Welcome to The Woodburner!

I would like to welcome you to The Woodburner - featuring works by pyrographic artists from around the world!

If you have been looking for a place to learn the art of pyrography (aka woodburning) without being intimidated, then you have come to the right place!! The people here are only interested in helping you become a better burner, a better pyrographer.

There are several ways to learn this wonderful artform. First and foremost, you can't learn it if you don't try! Once you have started, you can post your burnings here in the Gallery, or create a Photo Album of your own.

Another method you must employ to learn this artform, or anything else, is to study the work of those whom you feel are quite good. If you see someone who does a technique in a manner that you find interesting, then you must study the technique to determine how it was done. You may also ask that person how they applied that particular technique in that situation. You can approach them through the forums, through private messages, or chat if you find them online. Everyone here is more than willing to assist you so that you improve and enjoy burning!

This website has been fortunate over the years to have members who are quite accomplished in an assortment of techniques in pyrography. They provide ample examples from which you can learn. Their burns will also show you what is possible in pyrography - it is absolutely amazing what someone can do with a hot iron and a piece of wood, leather, or paper (or whatever else will take a burn).


Latest Forum Posts

Threads: 4073 | Replies: 31696 | Views: 3175128

 Please come check my Pyrography out on Facebook

I don't have much on there cause I have not had very many orders but I am just starting out with this page on Facebook. Please like I would love to see more people and get more ideas on there from people since more people use facebook than the do here please give me a shout on there.


[Submitted by Sarah Waite]
RalphonMonday 01 October 2012 - 20:15:57
comment: 0

 Spammers never give up!!

Since 2 May 2012, we've had 220 people register for this website. Out of those, 90 were spammers which were banned immediately by the systems I have in place. That leaves 130. Out of those 130, 52 either never validated their registrations, OR were caught as spammers by another system that is not quite as easy to objectify. This system does not ban the spam registration, but it doesn't let them verify or login as registrants/members.

If you do the math, out of the 220 registrations, 142 were either verified or potential spammers. That's over 50 %.

I have put a third system in place that checks on both comments and forum responses. If you enter a comment and it contains either a few links to other sites, or meet other criteria, it holds your comment or response until I review it. So far in the past 2 months (since 2 May), I've had only one legitimate comment captured in that system (sorry Tina). All others that were caught were spammers that got through the other two systems. Since we've updated the software for this site on May 2, no unwanted comments or forum replies have gotten through - at least none of which I am aware.

I'll do what I can to prevent spammers from entering the site. However, if one does sneak through and someone notices it, please let me know and I'll deal with it immediately!

Thank you all and have a wonderful day!!!

RalphonThursday 21 June 2012 - 18:50:50
comment: 0

 Email from Woodburner.com

I've just received about 5 of these emails (to my various woodburner.com addresses), so I thought I'd post this again, just in case you also receive one.

This is important: If you get an email seeming to come from woodburner.com, and reads similar to the following, do not open the attachment:

Dear Customer, 

This e-mail was send by woodburner.com to notify you that we have temporanly prevented access to your account. 

We have reasons to beleive that your account may have been accessed by someone else. Please run attached file and Follow instructions 

(C) woodburner.com 

If I ever do send an email due to account cancellation, it will not have an attachment!! I would recommend you never open an email attachment unless you are expecting to receive it!!

UPDATE: Another email has surfaced with a similar theme. This one links to a zip file on a google server - do not download it - I didn't send it!! As I stated, I will never send an email with an attachment unless I notify you beforehand about the attachment!


RalphonSaturday 12 June 2010 - 17:24:39
comment: 2

 Handmade News Interview

In August, I was asked to do an interview for "Handmade News" website. The interview has been posted, and is available now for viewing at

Please vote for the article at the end using the 'thumbs up' or 'thumbs down' graphic. I hope I have done justice to The Woodburner website!!

Have a good day!

RalphonThursday 29 October 2009 - 00:24:27
comment: 11

 Please come check my Pyrography out on Facebook

I don't have much on there cause I have not had very many orders but I am just starting out with this page on Facebook. Please like I would love to see more people and get more ideas on there from people since more people use facebook than the do here please give me a shout on there.


