Fractal wood burning involves the use of fire by electricity with a very high voltage of electricity through wooden artifacts that undergo chemical treatment.
The fundamentals of fractal wood burning will be covered in this article, along with instructions on how to do it.
Which is the best fractal wood burning kit?
In my testing I found, Cool Neon Lichtenberg Machine Kit is the best fractal wood burning kit out of 8 different products that were tested. It scored a total of 35 points out of 40.
We considered a total of four parameters to come up with the list of 4 products. All products recommended in the list had to score above 7 on a scale of 0-10 on the below parameters, and only the ones that passed the score test were recommended.
Total Points: 40
Minimum scoring points: 28
- Phase 1: Quality and durability check of a product: Every product comes with an “Ok Tested” tag but it’s not enough, we ensured to go slightly rough with parts of a wood burning kit like the Rods. Clamps and the brush.
Try to use it the way a beginner would use it and only if it passes our score test of measuring above 7 on a scale of 0-10. We add it to our list.
- Phase 2: Checking the Temperature range of the tool: Since this technique involves fire, it’s important to check the temperature can have a wider range while also has a low heat settings.
We used a thermal gun to ensure the kits were heated on the extreme end and still safe to use.
- Phase 3: Strength of the Tip: There’s no point recommending a weak tip with a great fractal kit, we made sure to do some indepth work on different wooden plans to ensure the tips were strong and performed various patterns with ease.
- Phase 4: Price range: the last check was those products that had passed the minimum scoring level for above parameters, Do they have a reasonable price or a price that just justifies a brand name.
Once the products were scored, each passed product had to score a minimum of 28 points out of 40 to be able to recommend it to our readers.
In the process, a total of 5-6 brands were tested throughout the given parameters and the recommended ones were: Colwood, Burnmaster, Dremel, Pyle, Razertip, Walnut Hollow, WELLER.
Considering the safety measures required for building a fractal wood burning kit, we never want our users to compromise on quality for a cheap price and hence the price range for the products we used in our testing was from $99 to $600.
What is Fractal Wood Burning?
Fractal wood burning is a popular art method that allows you to cast artistic motifs onto different wooden items. These wooden objects are chemically treated post which their surfaces may be adorned with various designs using high voltage electricity.
This artistic method is becoming more and more well-liked, particularly among woodturners.
The process starts by running an electric current through the object you’ve selected to make a pattern on. The thing will catch fire when the current is run through, leaving behind beautiful fractal patterns.
You can also learn to create beautiful art pieces using lichtenberg patterns and epoxy resin.
After finishing the process, you can clean the item.
This creative method is risky, even though it sounds exciting and may be worth the risk.
You may find several videos submitted by users demonstrating the approach on social media platforms like TikTok. Therefore, while individuals find this trend attractive, a limited understanding of its dangers may be risky.
Why are fractal wood-burning machines dangerous?
In installations to power appliances, the hazards connected with high-voltage electricity are far larger than those with low-voltage energy. The risky technique of fractal or Lichtenberg burning exposes the user to high-voltage electricity.
Additionally, the Lichtenberg wood burning machine used to build or assemble fractal burning apparatus are potentially hazardous. Without a specially created enclosed apparatus, it is difficult to make a fractal kit at home or its usage safe.
Electrocution occurs when high-voltage electricity contacts the body, travels through the heart and leaves the body.
If you held one electrode in each hand while the voltage was still on, the electricity might go from one hand through your heart and out the other. Your heart could stop, which might result in demise.
Electrocution can happen as a consequence of unintentional contact with an active electrode, electrolyte, a snag in a cable, or even just by stepping on a conductor of electricity.
Best fractal wood burning kits
Finding the perfect Lichtenberg wood-burning kit may be challenging, regardless of whether you are a novice, seasoned enthusiast, or expert. Pyrography has a challenging learning curve, and starting without the proper equipment might be considerably more challenging.
As a newbie, you could feel overrun by the choices and uncertain about where to begin. Even if you’ve already taken woodworking training, you’ll soon realize that pyrography is another animal.
To help you get started, this post has picked out the best fractal burning kit for wood:
Inside the box:
- Neon Sign Transformer
- Lichtenberg Machine
- copper rods
- bolts, gloves
- terminals and foot switch.
Don't want the whole kit ? No Problem! Take whatever you need
On any wood, this professional fractal wood burning kit is an excellent technique to produce lovely and distinctive designs.
The copper rods and clamps offer stability and safety, and the neon sign transformer makes it simple to produce high-quality artwork.
