Making a Copper Branding Iron Handle

In this little video I’m making a steampunk copper branding iron handle for a brass branding heat stamp. I’m using 15mm copper piping and brass compression fittings. It does a great job of branding wood with my logo and looks totally awesome!

Watch the full video here:

How to Make a Copper Branding Iron Handle

Buying a Brass Branding Heat Stamp for Wood

I managed to find a company on Ebay who make custom brass branding iron stamps from a vector logo. I’ve used them a few times and the quality has been superb. The stamp arrives pre-threaded with a small section of threaded rod, ready to be attached to any handle – the thread size is M5.

Making a Branding Iron Handle

I started off by finding some brass compression fittings to use for the handle support. For this I used a 15mm end-stop (compression) and I drilled a hole in the centre to take the threaded rod attached to the branding stamp. I then tapped the hole using an M5 thread tap, fitted a locking nut and washer either side of the threaded rod and tightened everything up. I left around 1cm of clear thread – the longer this gap is, the less the handle will heat up (but you’ll also have less control).

I found some old 15mm copper pipe that was destined for the bin and cut this to approximately 15cm long using a pipe cutter. I cleaned this up using wire wool, applied flux to one end and carefully soldered on a copper end-stop using a solder-ring fitting. Once it had cooled down I cleaned it up with wire wool and then fitted the olive and compression fitting with brand stamp to the end. Time for some test burns!

I heated the branding head up using my blow torch. I wasn’t sure whether the copper handle would be too conductive but thankfully since the threaded rod is so thin the heat transfer up the handle was minimal. I found I could do around 5 stamps before the handle needed to be cooled down or I needed to use gloves. The quality of the logo stamping is perfect!

PRO TIP: Since making this I added a small hole in the end of the handle to allow for expansion of the air inside. I might also try filling the handle with sand, not sure if this will make the heat transfer better or worse. More material to heat up so surely it will be better? Watch this space!

Finally I added another locking nut against the branding iron head to stop it from coming loose.  I cleaned everything up using wire wool and Brasso metal polish to get it all looking lovely.

Using a Branding Iron Logo Stamp

It takes a while to get used to using this thing and applying even pressure can be tricky! However with a little practice the results are fantastic. I’ve since bought some bigger versions of these – they’re even harder to use but again, with a little practice, work great!

Don’t be shy with the heat. I found it was amazing how hot you needed to get the brass to make a usable logo stamp. Apply pressure as evenly as possible – practice lots on different materials to get the hang of it. Always have a pot of water nearby to dunk it in when you’re finished!

Andy Mac
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