[Submitted by Sarah Waite]
RalphonMonday 01 October 2012 - 20:15:25
comment: 0

 Pyrography step by step

I have just included on my own You Tube channel several videos related with the pyrographic process. I consider myself they might be useful for those artists who are devoting their time to this technique or for those ones who want to try it anyway. I would be really pleased if you watched them, though, and, if you don't mind, I would also be grateful with your commentaries about them.


Best regards
Submitted by Juan Carlos
RalphonMonday 02 August 2010 - 23:28:00
comment: 2

 Review of the new BURNMASTER Pen with Replaceable Tips

I've used several different types of burners, pens, and tips over the years. One thing I was sure of was that I never liked any of the replaceable tip wire-type burners. The problem with the ones I've used was that they had a friction-based contact mechanism. This means that the contact between the wire of the tip and the pen was created by pushing the wire of the tip into small holes of the end of the pen and the wire would make contact with the pen contacts.

This type of a system works alright for a while. But once you've pushed the wire tip into the pen several times, it becomes loose. With this type mechanism, both the pen contacts and the wire tip grate against each other, filing material away from each other. Material designers know this and usually try to avoid the grating contact of materials of similar density.

Now, right before Christmas of 2009 (about a month ago), I received the new replaceable-tip pen with the selection of 10 tips from Burnmaster. I wanted to see if Burnmaster had done it right.

The first thing I noticed is that the body of the pen was heftier, similar to the 'soldering iron' type of pen a lot of us started out using. This type of body has the advantage of not getting as hot as the thinner, pencil-type pen bodies. And, I am finding as I get older that my hand is having a harder and harder time holding the thinner, pencil-type burning pens. This pen from Burnmaster actually felt nice to hold. I admit I liked the slender pens 10 years ago, but they are getting more difficult for me to hold. This heavier body takes me back to the time of my old Walnut Hollow burning pen, having a very similar handle. Others that still use the Walnut Hollow for that reason may finally have found a wire-type pyrography pen that they will like and can hold they way they have held the Walnut Hollow for years.

The next thing I noticed about the Burnmaster pen was the large (about 1/8 inch diameter) hole for the pen tip wires to slide into. I thought, how can a wire tip fit snugly into that pen contact hole. That's when I found the tips, and noticed that they are not simply wire tips. They ARE wire tips, shaped like many others, but they are secured into a rather large tube, similar to the tube that is embedded into the phenolic handles the tips are welded into in the various manufacturers fixed tip pens! When I took one of the tips and slid it into the pen body, I knew they had something. Finally a replaceable-tip pen that does not rely simply on friction to make a secure electrical connection!! There were two screws to hold the tip in place. The tube that the wire tip is secured to slides into the pen body contacts, but it is not sloppy loose either. It fits nicely into that hole! There is one screw that secures each of the two wire-tip connection ends into the body. The screw pushes the pen and tip contacts together very snuggly, making a very good electrical connection.

Next was to try out the new pen and replaceable-tips. But before I tell you about my experience with Burnmaster's replaceable tips, let me digress a bit and talk about electrical connections as they relate to the burner's pen. For those who don't know me and my background, I'm an electrical engineer by profession. I have been for 30 years. So I have some idea of what makes a good, or a bad, connection. A bad electrical connection can cause power loss into the body of the pen in the form of heat. This happens when the connection has a high electical resistance. The wire used in pyrography pens is an example of a material with high electrical resistance (it's commonly called resistance wire). It is the higher resistance of the nichrome wire relative to the rest of the pen lead wire that causes it to heat up when an electical current is applied. Thus it makes sense that a bad connection with a high resistance will also heat up – and they can heat up a lot!! And the heat flows right into the body of the pen. Well, I was pleasantly surprised that this didn't happen. The pen body stayed cool, meaning that the connection is nice and tight. And since it is secured with a screw rather than simply friction, the connection of this pen will always remain tight.

