The goal of this set of instructions is to guide you through how to wood-burn a tree frog onto natural edged basswood. You can apply the same principles to any coloring book or wood-burning pattern on any number of different woods. You will find it to be an easy project. It should take you around an hour and a half, not counting the time to look for a pattern and acquire a suitable piece of wood (also called a blank)
Step 1: Gather Necessary Materials
To do this wood-burning, you will need the following:
- Two Quick-clamps
- A 4-10" diameter natural-edged piece of wood
- A pair of scissors
- 320 grit sandpaper
- An exacto-knife
- A pencil
- A brush
- A woodburning instrument
- The only necessary tip for the wood-burner is a pointed tip
- *Essential for safety*- A metal platter or sheet on which to place hot wood-burner
Step 2: Print and Trim Your Chosen Pattern
You can find a free pattern online or in a children's coloring book.
Size your pattern based on what would look good on the size of wood (blank) you have selected.
It is important not to choose too complex of a pattern while beginning the hobby of wood-burning.
Step 3: Sand the Wood on the Side to Be Burned
Use the 320 grit sandpaper to lightly sand the side of the wood blank to be used for the burning.
It is important to sand with the grain. In this case, that means sanding circularly with the rings of the piece of wood.
Step 4: Brush Off Wood Dust
Step 5: Tape Pattern to a Natural-lit Window With the Printed Side Touching the Window
Prepare the pattern by taping it to a window, ready for graphite application.
Step 6: Trace Back Side of Pattern With a Graphite Pencil
Generously apply the graphite to the back of the pattern. This will allow a good transfer to the blank.
Step 7: Detach Pattern From Window
Step 8: Center and Tape Pattern Graphite-side-down to Blank
Step 9: Retrace Pattern on Printed Side
It is important to apply ample pressure to the pattern as you retrace the pattern.
Make sure you re-trace all lines you will want to burn as the others will not transfer without it.
Step 10: Remove Pattern and Darken Lines
Step 11: Mount Blank to a Table With Quick-clamps
Use the quick-clamps to firmly clamp the wood to a bench or table.
It is important to do this on the corner of a table so that it is accessible for burning.
Do not cover the pencil marks with clamp surfaces.
Step 12: Insert Tip Into Wood-burner
Now is the only time to select and insert the proper tip to the wood-burner before heating the instrument.
*Warning*- Do not attempt to change tips while wood-burner is hot. If you desire to change the tip, allow the burner to cool completely first.
Step 13: Connect Wood-burner to Power Source
Allow the wood-burner to heat up while the next step is completed.
Step 14: Cut Small Incisions on Pattern Lines With Exacto-knife
This step will allow the wood-burning to go more smoothly as the burner will have a kind of 'track' in which to sit while burning.
*Warning*- Do not grip exacto-knife too low as to not slip onto blade.
Do not cut towards your body, arm or opposite hand.
Step 15: Begin Wood-burning
Gradually and gently apply hot tip to the pattern lines.
Do not hold tip in one location as it will cause an obvious burn mark in wood.
*Warning*- Woodburner could cause serious burns. Use with caution.
Use in a well-ventilated room or garage.
Safety equipment would include a face mask, and safety glasses.
When not burning, always replace burner on metal plate.
Step 16: Clean Tip While Burning
Clean the tip on a metal surface while burning in order to clean burnt wood from tip to do a more accurate burning.
Step 17: Erase Stray Graphite From Wood-burning
It is important to erase over the entire burned area even though pencil marks may not be seen. This will give a cleaner look.
Step 18: Brush Off Eraser Shavings
Step 19: Finish and Enjoy
You can now finish your wood-burning any number of ways. Here is where you can get creative.
Some ideas include;
- A friction-adhering shellac
- 2 coats of spray-on lacquer (satin or glossy)
- 2 or 3 coats of boiled linseed oil
*Warning*- Use proper nose, mouth and eye protection while finishing.
Finish outside or in well ventilated room or garage.