Making a branding logo for wood

  • I’m working on building some small wood beer totes, and want to be able to burn in a customers logo with a heated brand.
    Looking around it seems like the most direct path would be to use a CNC router and some aluminum stock once I’ve generated GCode of the logo.

    Wondering if anyone has some suggestions for alternative methods or thoughts on feasibility with the 3020 router?

  • Founder

    Two thoughts, will aluminum get hot enough? And will it be cost effective?

  • From this companies info and product doesn’t sound like heat retention on aluminum would be an issue.

    Brand would be up to 4"x4", looks like a cut depth of 1/8" is sufficient?

  • Aluminum alloys become brittle and easy to break just shy of the melting point. It was described as being easy to break apart an aluminum rim by heating it on a BBQ

  • Hmmm just doing a quick google wood chars at 120-150 degC ignition temps are 190-260. Melting point of aluminum isn’t until 660 so I should be able to heat the brand without getting carried away.

  • Design Lab

    A few points:

    isnt the laser engraver ideal for burning a logo into wood?

    if you create a metal ‘mask’ of the logo, if can be applied by torch

    Another method is to vinyl cut thick mask and sandblast the logo - spray paint before removing the mask.

    my two bits…

  • Design Lab

    Ive seen these brands attached to a soldering iron, as well, with interchangeable logo attachments.

  • Aluminum would work fine for this application, brass would heat up quicker and last longer but it’s far more expensive. Doesn’t sound like it’s going to be used for production type branding though anyways. Lots of people like the uniqueness of a branded logo vs laser.

  • You could 3D print the logo and cast the brand in aluminium with the lost PLA process? Just a thought, might be a good route to take if the logo was highly detailed and had a lot of convex or concave profiles.

  • Linux

    @pierre is this an EDM project?

    Learning and working on learning more!


  • Aluminum is very easy to work with. If the logo isn’t too complicated. It can be done with a mix of hand tools and power tools.

  • Design Lab

    Let me know if you need any help refining the vector file or making a computer cut mask of it. I would be very interested in observing this project, and possibly making my own ‘brand’ to sign my woodwork projects! I’ll stay tuned.

  • Design Lab

    Just wanted to say that I did make a “16” brand out of aluminum (with help from @fullmetalbuddha and @arasbm . The business end was a disc of 8 mil aluminum with 5/16" ready rod screwed into the back (with help from @pierre). I made a wood dowel handle for it, too.

    It looked real pro, until I realized the “16” should have been milled backwards! Go ahead: laugh!

  • Design Lab

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  • Design Lab

    0_1467532237323_brand small.jpg

  • Design Lab

    It get’s better:

    I go to this gathering with my brand (backwards be dammed) and in my excitement I plunge it into the coals of the fire for about 5 minutes.

    When I pulled it out, the last drops of molten aluminum were dripping off the end of the readyrod!


    So, I’m choked! But I still have the ready rod handle, including the backing nut and washer, so I go to my truck and get a metal coat hanger I happen to have and using my leatherman I hand fashion a “16” with a loop setback and attach it to the handle! Im excited. I put it in the coals and pull it out after about 2 minutes and… it brands a perfect “16” into the post of the shelter!



    Anyway, let this be a lesson to you, brand-makers…

  • @Vaughn Find a piece of scrap steel. Maybe one of those scraps that Aras brought from the plasma cutting outfit. We’ll mill it out of proper \m/ etal, and weld it to the ready-rod so you can get it glowing red hot.

  • @Vaughn LOL! Thank you so much for sharing this epic fail experience instead of quietly sweeping it under the rug :smile:

    I am sorry, I stared at that 16 for at least 30 minutes while it was cutting and it never occurred to me that it will be mirrored image when we burn it. Well at least now we know a few ways NOT to make a brand. :smiley:

    Don’t give up just yet. I have a feeling next brand will work awesome. @pierre has a pretty promising idea there.

    I still it was totally worth the experience, so thanks!

  • Ha …I’ve done the same for a pewter mold made from mdf.

    I made a brand for myself and lush cosmetics. If it is big enough just use steel strap 1/8×3/4" on edge. Just like the cowboys.

  • Metal

    I’ve got to take some credit for that fail. I also spent quite a bit of time designing and scaling the “16” and totally missed that it wasn’t a mirror image.

  • Can someone put together a workshop/ learning party? I too want to make my brother a brand or burnt looking label for his custom reclaimed furniture as well as a wooden buz card like the ones you guys had at the fundraiser.

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