Now back to my experience with the replaceable tips. The first test I performed was to find the heaviest tip and set the Heat Adjuster knob of the Burnmaster “Hawk” slowly to 10, which was more than enough to cause the pen tip to glow a bright red. NOTE: This is normally not recommended practice. This could shorten the life of a pen tip! I did it only for this test. I wanted to see if the pen body would get hot!! I let the pen tip 'bake' bright red in the pen for 15 minutes. There was no air-conditioner or fan running in the room, so there was minimal 'breeze'. I used the heaviest pen tip I could find to ensure enough mass to generate plenty of heat! After 15 minutes of keeping the already red-hot tip on high, the handle of the pen was only very slightly warmer near where you hold the pen. This could have been radiant energy from the pen tip itself. I would expect some additional heat, but it was very slight. I then pulled back the black rubber material (the pen grip) to see if the plastic material was hot. It also just slightly warmer than the rubber material. As one more test, I held onto the body of the pen while the tip was red-hot for about 5 minutes beyond the 15 minutes, just to see if my hand would get warm while holding the pen. I did not feel any warmth that would have caused me to stop holding the pen. So, for the pen body heat test, which is a measure of the tightness of the tips connections, the Burnmaster Pen with Replaceable Tips passed with flying colors.

Now, I can't imagine anyone using a pyrographic burning tool with the tip red hot! And neither do I. During normal use, I did not feel any extra heat being radiated from the pen body.

My next test was to determine how long it would take for a red-hot tip to cool enough to allow you to change the tip! This seemed like a good thing to check – no one wants to wait a half-hour to change the tip in their pen! So, from the red-hot tip condition of the previous test, I set the power switch to OFF and timed how long it took for the pen to cool such that the tip would not burn paper when removed and set down on the paper in order to change the tip. Now, I'm starting from a red-hot tip. That is the worse-case condition. After 15 seconds, the pen tip was cool – it wouldn't burn wood, pen, or my finger (yes, I just had to touch it!). So the bottom line is that you won't have to wait long after removing the power before you can change the tip; about 15 seconds at the most! NOTE: Do not over-tighten the screw when installing a tip. The screw needs to be snug, but not really, really tight

I replaced the large tip with a small skew-type tip. The smallest skew that was in the 10-tip selection. I wanted to see if it would retain the heat while drawing a line on wood. I used a piece of basswood for the test. It's smooth and without an alternating hard/soft grain such as pine. I set the Heat Adjuster to 2 for this test. A setting of 4 was red-hot for this tip – I didn't want to scorch the wood. Moving the pen across the 4 inches of wood, I noticed the only difference in the burn going cross grain was due to my inability to maintain a constant speed when moving the pen. At a setting of 1 on the dial, I got a nice light toasty burn throughout the entire burn of the line. It was very nice! In summary, I would have to say that the burn is consistent, and that the pen tip gains heat as fast as it is used to burn the wood.

I would have to say that the Burnmaster Pen with Replaceable Tips is the best replaceable tip burner I have ever used, and it rivals the performance of the fixed-tip pens. If you are considering buying your first burner, or replacing your existing one, you must look at the Replaceable Tip Pen by Burnmaster - I can also recommend you take a look at the Burnmaster unit powering the pen, the Hawk - I used it during this review, so part of the credit goes to the power control unit!!

I would also like to mention that the Burnmaster pen will not only hold its own tips securely, but will also hold other Hot Wire Tips from other manufacturers. However, I'm sure the Burnmaster Pen will work best with Burnmaster Replaceable Tips, as they were designed to work together.

If you have any questions concerning this review, please contact me via email or PM.

Have a good day!

RalphonTuesday 19 January 2010 - 19:06:08
comment: 7

 Quite a Surprise

(Moved from the top of main page)

I'm never sure how to write about something like this. 

Towards the end of July 2009, Sam sent me a message saying him and his wife would be in Tucson and would like to meet Deb and I. I'm always interested in meeting the people who visit this website, so I told him it would be very nice to meet him. 

Sam arrived in Tucson on Friday, 7 August. After some bad directions on my part, we met at a restaurant close to where I live. It's a nice place with good food. Deb and I go there with the kids once in a while. 

[ Read the rest ... ]
RalphonSaturday 29 August 2009 - 12:27:31
comment: 7

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