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Lichtenberg Electric Etching (Read 4,320 times)
 
Rob Grindler
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Lichtenberg Electric Etching
Sep 5th, 2016 at 7:00pm
 
I have been playing around making plates and playing with Lichtenberg etching on a couple.
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Don French
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Re: Lichtenberg Electric Etching
Reply #1 - Sep 13th, 2016 at 3:41am
 
Here is a cherry bowl I did
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Ed Weber
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Re: Lichtenberg Electric Etching
Reply #2 - Sep 13th, 2016 at 8:36am
 
Rob, may I ask which power source are you using?
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Tom Coghill
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Re: Lichtenberg Electric Etching
Reply #3 - Sep 13th, 2016 at 10:31am
 
Safety is an important issue here.  I have been looking at sites and most seem to use a microwave transformer to step up the voltage... I have also heard that a neon light transformer works well.

I am interested in hearing what is used and how it is set up (Safely)  Thumbs Up
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Tom Brouillette
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Re: Lichtenberg Electric Etching
Reply #4 - Sep 13th, 2016 at 11:05am
 
I've been playing around with this too.  I built my rig for about $50, and it is absolutely safe.  Here are a few of my pieces.  The tall ones look huge, but they are actually bud vases with 1" test tube inserts.
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Tom Brouillette
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Re: Lichtenberg Electric Etching
Reply #5 - Sep 13th, 2016 at 11:09am
 
Here is a picture of my rig.
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Buck Nemitt
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Re: Lichtenberg Electric Etching
Reply #6 - Sep 13th, 2016 at 11:13am
 
Great looking items/ pictures and a very interesting topic to follow.
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What the heck,Give it a try---
 
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Chris Neilan
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Re: Lichtenberg Electric Etching
Reply #7 - Sep 13th, 2016 at 1:11pm
 
Tom Brouillette wrote on Sep 13th, 2016 at 11:09am:
Here is a picture of my rig.


Tom, I am setting up for this and bought a neon transformer. Could you discuss how you made your leads? What type of wiring did you use. I see that the handles are PCV pipe?
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Delta 46-460: awesome
Powermatic 3520: more awesome!
Shopsmith Mark 7: Wonderful! (But I don't use it as a lathe yet)
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Tom Coghill
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Re: Lichtenberg Electric Etching
Reply #8 - Sep 13th, 2016 at 1:34pm
 
I think this could be very interesting... trying different applications of "pre-zap" materials.  What I mean is applying different materials that could make the wood more conductive in areas...where one could "predict" the path of the growth, or enhance the growth in some areas, and not others.... maybe even using colors (colored dyes or  saline solutions applied around colored areas). Huh

There is a very large area here to explore... Shocked
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Tom Brouillette
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Re: Lichtenberg Electric Etching
Reply #9 - Sep 13th, 2016 at 1:49pm
 
from my research, neon transformers work as well as a microwave oven transformer.  I bought mine off ebay for $23 w/shipping, but have no idea what size or type oven it came from.  It made the experimentation pretty exciting.  I used spark plug wires for my leads.  PVC pipe and sharpened SS machine screws for the business end.  I also bought a foot switch from HF, which I really recommend.  It lets you get settled with the electrodes before you apply power.  You need a baking soda or salt solution to get conductivity into the wood.  I really enjoy doing this.
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Tom Brouillette
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Re: Lichtenberg Electric Etching
Reply #10 - Sep 13th, 2016 at 1:56pm
 

My second picture in my first reply (where the rim is burned) was a trial I did with a paintbrush and the baking soda solution applied on the lathe (you only burn where you've wet the wood). I took it off the lathe and did my first burns. Rewetting was tricky, because you want to stay in the same lines. Repeat as necessary to achieve desired results.
I don't know about making the wood more conductive in some places more than others. You want the "slow sizzle" to get the really fine lines. Too much conductivity - you get an arc. Not good for the eyes or the wood. You get a big bruise-looking burn, instead of the fine lines.

I might try different colors.

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« Last Edit: Sep 13th, 2016 at 1:58pm by Tom Brouillette »  
 
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Don French
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Re: Lichtenberg Electric Etching
Reply #11 - Sep 13th, 2016 at 2:43pm
 
Nice work Rob And Tom. Interesting to see what other are doing with it . I use a Microwave transformer and I'm not as brave as Tom I drive in small brads to clip my leads too.
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Rob Grindler
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Re: Lichtenberg Electric Etching
Reply #12 - Sep 15th, 2016 at 11:49am
 
Wow ,have been away camping for a bit and am glad to see this thread take off.
What I did was ,I got a microwave from the thrift store for $15.So that was my cost.
From what I read, a neon set up works better,if you have access to one.
My set up is exactly like the pictures from Tom Brouilette above with the PVC wands.
I also sometimes use alligator clips, attacked to the bare wood or hammer in a small brad nail like Don French does to attach the clips to ,easier on a round object.After the burn you can't see a hole from the brad nail.
A problems I have, is getting good conductivity .Using a mister bottle of baking soda and water while it is burning seems to help.
Love the examples in pics above. Thumbs Up

Safety in doing this is of utmost importance.Doing the wrong thing could kill a person,be careful.

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Tom Coghill
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Re: Lichtenberg Electric Etching
Reply #13 - Sep 15th, 2016 at 3:10pm
 
have you tried a saline solution rather than the soda/water mix?
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Rob Grindler
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Re: Lichtenberg Electric Etching
Reply #14 - Sep 15th, 2016 at 4:49pm
 
Tom Coghill wrote on Sep 15th, 2016 at 3:10pm:
have you tried a saline solution rather than the soda/water mix?


I did try saline solution ,but didn't find it worked better than baking soda.Interesting to see what if others have tried saline and what results they have had.
Did you yourself try it ,or use it?
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