is not available, you can use a drill press for pressing down the insert. A careful tap with a plastic or rubber hammer can also fix the cue.
Finish and Extend the Handle
Wait for the epoxy resin to dry out. You can now remove the base for sanding down the handle. When the sanding process is completed, coat the handle with varnish for protection. For the handle extension process, you can drill a hole at the end of the rod stock, while matching the thread on the bespoke branding iron. Turn it over, followed by cutting a male thread at the second end to fit the threaded insert into the handle. There is enough distance between the tool and the handle for avoiding physical harm.
Tool Assembling and Quality Improvement
Having all the parts at hand, it’s time to proceed with the tool assembling process. There should be no issues here if the previous steps are completed with perfection. To improve the brand quality, it is advisable to lightly sand the surface of the brand against a flat surface. Smoothing out the rough 3D-printed metal helps in heat transfer to the target material, which creates neater brands.
Begin heating the brand with a blowtorch. There is some hit and trial on the hotness of the brand, the duration of material contact, and like parameters. Different materials may have different reactions to the applied heat. Leather substrates, for example, contract on heating and require wetting and smoothening for getting back into the correct shape.
Creating your bespoke branding iron can sound cool and tempting to try on. You should, however, pay heed to the precautionary measures, and follow the design process with enough vigilance.