Branding Iron

W[quote=“TinKirFX, post:16, topic:20201”]
I’d have to drill right through the design.

hy not use a piece of threaded rod of the right size and tpi to match the inserts on your table, (mine are 1/4-20) and drill and tap the back of the iron to match? then just spin it down tot eh table surface?

To prevent it from spinning or moving while being machined DS tape some wood blocks next to it to prevent movement.


Hey Kris, I got a few questions and since you seem to be the one with the most success on this forum at milling brass/metal brands, I was wondering why do you have to use v-carve software to mill the metal brands? Can’t I just use imported svg from illustrator of my logo/type right into easel? What’s the advantage of using v-carve software? My logo is more boxy and bold with no small type. Any knowledge and tips shared are greatly appreciated, Thanks.

Hey Blake, you don’t “need” v-carve software to mill the brands. That’s just another method that has worked for me. I started out just using a 2 step pocketing toolpath roughing it out with a 1/4" or 3/16" bit and then doing the detail pass with a 1/32" endmill.

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I was wondering if you wouldn’t mind sharing the direct links to the actual two bits you’re currently using, would be greatly appreciated. Still playing around with milling brass and aluminum w/ mixed results… Cheers!

There’s two size bits I use for most of the clearing and that’s either the 1/4" single flute (part no 51452) or the 3/16" single flute (part no 51450) all from

For the detail work I’m using either a 1/32" endmill from McMaster Carr (part no 8515A212) or the chamfer mill for greater detail (part no 3073A62).

I hope this helps.

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Dude you really should grab that .com. Even if you are not doing something with it right now, you dont want some other shmoe getting it and then you cant even use your own handle.

Grab it. Go to and make a free website with it… just have it link to your Instagram/facebook whatever. You dont need it to be a full fledged site until you want it to be. it is like $10 a year to maintain your domain name


Thanks for the reply and your willingness to share, your insight is much appreciated!

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Absolutely! That’s what this community is all about.


Please explain
What that is: 121PM, 51PM and 0,5 ramp in. DOC 0,005.

And did you use a normal bit or a special bit for metals ?

Kristian / Sweden

IPM stands for inches per min. That’s the travel speed of one of your axis. So the machine cuts in the XY direction at 12 IPM and plunges the bit into the material on the Z axis at 5 IPM. A 0.5" ramp means that the machine will travel a distance of a 1/2" while the Z comes down. This provides less stress on the bit over stopping and plunging down in one spot. DOC means depth if cut. This is how much material you cut off in a single pass. This is also known as a step down. So I’m cutting 0.005" if material at a time.

As for buts, there are special ones to use. I describe them and where to buy them further up in this post.

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I stumbled on this thread a few months back, just wanted to say thanks to @TinKirFX. The suggested feed rates worked great for my iron. Its been a bit of an experimenting process actually using it, but its getting better.


This thread is absolutely awesome! You’ve made EXACTLY what I hope to be able to make for myself. I can get all the bits that you mention, I have the vector artwork, and I have access to an X-Carve through a local maker’s space. My one question however is… the X-carve that is at the maker’s space has a standard DeWalt woodworking lathe. It seems like router RPM is important. The router may very well have variable speed and can handle it no problem. But when you cut your brass branding iron, did you use a special “metal cutting” router, or could a woodworking router work too?
BTW… I’ve never used an X-carve or a CNC machine before. Pardon my ignorance.

I noticed the 1/32" bit from McMaster has only a cutting depth of 5/64". How did you get yours to cut deeper? Or is it just the angle of the pictures?

I only mill down 0.06”, so the bit is more than capable.

What font did you use on the “Hemphill” brand? Thanks in advance.

I’m honestly not sure. The file was provided for me already as a CAD.

I was about to try this out this weekend, until it said my carve would take around 53 hours to complete. I only have a 1/32" bit that’s suitable for this material, so i get it taking a while, but more than 2 days? that’s insane. Might have to go ahead and order a carbide set of larger bits to get rid of most of the material.

What are your settings for the 1/32 bit? Feeds, speeds, stepover, depth of cut? Also, how big is the piece you’re trying to cut? If I remember correctly, I ran mine at about 25-30IPM, 25% stepover and a 0.005" depth of cut.

I went with the recommended settings for aluminum. i think it was 5 in/min for feed rate, 2 in/min for plunge rate and .002 in depth per pass.

I’d only be cutting 1/16" deep total. The brass is 1/2" thick, 4" x 1". here’s a screenshot of what i was trying to make. and i just realized i need to mirror the image. kinda glad I decided not to do it yet haha

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Hey, sorry, I haven’t been on here in a while. I’d set your router RPM as fast as it’ll go, try a 0.005” depth of cut at 20-30IPM cutting speed and 15IPM plunge. That’s about what I used to run.