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In December 2021, How long are USPS Priority Mail Packages taking to be delivered?

First — THANK YOU SO MUCH to all of the hard working people in the USPS during this, and every holiday season. I appreciate you SO MUCH. This is a hectic time of year, and your dedication to making everyone’s holidays happy is truly awesome!

My standard shipping for the branding irons I make in my home shop is USPS Priority Mail. A Priority Mail Express Upgrade is available to add to orders when you need the 1-2 day guarantee.

For my customers: The below is a sampling of the time it takes to get an order when you’ve given me the green light to ship it. The below table is my experience with real packages and tracking this holiday season. I’m not in a “hub” city for the USPS. Trenton, Ohio is the origin for the below list of packages:

TABLE LAST UPDATED: 2021-12-13 — Doing great! 5 Calendar Days is the longest as of today.

DestinationDate Shipped# of Calendar Days
NE12/143
CA12/132
FL12/142
TX12/142
PA12/142
RI12/112
VA12/112
NC12/83
NC12/72
OH12/92
PA12/45
NY12/24
NY12/24
NV12/73

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Should I buy an Aluminum or Brass Branding Iron?

If you have been asking yourself “is an aluminum or brass branding iron better?” The answer is that both are good choices and it really comes down to how it will used and cared for.

My advice: Always buy aluminum for food. As far as durability goes, it is hard to be patient enough to damage an aluminum branding iron when holding it by the handle over a flame. Only by propping it up, turning your attention elsewhere, and failing to check it periodically have I seen them damaged. Brass will survive this sort of abuse better.

Either one will make 4-6 impressions before needing another 30 seconds of heating with a torch. Both should be held by hand over the heat source and have their temperatures checked once a minute until the first hint of a mark on scrap wood. Then, I recommend checking them every 30 seconds after that first hint is seen.

Aluminum Branding Irons

Less Expensive

Food Safe ( 6160 alloy has zero lead )

Harder at room temperature

Requires checking their temperature every 30-60 seconds by pressing against a piece of scrap test wood (needed if you want a nice crisp mark with either iron).

Demonstrated to reliably provide 500+ impressions when heated to “branding temperature” (300C). If the wood smokes in about a second, that is hot enough.

Brass Branding Irons

More expensive, but very pretty

Not recommended for food. (360 Brass alloy has a small amount of lead in it to make it free machining).

Requires checking their temperature every 30-60 seconds by pressing against a piece of scrap test wood (needed if you want a nice crisp mark with either iron).

I have never seen one melted even when carelessly heated far beyond the “good mark” temperature.