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I have the Rockler branding iron and I've never been that happy with it.  It seems to take forever to heat up enough to do a fair job.  My kids got it for me several years ago so, it doesn't have my actual logo on it so, thinking it might be time for an upgrade.  Because of it's downsides, it doesn't see as much use as it should and I find myself signing pieces with a sharpie more than I use the iron.

I'm also considering just going to a burning pen so, I'm curious if anyone is signing their pieces this way?  If so, what equipment are you using?

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50 minutes ago, Woodenskye (Bryan) said:

I never thought branding irons worked that well, since you are try to keep small.  A sharpie probably gives the best overall results.  I am curious how an electro etcher like knife makers use would work on wood.  The stencils are really clear.

I've watched Ashley Harwood use the pen to sign freehand and it looks really nice!

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Interested to see what you decide. I have been thinking about a branding iron for a while but the reviews seem to be all over the map almost to the point that I wonder if there is a learning curve some folks aren't aware of.

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18 minutes ago, pkinneb said:

Interested to see what you decide. I have been thinking about a branding iron for a while but the reviews seem to be all over the map almost to the point that I wonder if there is a learning curve some folks aren't aware of.

The learning curve on the one I have is to let it heat up for around 1/2 hour prior to use...lol

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1 hour ago, Kev said:

I've watched Ashley Harwood use the pen to sign freehand and it looks really nice!

I was going t say this and she mentioned in her first series on Marc's guild a specific make and pen tip that see liked.  

The branding iron that I got this past Christmas has done well so far it takes about ten minutes to warm up.

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“If you don’t have time to do it right, when will you have time to do it over?”  John Wooden

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I too have the one from Rockler and found that uneven pressure gives uneven results. I made a small jig with the opening the height of the iron and it fits over a strip of wood sized to about 1/8” space top and bottom.  I can then make several brands on thin strips of different types of woods and cut them to length, discarding any that didn’t come out as desirable. These are then glued to the work piece. 

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Have any of you tried the ones that you heat with a torch? I’ve been thinking about going that route and didn’t like the electric idea with the element wearing out in a few years was my thought. 

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8 minutes ago, Jamie said:

Have any of you tried the ones that you heat with a torch? I’ve been thinking about going that route and didn’t like the electric idea with the element wearing out in a few years was my thought. 

I have not tried it..  The reason why is that you only get one shot at having enough heat to make the brand.  With the electric, if it's not hot enough when you apply it, you just hold it longer...lol

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16 minutes ago, Kev said:

I have not tried it..  The reason why is that you only get one shot at having enough heat to make the brand.  With the electric, if it's not hot enough when you apply it, you just hold it longer...lol

Very good point. I really like the idea of branding over a sharpie, if the piece ever gets refinished there is a chance that the history will be lost. 

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7 minutes ago, Jamie said:

Very good point. I really like the idea of branding over a sharpie, if the piece ever gets refinished there is a chance that the history will be lost. 

I usually sign pieces in a place where it would probably survive a refinish..

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29 minutes ago, Jamie said:

if the piece ever gets refinished there is a chance that the history will be lost.

Are you talking about when someone buys one of you pieces in an antique store decades from now, takes it home and paints it. Lol

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“If you don’t have time to do it right, when will you have time to do it over?”  John Wooden

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