Branding Iron

Here’s something I’ve been adding the my repertoire of things the X-carve can do. I milled a branding iron out of solid brass bar. Very satisfied with the precision and clarity of the cut. What do you guys think?


Turned out great. How long did that cut take you?

That’s a great project! I’d love to see the cut details (DOC, speed, etc.)!

that is pretty sweet I have been working on some ideas along those lines I just dont have a way to heat something like that efficiently yet

Awesone! That is something I am definitely going to try.

@JonathanTorrell It tales somewhere between 2 and 3 hrs including my bit changes.

@RobertA_Rieke I’m running at 12IPM, 5IPM plunge with a 0.5" ramp in. DOC is 0.005" I hog out the majority with a 1/4" single flute spiral o bit from ToolsToday. I could use a 3/16, but I had the 1/4" on hand. Then for the detail I’m using either a 1/16 or 1/32 3-flute bit with all the same cut specs.


@ontheEDGE I’m heating it with a MAPP gas torch, but I’ve seen people hook them into soldering irons and wood burners too. You could probably heat it pretty well with a small butane torch as well.

1 Like

Here’s one I just finished up this morning.


What are your rpms? That seems really slow. When I tried to go that slow on brass it got messy. I do 35 ipm at 18k rpms with exactly your other specs- but am using TWO flute bit - maybe that’s why.

Do you have a good resource for brass? It’s very expensive around here and only slightly cheaper online.

@Earwigger I’m not sure the exact RPM, but I’m running it at the number 3 speed on the Dewalt 611. I had very bad results going any faster with my IPM. I was breaking bits left and right. As for the bit, I treat brass like aluminum and I’ve always had great results with the single flute spiral o bits from ToolsToday. They work really well. My 3-flute 1/32 bit was from McMaster and performed extremely well.

I get my brass from


What size stock are you using? I would guess a bout 1/2" x 1", I am I closse.

@DavidSpencer Yeah, I’m using the 1/2" stock. I bought the 1" X 12" piece. I only mill down 1/16" but I need the thickness to drill and tap for a handle.

1 Like

Very neat project! Did you have any problems with the brass grabbing the cutting head? I’ve heard mixed things about milling brass.

@NicholasKoza I didn’t have any issue with it grabbing. I started with a 1/4" single flute meant for aluminum cutting which worked really well. And my depth per pass is very small at 0.005". I mimicked this with the 3-flute 1/32 end mill that came back to clean everything up. The only time I had a little bit of worry was cutting the outside profile. Once the brass got thin, it was hard to keep it in place with just double stick tape. I’d recommend leaving a little material and then filing it off to avoid the work piece coming loose.

@AngusMcleod Because it’s a single hole dead center on the back of the branding iron. I’d have to drill right through the design. Now this could be possible with other types of designs that have dead spots. It just wasn’t possible in either of these for me.

@AngusMcleod That’s actually a great idea. I never thought to do that. I might give that a try next time. Thanks for the tip!

FYI: is available. Love the concepts as a woodworker who has pondered paying well over $100 to order a generic one from a woodworking store. Once again, leveraging the price of the XC1000…

Thanks @MidnightMaker for the heads up. I’ve pondered registering the domain, but I’m just not there yet. Instagram has actually be an incredible tool so far and that’s free.

If there’s anything I could work on for you, just let me know. I love new projects. And both of those custom branding irons were way less than $100 even with shipping included.

1 Like

I use the cheap super glue to hold my metal stock to scrap wood clamped to the waste board then use heatgun or torch to remove

Great project, really got me thinking what the xcarve can do. I bought a custom branding iron of my signature about 15 years ago and paid well over $100 for it. But it was made while I waited/watched.
The fellow who made it did a graphite transfer on a piece of painted brass and then followed it using a manual engraving milling machine. X and Y were hand dials and the Z was a foot pedal. HE wore optivisors and never looked at any thing but the bit and the brass. The whole process took less than 20 minutes. Super impressive.

1 Like