Been wanting to have another try with the pyrography set, and at the WoodShow I picked up the equivalent of a primer for wood burning from Carrolls Woodcraft Supplies.

Not the easiest design either, but something I was interested in trying.


Think it came out ok (but I won’t be showing it against the lifelike example!)

Invaluable Treasure

I had a cool idea tonight, so got my 4 year old to draw a picture of our family on a piece of timber, then used the woodburner to trace each of the lines drawn as precisely as possible.

What has resulted is an awesome picture that will last forever, rather than one that will be lost in time in the ever increasing pile of her endless drawings and paintings.

For those playing at home, from left to right is Jessica, Daddy, Mummy, our house, and our two cats.

Painting with Fire

I had a bit of a play yesterday with the Hot Wire pyrography set, rather than just abstract scribbles I tried to be a bit more serious and actually create something.

This is my first attempt- it isn’t very good (especially compared to those out there who have years of experience), but still, it is quite interesting painting with fire. It is not just charring the timber- you are right at the point of ignition of the timber.


I used a couple of pens, so I didn’t have to keep changing the nibs. I’m going to do a bit of an edit to the tool as well, so there are two plugs for the pens rather than just one, as I was finding changing from one to the other that everything felt a little flimsy, and if I kept doing it, one day something would break. So if I add a second plug point, and a switch so I could choose which pen was heated, then this will no longer be a problem.


The speed that the pen heats is excellent- no real waiting around for it at all- 10 seconds maximum from switching on to having it at working temp. Also means varying the tip temperature is very responsive as well, and at the end of a session, the pen doesn’t remain hot and a fire hazard for long either.

When you crank the temp up (800C or so), you really are painting with fire!


Quite fun all up, and something I can do without treking out to the shed if I don’t want.

Now I just have to get one of those computer controlled lasers (or a small CNC machine and give it the pen to hold rather than a router). Hmm- wonder what a computer plotter costs- give it the hot poker rather than its normal pen!

Burnin’ down the house

Sure there are a whole bunch of different fire-related titles that come to mind when you think about it. Burnin’ for you, Mississippi Burning, Burn Baby Burn, but little for Pyros (other than perhaps Porno for Pyros).

Seems very few people have heard the term pyrography (other than those around woodworking circles perhaps).

Dropped down to the local library to see what they had, and after explaining what the term meant, we found “Woodburning with Style”

Just happened to be the only book they had, and exactly the one my Mum had suggested (she has recently gotten a pyrography set as well).

Another I’ve seen is “The Complete Pyrography” which also looks very good

Both look quite informative.  Of course it is one thing to learn the techniques, it is another to also have the artistic side to really get the most out of this type of tool.  I can get the first easily enough from books, the web, and playing around with the tool.  The second, well I’ll just have to fake it.

There are an amazing number of different tips for burning pens, and some rather cool effects such as one designed to specifically produce bird feather textures.  Now just have to find some more nibs that fit my particular model.  Only seem to be able to source some variety for the Peter Brenn pen I have from Germany. (Carbatec have a standard set of 3, but I’m wondering about the dozens of others, and variety of sizes?)  More research required.

Notice that there is a pyrography display at the upcoming Melbourne Wood Show.  Guess I’ll be paying more attention this time around!


Father’s Day

So hope all the Dads out there had a great Father’s Day!  It really came up quickly on me – being away for 10 days would have had something to do with that.

I had a good day with family, from being jumped on at 7am by my 4 year old, through to opening the presents she had expertly wrapped and into the day itself.

Other than a few interesting DVDs and some other bits n pieces, one of the really interesting things (that is relevant to “da shed”) was a quality hot-wire pyrography set.

The set I was given is the Brenn Peter Junior.  It is a hot-wire, with a temperature range from 350 C to 800 C.  Unlike a soldering iron (and the similarly designed pyro tools), the hot wire heats almost instantaneously – it is very responsive to the temperature settings.

I wasn’t of a mind to use it for its standard purpose, but to use it to accent some turnings.  However, once we (as a family) had a bit of a play on a flat bit of timber, that may actually change.  It is quite fun, and the term is more appropriate than it seems as at the higher temperatures flames often do lick around the tip.

So a fun Father’s Day for me – hope everyone else had an equally good day.

Bandsawn Castles

One of my work colleagues bought one in for me to have a look at. I have a book with plans for a few, but had never seen one in-person before, so thought I’d put some photos of it here for you as well.


This one starts off as any other lump of branch, with a few bandsawn squiggles running through it. (The base is cut off initially, and glued back at the end.) The timber is Tasmanian Huon Pine.


Here you can just make out that the cuts have been made at a slight angle – 1/2 to 1 degree or so.


When you open it up (basically by tipping it upside down), the castle suddenly appears! (The windows have been burnt in with a pyrography pen) What I like is different layers of the castle have different amounts of extension, because of the variation in the angle they were cut. Very clever and effective!


This last view is from the back, just to give you a better idea on how it all works.

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