Brass Branding Iron

Been playing around with the XCarve for quite a few things. One of which is my new Branding Iron! Making a few for some friends as well, and will post more about that later on! Most of the work was cut out with a 1/8 bit and then details done with 1/16. Can see a quick video here:


Thanks Phil! It was fun, broke a bit or two because them randomly heating up and digging into the brass… and so learned a ton and started with new brass. All in all, happy with how it turned out.

Did you use standard router bits or special bits?


I responded to a similar question over on the youtube thread so will just paste that response here. This particular brand was carved with 1/8" upcut end mill for the majority of the rough work. Then I switched to a 1/16th" end mill for all the detail and really defining the letters. Any carbide or carbide coated bits will work fine. Keep your speeds slow and low so as not to heat up the bit and break it or risk it binding and pulling itself down into the brass.

Thanks Nick. Many YouTube contributors do not respond so I posted it here also. Nice video and thanks for the response.


Uh oh… Brass on an xcarve… watch out!

I started researching it here Dylan: Branding Iron

And correction, I did end up using 1/32 bit for detail. Just went out and checked yesterday. I did a test carve with the 1/16th bit and didn’t like the level of detail with my particular design so went smaller.

C’mon don’t take the bait so easily :wink:

I wish I knew what was going on…

Nothing, just light hearted jabs from another thread :wink:

Love the brand! If i could make a suggestion, drill a hole in the back and tap it for a 1/4-20 partially threaded bolt (or similar).

The handle can be tricky but even a square handle would work well if you chop off the bolt head with an angle grinder and drill a 1/4 hole in the square handle :slight_smile:

Btw, if you decide to drill brass watch out… it is REALLY grabby.

Yeah I had been, among working on other projects and some cool lighted signs I will post soon, thinking about handle ideas. Just hadn’t settled on one yet, though drilling and tapping is a great idea and a good use of this nice tap/die set I have.

I found out how grabby it was by accident when my speeds were too fast and it sucked in my 1/8" bit and started messing up the x carve until luckily the bit broke and I could get over to stop the damn thing.

What was your depth of cut? I’m surprised that it’s grabbing and end mill at all especially at the speed it’s going… a drill for sure.

It was a 1/8" upcut. as for the speeds i dont remember only have the successful speeds saved.

Check these bits out:

They work really well on brass and are cheap enough that you can break a bunch of them without concern, though I find their very sharp tips tend to break off ever so slightly in brass. Generally doesn’t make a difference unless you are doing some really find detail work on the surface. You can get a nice little v-carve and avoid having to use a 1/16 bit.

Also the brass alloy you use will make a big difference… 360 brass is “machining brass” and is likely what you are using, but it’s worth mentioning.

Here is a video of my branding iron creation… it also shows how I make the holding end using really simplistic methods:

Dude! Buying some.

Came across this, you may find it useful:

Fantastic Dylan! Although when I finally decide to tap mine it won’t be all the way through… this is going to come in handy on some upcoming projects for sure man. Thank you for sharing.