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Lichtenberg Wood Burner (Read 1,659 times)
 
Steve Doerr
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Joplin, Missouri, USA
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Robust American Beauty
Lichtenberg Wood Burner
Nov 10th, 2016 at 1:22pm
 
After reading all of the pros and cons of building my own Lichenberg machine, I decided I did not want to take a chance on getting the wrong neon transformer and possibly connecting the wires incorrectly.  Plus, based on everyone’s warning about electrocution etc. I was very reluctant to take a chance on a self-built machine.  (I didn’t want my wife to inherit all of my tools just yet Grin) Thus, I bit the bullet and purchased the Conestoga Lichtenberg Wood Burner.  I have practiced on some scrap wood and also used it on a junk bowl and HF.  From these experiences, there are a few observations that I made that might be of interest or help to those looking at doing Lichtenberg wood burning.

1.      The Conestoga machine is well built and easy to use.  It also was designed with safety as one of it major priorities.
2.      I have an old 2x4 and plywood platform with a rubber mat that I stand on when I’m using it.
3.      The foot pedal is a very effective and useful on/off switch when using the burner.
4.      Like any piece of equipment or machine that is dangerous to operate, be sure and follow all of the safety rules. (Think about when you first learned how to drive, use a table saw, bandsaw or lathe.  You were scared to death that you might get hurt or even hurt or kill someone else.  But now you are more comfortable using those items but still have the necessary respect for the piece of equipment to insure the safety of yourself and others.)
5.      The electricity can arc between the two probes while on the wood.  The current will jump above the wood and create a singed area below the arced area.
6.      You can also get some singed markings around the finer detailed burning because of some arcing as well.
7.      After burning your desired pattern, be sure and wash off the burning with a stiff nylon brush and soap and water.  This helps get ride of some of the burnt ash and will keep any fine black powder from getting in the un-burnt wood grain.
8.      I’m still working on learning how much of the baking soda solution to put on and how wet/dry the wood should be before putting the probes on the wood and turning on the burner.

I have attached some pictures of a HF I burned.  The wood is spalted sycamore and I used some Inlace turquoise to fill some bug holes.  It is 4 ¼”W x 6 5/8”H.   In addition to some profiles of the HF I have included some close ups of the burnings.

I took the HF to Kiwanis the other day to show one of my woodworking friends and one of the other members that had commissioned me to do a turning for her fell in love with it and said, she wanted to commission me to do a larger one for her Thumbs Up.

C&C welcomed.
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Rob Grindler
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Re: Lichtenberg Wood Burner
Reply #1 - Nov 10th, 2016 at 1:32pm
 
Thats exciting Steve.It's fun watching the burn ,I can play for hours with it.
I am interested to see what you have for connecting to the wood ( probes,clips?) could you post some pics of the unit and it's set up for use.
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Ralph Fahringer
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Re: Lichtenberg Wood Burner
Reply #2 - Nov 10th, 2016 at 2:06pm
 
Is the foot pedal on/off switch a dead man's switch??
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Steve Doerr
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Joplin, Missouri, USA
Joplin
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Gender: male

Rikon 70-050VS
Jet 1642 EVS 2HP
Robust American Beauty
Re: Lichtenberg Wood Burner
Reply #3 - Nov 10th, 2016 at 2:23pm
 
Rob, I'll try to get some pictures posted soon or you can check out their website   Multimedia File Viewing and Clickable Links are available for Registered Members only!!  You need to Login or Register.

Ralph, yes it is a dead man's switch.  You must hold the pedal down for it to be on.  Once you remove your foot, it turns it off.
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Tom Coghill
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Re: Lichtenberg Wood Burner
Reply #4 - Nov 10th, 2016 at 4:20pm
 
Very nice Steve.  Thanks for taking the time to post your experiences and the photos of your results!
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Len Layman
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Re: Lichtenberg Wood Burner
Reply #5 - Nov 10th, 2016 at 4:22pm
 
Steve,  That is really cool.  The spalting rally compliments the burning (or is it the other way around)!
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Len

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Tom Brouillette
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Re: Lichtenberg Wood Burner
Reply #6 - Nov 10th, 2016 at 4:28pm
 
Sweet!  How fine do you sand it prior to burning?
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Steve Doerr
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Wood is one of God's hidden /> canvases.

