wood burning stylus

Woodburning you ask ?  No, not the kind to keep you warm. The arty farty kind. It’s my ‘new to learn craft’ started today.

This is a photo of the thingy you use, to attach the bits to, that get hot. Got it? Trust me. They get HOT. I know. I picked one up and have the blisters on two fingers to prove it.

YouTube is a wonderful thing you know. Just about anything you want to know can be found on there with ‘how to’ instructions.

Woodburning practice strokes

I watched several of them.

 After that I felt ready to have a bash.

This is my first practice on a bit of scrap wood – drawing lines, curves, stippling, shading, stamping, colouring. Yes! I learnt that anything you can use to colour in on paper you can use to colour in on wood. How cool is that!

I tried out all the different size and shape thingys that get hot to see what they feel like to work with and what kind of marks they leave.

woodburning stylusThey burn bits have this screw on end that fits into the holder with the red handle. Anything from the top end of the handle up gets hot.

Even the handle gets warmish after an hour or so. Maybe it’s not meant to be used that long.

It gets tricky changing the bits. Because they are so hot you have to use a pair of plyers and twirl them anti-clockwise till it pops out.

But do you know what happened? After a while the burny bit only screwed in half way. I guess the heat expanded the insertion point so the bits no longer fitted properly. What that meant was that I was left with a burning tool that had an unstable burny bit. I even bent the screwy shaft on one of them.

wood burning stamps

The other thing I learnt is that you got to be real quick to screw in a cold burny bit by hand as they heat up real quick.

Here’s nine of the eleven stamps in the kit. In order to get a good, clear image, pressure has to be even. And the longer you leave the hot stamp on the wood the darker it gets. I’m talking seconds here. Like 2 maybe 3 at the most but that’s stretching it a bit.

And of course every kind of timber is different to burn. The stamps are on meranti. That’s nice and easy. Pine is a pain although pretty with all the grains. It’s the grains that are a headache for burning. And of course red cedar is just lovely – and fragrant.

I have done many calligraphy courses over the years. The strokes and fonts are familiar to me. What is not is the writing tool itself. The tip of the burny bit is way down far away from your hand which has to control drawing and writing from a distance. That’s tricky as controlling the flow is just as important as the strokes. Otherwise you get left with black dots all over the place. So here’s my first practice bits.

I love learning new crafts!

©  Raili Tanska

Steps for Peace

“Art in its highest form is art that serves and instructs society and human development.”
— Harry Belafonte


33 thoughts on “Woodburning

      1. I know! In my Agatha Christie biog, she bought wooden animals with designs from sellers at Afrian rail stations. She thought they had been made with red hot poker.

      1. I was impressed with your first efforts at calligraphy, but with a dremel… you’d never look back (no, I don’t own shares in the company 🙂 ).
        Can I ask what the project is?

      2. TRH is making some things out of wood to sell – he wants to personalise them. He is very good with wood work. I’m to do the prettying up. I’ll be selling my kritturs and other hand crafted items and he’ll be selling his what-evers. A joint retirement venture 🙂
        You’ve now got me wanting a dremel. The one we have is pretty crappy.

      3. How exciting! Sounds to me like you NEED a dremel. The thing you’re using looks as if it’s been deliberately designed to drive craftspeople around the bend 😉

      4. You’re not wrong! I talked to TRH and he is going to look into getting me one. Checked it out on Bunnings website. They are a very reasonable price. I expect to have one soon 🙂 Have you heard of lightning art? I want to do some of that too! It’s basically using high voltage electricity and baking soda to ‘paint’ on wood…

      5. YES! Result…
        I’ll have to look into lightning art. I’ve never heard of it, but it sounds interesting. I’ve only been half alive for the past few years, but now that I feel happier I want to start creating again. 🙂

    1. There is a fascinating technique called lightning art you can do on wood using electricity and baking soda. You just need to be careful you don’t electrocute yourself in the process, lol

  1. Liking your Site Raili, You almost have the same partner set up as we do 🙂 lol, I am a wood worker of many levels and my partner is a photographer and helps me take pictures of my work. In return I help with her web site. But I like your work here. will be following.

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