How to Make a Pyrography Woodburner

Pyrography is used on many decorative wood labels.
Pyrography is used on many decorative wood labels. (Image: Goodshoot/Goodshoot/Getty Images)

Very few wood-burning hobbyists, or pyrographers as they are known, construct their own wood-burning equipment. Many may make adjustments to personalize or customize their equipment. Experience with soldering tools and knowledge of soldering techniques are necessary to construct your own pyrography wood-burning tool. The entire task can be done in a few hours to allow time for the epoxy or urethane to fully dry between steps. The benefit of making your own wood-burner is to customize the tip to your desired width and length.

Things You'll Need

  • Soldering gun
  • Solder
  • Hacksaw
  • Ruler
  • Liquid urethane or epoxy glue
  • Cotton balls
  • Power cord
  • 14-gauge solid wire
  • Hollow copper receiver tubes
  • 3/8-inch-diameter phenalic tube, 6 to 8 inches in length
  • 16-gauge nichrome tip wire

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Assemble the 14-gauge wire with the power cord jack. Cut two pieces of 14-gauge wire long enough so that when the back ends are soldered to the power cord jack and the front ends are connected to the copper tubes, it will be flush with the length of phenalic tube.

Solder the two ends of the 14-gauge wire to the jack terminals of the power cord. Slide the phenalic tube over the wire to make sure it's the proper length. Cut either the wire or the tube with a hacksaw, if necessary, to make any adjustments. Remove the tube and set it aside.

Cut two pieces of the copper receiving tube with a hacksaw to 3/4-inch in length. Insert them halfway over the ends of the 14-gauge wire so that 3/8-inch of the tubes extends beyond the ends of the wire.

Solder the copper tubes in place onto the 14-gauge wire. Ensure that they extend the required 3/8-inch beyond the ends of the wire.

Apply liquid urethane or epoxy glue onto the power cord terminal end that was soldered to the wire. Slide the phenalic tube over the top of the wires so that the epoxy can adhere to it. Wait for the adhesive to dry completely before moving on.

Insert a cotton ball into the phenalic tube so that both ends of the copper tubes are parallel. This will hold them in place and prevent the urethane or epoxy from traveling into the void of the phenalic tube.

Apply urethane or epoxy glue into the tip of the tube. Fill the space between the cotton ball and the tip of the tube. Allow the adhesive to dry before continuing.

Form the 16-gauge nichrome wire into the desired tip shape. Solder the two ends of the wire into the 3/8-inch recess of the copper tubes that project beyond the end of the wire.

Plug your pyrography wood-burning tool into a socket. Test it to make sure it works properly and make any adjustments as necessary.

Tips & Warnings

  • Always observe all safety precautions when using a soldering gun.
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