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Thread: Branding iron medallions

  1. #1
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    Branding iron medallions

    Fellas, I just had an aluminum branding iron to identifty my woodworking projects. I had an idea that instead of branding the item itself...I would make wooden medallions and then brand those medallions by using a jig to center things and then inlay the medallions into the project for a special touch. This way, you could also eliminate the chance that you get a crappy brand onto the actual project. By making these medallions, you can discard any bad brands and only utilize the good ones and thus, guarantee that you don't muff up the project by an ugly transfer. My question is...I obviously would like to use a forstner bit to hog out the inlay hole. My brand could use any of three ( 1 3/4" - 2" and 2 1/8") forstner bits. The problem is crafting a way to obtain the proper fitting medallion? I am thinking making a jig to use with a router and a guide bushing set up that, when accounting for the difference between the bushing and the outside of the bit...would end up one of those forstner bit sizes. I realize that it would take some touchy sizing..but I figure go a hair small on the original diameter and carefully work my way out by sanding the template until I get a good fit. I have always loved working with red oak and I am figuring on using red oak for the medallions and probably a 1/4" thick. Cut them into a piece of wood and then run them through the tablesaw to free them from the stock. Does anyone have a better idea or another idea? Would appreciate hearing any ideas. Thanks guys
    There's one in every crowd......and it's usually me!

  2. #2
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    I believe I would just buy them in whatever size I needed, rather than trying to make them. Here is one place that has the size you want.

  3. #3
    I think I'd buy them too. 10 cents apiece sure is cheap

    You could also get a dowel and cut off slices if you want an end grain look.

  4. #4
    You could use a plug cutter to make the medallion out of any species you have in the shop. I have used these with good results.
    https://wlfuller.com/html/standard.html

  5. #5
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    Yes, buy the medallions and then make an inlay template to use your smallest router to do the recess that fits the medallions you acquired. Robert's link is a good example of why...100 of the things for under ten bucks. You can't acquire raw, thin material for that kind of cost.

    BTW, I think this is a good idea for the reason that was being discussed on Facebook...consistency. It's sometimes hard to get the right match of temperature and contact time for a "perfect" image. If you mess up a medallion that costs a penny, it's a lot less painful than messing up a finished project with a bad brand. DAMHIKT!
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    The most expensive tool is the one you buy "cheaply" and often...

  6. #6
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    Guys...thank you. I knew if I came here, I could benefit by "new eyes"! Jim knows from FaceBook that I intend on making a jig to center the iron on the medallion and that should be a piece of cake. That will alleviate the centering aspect of the fabrication of the medallion. If I screw one up...no big deal...give it away as a souvenir or something to freinds. Only the accepted transfers will make it to any fabricated furniture. Thanks again. The medallions that Robert suggested have been ordered. One thing that will be different though...these medallions are 2" in diameter. I can drill out the recess with a 2" forstner bit.
    Last edited by Fred Voorhees; 11-29-2021 at 9:25 PM.
    There's one in every crowd......and it's usually me!

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fred Voorhees View Post
    GOne thing that will be different though...these medallions are 2" in diameter. I can drill out the recess with a 2" forstner bit.
    Keep in mind that a 2" piece will not necessarily fit in a 2" recess...you need a small allowance for the medallion to slip in without pounding the heck out of it. Sometimes running some sandpaper around the edge of the medallion will give you enough room; sometimes it will not. When I do this kind of thing on the CNC, for example, I add a small allowance to the size of the rebate/pocket so it's a "proverbial hair" larger than the thing that will insert into it.
    --

    The most expensive tool is the one you buy "cheaply" and often...

  8. #8
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    If you visit our Laser Engraving forum you can find dozens of people who can laser engrave custom medallions for you any size your want. The detail available from laser engraving is a much higher quality then any heat stamp. You can also select the wood species and any graphic you prefer.
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