Another good detail is the glove, which make it simple to handle the hot copper rods without being hurt.
Anyone who wishes to give their woodworking projects some individuality should use this kit.
For beginners, the Lichtenberg Machine Set is a fantastic option. A transformer, clamps, copper rods, and gloves are all included, so you can start making lovely designs immediately.
This professional wood-burning tool is simple to set up and operate and delivers excellent outcomes.
Everything from complex designs to text or logos may be produced. An instruction manual with advice on maximizing the use of your Lichtenberg Machine is also included in the set.
My experience of using the product has been great because of its quality at a cheap price. I think for anyone who just wants to get a hook of what are the possibilities of a fractal wood burning kit, it’s a no brainer to be using this kit. But for someone who has already used a basic fractal kit, you will be disappointed.
Coolneon Lichtenberg Machine Set is the 1st version of the fractal kit from the Cool Neon brand. They should most likely come with a second iteration soon where we would like them to increase the power of the kit so multiple operations can be performed swiftly.
Inside the box:
- Lichtenberg wood burning machine
- A pair of gloves
There are two voltages available for the Lichtenberg Figure Wood Burner II. The North American model, used in the United States, Canada, and Mexico, runs on 110 volts, 60 Hz, and 230 watts.
It features a common three-prong connector that will suit any contemporary home outlet.
The type sold abroad uses 220 volts, 50 Hz, and 115 watts of power. The plug of the international model is designed to fit the typical domestic electrical outlet found there.
It is not necessary to use a stepdown transformer to run the burner. The input voltage of the burner cannot be changed from 110 to 220 volts. The Lichtenberg Figure Wood Burner’s architecture places a priority on safety.
The output leads are made of high voltage-specific GTO 15 cables. The probes are developed with an incredibly high safety factor, so they may be handled while operating the burner without risk.
This Lichtenberg wood burning kit generates a regulated burn fractal pattern without flames and restricts the output current to less than 30 milliamps. Several circumstances cause the risks of handmade burners.
The most significant is the extraordinarily high current produced by outdated microwave transformers and improper mathematical construction of components not intended to withstand high voltages and currents.
Devices manufactured using old microwave transformers that weren’t intended for this purpose, insufficiently insulated wiring, and open wire connections were to blame for every accident and fatality.
In my opinion of having used the product and interacting with fellow pyrographers who use the same kit, Lichtenberg Figure Wood Burner II by Conestoga Works is a very powerful wood burning kit which has 110 V of current that was enough for me to come up with crazy patterns on the wooden block.
They use a special brass tip which means your tip never really worms out. If I was an intermediate or an advanced pyrographer, I would have definitely used it for my projects.
There are 2 versions of the Lichtenberg Figure Wood Burner by Conestoga Works. The first version has been used by Carl Jacobson in his videos and was available in 2019 while the current model was launched in 2022 and has some style changes.
Inside the box:
- Wood burning machine
The input power for this Lichtenberg Wood Burning device is 120 volts at 60 Hz or 220 volts at 250 volts, and its output power ranges from 1800 to 2500 volts at 500 milliamps.
If you follow the advised safety precautions, this fractal burning kit contains safety equipment that shields them from harm.
After reading the operating instructions, one should operate this kit at their own risk. Carelessness with this device can lead to serious injury or even death.
A “Hardware Key” is an exclusive feature (HK). The burner is “locked” to prevent unauthorized use when the HK is not put into the burner’s port. The additional port may also be utilized when ordering a burner to add a “hand switch” as an option.
This machine was created specifically to create Fractal designs burnt into the wood as a pastime known as Lichtenberg Fractal Wood Burning.
This product can act as an entire system that aims to give consumers a safer method to indulge in their passion.
Most individuals create their DIY burners but are unaware of the necessary electrical standards to lower the chances of unintentional electrocution. Children should not use this product.
When it comes to the Lichtenberg Wood Burning Machine, I was amazed by the power output that the machine comes with. I would prefer to use the machine for more intricate drawing patterns.
The fact that it comes with two ventilation fans to cool the transformer and a thermal switch on the secondary coil to “kill” the power if it overheats is an additional safety which should allure users.
There have been previous iterations of the product every year since 2020, but the version currently available was launched in 2022 with few structural design changes and the addition of a hardware key which locks the machine if not inserted.
Inside the box:
- Wood burning transformer device
- Foot pedal, or switch
An aluminum casing encloses each component of this Lichtenberg machine. There are two voltages available for it: 220v and 003120v.
A VVR (Variable Voltage Regulator) is used to lower the power consumption, and its output voltage ranges from 2000 to 2200 volts.