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Joplin, Missouri, USA
Joplin
Missouri
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Gender: male

Rikon 70-050VS
Jet 1642 EVS 2HP
Robust American Beauty
Re: Lichtenberg Wood Burner
Reply #7 - Nov 10th, 2016 at 4:35pm
 
Tom, I sanded to 400 just like normal, but will be experimenting with that.  The current wants to follow the grain, so if you want the burnings to connect, ie long lines, then you put the probes opposite one another with the grain.  When I put the probes cross grain they did burn neat patterns but did not connect.
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Buck Nemitt
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Re: Lichtenberg Wood Burner
Reply #8 - Nov 10th, 2016 at 6:23pm
 
Nicely done, a very stunning accomplishment--
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What the heck,Give it a try---
 
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Rob Grindler
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Re: Lichtenberg Wood Burner
Reply #9 - Nov 11th, 2016 at 1:04pm
 
Steve Doerr wrote on Nov 10th, 2016 at 2:23pm:
Rob, I'll try to get some pictures posted soon or you can check out their website   Multimedia File Viewing and Clickable Links are available for Registered Members only!!  You need to Login or Register.

Ralph, yes it is a dead man's switch.  You must hold the pedal down for it to be on.  Once you remove your foot, it turns it off.


Thanks Steve ,no need for more pics,as I checked out the web sight  Thumbs Up
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Dick Bernard
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Re: Lichtenberg Wood Burner
Reply #10 - Nov 11th, 2016 at 8:58pm
 
Steve, the designs created by tour wood burner are beautiful.  To place them on "your" work seems to go hand and hand.

Could you tell me where you purchased your Lichtenburg wood burner.
I can't find them for sale anywhere on the internet.
I would like to shop it out to find the best price, but like I said, I can't find them for sale anyplace.

Thank you
Dick
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Steve Doerr
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Wood is one of God's hidden /> canvases.

Posts: 720

Joplin, Missouri, USA
Joplin
Missouri
USA

Gender: male

Rikon 70-050VS
Jet 1642 EVS 2HP
Robust American Beauty
Re: Lichtenberg Wood Burner
Reply #11 - Nov 11th, 2016 at 10:51pm
 
Dick,
Conestoga Woodworks is the only place that I know that has a Lichtenberg Wood Burning machine.  You can find them at Multimedia File Viewing and Clickable Links are available for Registered Members only!!  You need to Login or Register.  There is a lot of information out there about building one yourself with either a neon sign transformer or a microwave transformer.  There is a good discussion on the Lichtenberg Electric Etching thread that is in the section here on WR.

Good luck and let me know if you have other questions.
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Dick Bernard
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Re: Lichtenberg Wood Burner
Reply #12 - Nov 12th, 2016 at 7:01am
 

Thank you for the information Steve.

Dick
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Arlin Eastman
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Re: Lichtenberg Wood Burner
Reply #13 - Nov 13th, 2016 at 6:18pm
 
Well I am finally back after a few weeks of illness.

Steve

You did a wonderful job on the HF and I love the burning!!!

To get the small burnings you did, did you just place the probes closer together?  Also thank you for the link on who sells them
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Mike Peace
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Re: Lichtenberg Wood Burner
Reply #14 - Nov 24th, 2016 at 10:16pm
 
If you are interested in making a unit, you might check out my Youtube video. I put a great emphasis on safety.
Multimedia File Viewing and Clickable Links are available for Registered Members only!!  You need to Login or Register
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Mike

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