I stumbled across this idea while taking a test sample from a package of really old model rocket igniters! They were about 7 or 8 years old so they were corroded and crusty so i tested one and of course, as expected, it didnt burn. It just glowed and smoldered.
Step 1: Find Yourself an Igniter
You can try hobby shops, the brand i used is Estes, off brands should work just as well
Step 2: Prepare the Igniter
first, burn the igniter. this could be done with a match or lighter to the tip, a battery to the wires, or simply what i did and hook it up to a launcher. I recommend doing this in a well ventilated area, as this will produce smoke and a small flame and or spark. let this cool and remove any debris from the tip so the wires are exposed. next, tape around the paper and wires to prevent shorting
Step 3: Assemble!
add tape around the paper of the igniter to give it a little more durability and either tape it or fasten it to the exacto handle like a pen, then attaching the leads to the ignition unit, or a power source of some kind. a 9 volt battery may also work but i wouldnt use any more voltage (definitely no more amps) than that because you will most likely melt the wire rather than let it glow which is the idea.
Step 4: Use!
use to burn designs with greater precision into wood, plastic, paper even! i will add samples soon!