How to Burn Wood Using a Solder Gun

By Kurt Schanaman

Woodburning art, known as pyrography, is a great way for you to express your artistic side. Use this technique to decorate woodworking projects. There is little need for any specialized tools to move you along on your journey. You might have all the tools you need in your hobby den and just haven't realized it yet. And if not, the necessary items are commonly found in any art or electronics store.

Sand your wood surface with medium-grit sandpaper and then smooth with fine-grit sandpaper.

Draw your art onto the wood using a charcoal pencil set, darkening in large areas to be burned and drawing fine lines, as necessary for your design.

Place a sponge into a bowl and fill with water until the water line is only covering the bottom half of the sponge.

Install your desired soldering tip with which you intend to begin. Adjust the soldering iron temperature to 20 watts for burning fine lines and small areas, increasing the temperature for deep lines and larger areas. Burn your pattern as desired. Brush your soldering iron tip briskly across the wet sponge every two or three minutes to prevent wood from hardening onto the tip.

Use fine-grit sandpaper to erase any lines remaining on your wood surface that you chose not to burn. Unplug soldering iron and allow to cool. Clean your soldering tips according to the instructions included with your set.

Warning

Soldering iron tips can become hot enough to burn through several layers of skin requiring immediate medical attention. Always use your iron with the utmost care. When not handling your soldering iron pencil, always place it in the soldering station holder.

About the Author

Kurt Schanaman has had several editorials printed by the Star-Herald Newspaper publication in Western Nebraska. He attended Western Nebraska Community College.