Well, my latest hobby has just begun. I picked up a cheap woodburner from Walmart (this one to be exact) and set out to find some scrap wood. My first find was behind a dumpster near my apartment complex. I found a broken pallet (which I broke further) and a couple pieces of fencing. The fencing was too splintered and weathered, but it was connected by a piece of 2×4 which I pried free and took for myself.
Once I cleaned some dirt off and pried a few nails out, the piece of pallet wood became my practice material so I could get a feel for the tool and the different tips.
Here is my first attempt! Everything is free hand. I found the burner very easy to work with. The biggest learning curve was how to work with the grain. The softer parts burn darker and quicker, while the raised grain makes consistency challenging.
I felt ready to attempt a purposeful design after very little practice, so I started drawing on the 2×4. Here is the finished product, though I may go back and either shade in more or add a design around the edges.
I sent a photo to a few friends, and right away one requested that I make one with her son’s name. This meant I had to go search for some more wood along the side of the road! I actually started my search behind Lowes, hoping to find a couple dilapidated pallets, but no luck. After, I drove aimlessly around some neighboorhoods and hit the jackpot! Here is what I’ve gathered so far.
I bought a small oscillating saw product like this to help divide the large boards, but it turns out it was a waste of money. It was extremely loud and couldn’t cut completely through the board. Plan B was a regular hand saw and I was pleasantly surprised how quickly I could cut smaller pieces! I will say that cutting in a straight, 90 degree line is MUCH harder than you’d expect, but I’m finding that the imperfections give the final pieces a bit of a raw and authentic feel.
Here is the finished product for my friend’s son, as well as a piece I just doodled on for about 30 minutes last night.
Please share any comments, constructive criticism, or design requests below! I’m looking to improve my lettering/typography as I gain more experience with the wood burner.