The ability to reduce power gives the user control over the pattern’s size and depth. To begin a burn, three switches must be turned on. The wood piece that will be burned must be prepared before using the momentary Footswitch to turn on the burner device.
To safeguard the operator, its power supply incorporates many safety measures. A primary switch on it activates the control circuit. A second push button called the “Burner Switch” is used to turn on the circuit of the transformer circuit.
When you press the Footswitch, the burner circuit won’t turn on immediately since its foot pedal does not carry much current.
The probes have over 30KV of insulation. They are portable. Two ventilation fans cool the transformer, and if it overheats, a thermal switch present on its secondary coil would “kill” the electricity.
To limit the power supply for precise detail burns, a VVR (variable voltage regulator) is located on the back panel, and a volt/amp meter is on the front panel.
The version which I got to use has a lower power input and output voltage. However this very machine differs only in terms of input and output power, so there is no structural difference as such. This one is for the elite power users who do professional level work.
Alternatives to fractal burning
Fractal burning involves using electricity to burn images known as Lichtenberg figures into the wood. Fractal burning involves many risks, and one should avoid practising it.
One safest alternative to fractal burning is pyrography which will give you the same effects without the life-threatening danger. Pyrography involves burning images using a heated tool called wood-burning pen/kit.
Though it is still essential to maintain caution when practising pyrography, the basic dangers involve burns and not an electrical shock.
Understanding the risks involved in fractal wood burning. Safety is something that should never be compromised should be in the list of boxes to tick when you are looking forward to purchasing a fractal wood burning kit.
Here we lay down some key parameters which as a user you should consider when making a purchase decision.
- Quality of metal used: The material involved in building the whole case is very important as it may make or break things.
There are several fractal kits in the market which are made of poorly insulated material and the probes hanging without any insulation. Using such a kit can for sure cause harm during operation.
Always opt for cases which are built using ABC plastic over the main unit and properly insulated probes which even have a safety switch.
- Material of tips: The material used in the tips of a wood burning kit is very important and you need to make sure the tips are made from heat-resistant material such as brass or stainless steel.
It is generally best to avoid using wood burning tips made of materials that are not heat-resistant or prone to melting or warping at high temperatures.
Some materials that should be avoided for use in wood burning tips include plastic, rubber, and certain types of metal such as aluminum or copper.
These materials are not suitable for use in wood burning because they can melt or deform when exposed to the high temperatures required for wood burning.
It is important to choose a wood burning tip made of a durable, heat-resistant material to ensure that it performs well and lasts a long time.
- Safety measures: A lot of fractal wood burning kits have started to pay attention to details like providing free gloves with each kit and a good quality probe case.
You need to pay attention to what extra mile has a brand gone to ensure the kit is made safe to use.
As an example, a kit we talked about earlier has two ventilation fans which play a very important role in the whole process. Always check for the build case material of a kit and the insulation provided throughout the kit.
- Power Output: Depending upon the kind of output you wish to seek from a product, you can check the power input and output figures. As an example, anything in the range of 10kV 30mA till to 2000v-500mA. If you are a beginner, you are good to go with just 10kV 30 mA and only if you are a professional then you can opt for the range that’s above 1000v.
The pastime of burning wood frequently requires a lot of time. If you don’t get a pen that comfortably fits your hand, it could result in cramping during extended work periods.
You want a comfortable wood-burning pen. Finding a pyrography tool with a changeable temperature is even more important if you intend to use it on materials other than wood.
So, based on our research, the Coolneon Lichtenberg Machine Set stands out when it comes to burn lichtenberg figures on wood SAFELY.
It contains all the necessary tools and a transformer that will allow you to perform the art of wood burning efficiently. The newer design brings out the best effect in your art.
However, it’s crucial to hunt for a kit as a novice with only what you’ll need. That concludes our list of the top wood-burning kits available right now. I hope you are now prepared to learn the great art of pyrography!
Quick Flashback: Make sure you are aware of how dangerous this technique can turn out to be if not performed safely. Choose the product based on its safety metrics and not how well it performs as a standalone factor.
If you intend to perform a fractal wood burning method on different materials then choose a tool that has a changeable temperature.
Always wear gloves when performing the Lichtenberg technique and get familiar before operating your fractal wood burning kit because you don’t want to compromise on your life for a grand piece of art.
The artwork on a wooden surface after a fractal wood burning procedure is definitely wonderful.
Initially it may take some time to see results since there’s a difference on how well a fractal pattern emerges depending on the voltage but stick to the process and you will be rewarded for your patience.
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