Woodburning is a form of pyrography,or burning designs and words into wood. It can be done with patterns, or directly from your own imagination. Here are some tips to help woodburning run smoothly.
Woodburning, or wood pyrography, is the art of scorching a design into a wooden surface. Uses of this technique include decorating:
- or anything else you can imagine
It can be done with a heated metal poker, or with a purchased burner
, and stains or colors can be added as desired. View our Pyrography Tools
page for information on different tools of the trade.
Once you have decided on a type of wood, it is important to always sand down the surface before beginning. This gets rid of any flaws in the timber, and will make the whole project look better when it is finished.
|Etching a design into the work is a good next step. This is a great way to avoid many woodburning mistakes. Not only does this put a picture onto the project, it also carves a thin trail in the wood for the woodburning tool to follow. Without this, the burner could end up accidentally following the natural grain and making an un-erasable mistake.
Another good idea is to experiment with different woodburning tips (a good book on the subject can be found here) before starting. Some will create thin, flowing lines. Others are good for shading. Still others have no desirable purpose that I can discover. The point is to know what tip will create what effect, and how you can use that effect to get the best look in your woodburning.
| Before purchasing:
View our Pyrography Store for more!
|One thing to keep in mind before purchasing supplies, is that cheap timber might be nice, but it creates many issues when beginning your project. As mentioned above, woodburning tools have a tendency to follow the natural grain of the material they are working on. Cheap materials mean unnatural grains, and even more and deeper grains than normal. This means that mistakes are more likely to occur, and are often more noticeable.
Cheap timber also has a tendency to catch the woodburning tip and hold it there just a millisecond longer than it is held when following a smooth line. This creates areas within the line that are thicker and deeper than in the rest of the woodburning project. When finished this gives a choppy, even ugly, appearance.
I would suggest starting on cheaper materials, but only when experimenting and learning how to use woodburning tools. Any important or detailed projects need to be done on better quality surfaces.
You can add color to your woodburning project by scorching over colored pencil or paint. If you choose to do this, use a non-wax based colored pencil. Wax often runs when heated, which makes it difficult to control. If you are using paints, read the label and make sure that the paint does not contain ingredients that are toxic when heated.
Finally, no project is not finished just when the woodburning is done. Using a nice stain will give the whole piece a more elegant look. I suggest a honey or cherry stain, but only because I think they look really good with the natural color that is etched into the surface when woodburning.
If you are interested in woodburning, you may also be interested in: