Originally Posted by Cherryville Chuck View Post
I know we've had videos posted of making Lichtenburg patterns Herb but can you go into some detail about how you went about it?
Chuck, I got the wood burner from this outfit: Conestoga Works - Lichtenberg Figure Wood Burners
And here is a link showing how to use it: Fractal Lichtenberg Figure Wood Burning with Electricity
My experience as the first time I have done this is still mixed. It is not what I call woodworking,although it is called wood burning.
There are many safety concerns that have to be met,as explained in the instructions.
First you soak the surface good with a soda /water solution as a electrolyte.
Basically it amounts to holding 2 probes one at one end of the board and the other at the other end. Then stepping on the switch to start the process it is kind of interesting. It does what it wants and when the 2 paths on the wood meet somewhere on the board the process is done.
You can control the paths of the burn somewhat by moving the probes around to different locations.
All woods do not burn equally and some are faster than others
When you have achieved the pattern you want you step off the pedal switch.
If you position the probes too close together they will arc and cause an ugly burn on the wood. 12,000v. will jump 2".
When you are done it will look like a disaster,ugly in my estimation. The combination of the electrolyte solution and burning turns all the wood nasty looking.
I sanded all of mine down to the original color, but in doing so lost the fine fir needle look of the pattern and it gave more of a bare branch -root look. Here are some pictures.
One thing that will turn off a lot of people is the smell. it stinks and your clothes and hair smell like it when you are done. Your shop will stink too it took a week for my shop to return to normal. Maybe it is best done outside.