Introduction: How to Use Pyrography Machine to Burn Map Onto Wood

About: I make custom and unique furniture. Anything from hidden bookcases that open to your hidden room, hidden storage furniture, and unique items for the home. I make items that when someone enters a room. These …
When I started this project I got the idea from a person I met that was convinced the world is flat. While he tried to convince me that the world was flat I tried to convince him that it's a globe. After a while of debating I decided just to end the conversation but thought it would be funny to make a globe that is for people that believe the world is flat.
I decided to just make a flat map of the Earth. I might eventually sometime in the future make a stand for this and create a table.


- one 36 in round piece of wood. (Can be purchased from most hardware stores.)
- Pyrography machine or wood burning pen.
- carbon or transfer paper
- computer to print off map image found on internet.
- sandpaper 120, 220, 500 grit

Step 1: Sanding, Sanding, and More Sanding.

I have been using my pyrography machine and wood burning for many many years. I started off using just a wood burning pen like the kind used for soldering. These pens do not normally have any adjustment for temperature. I eventually purchased a pyrography machine that lets you adjust the temperature and has a large amount of different kinds of burning wood tips.
I found out that one of the most important things in my opinion before you start add the image to the piece of wood or burning; is to sand the wood piece until perfectly smooth.
If you have the piece of wood totally smooth where there are no bumps within the grains of wood will make the wood burning process so much easier and precise.
I start off using 120 grit paper on my orbital sander. Then I follow up with 220 grit and finally I use 500 grit to finish it off with.
If you use those three grits of paper when sanding you will have a smooth imperfection-free piece of wood.

Step 2: Adding Image Onto Wood

I use regular transfer/carbon paper to add image onto wood. First I just tape down the carbon paper onto the wood.
Next using my computer I find map image that I like and print it off onto paper.
Then I taped down image on top of transfer paper.

Step 3: Start Tracing Image Onto Wood.

I now use a fine tip pen to trace all lines and images onto the wood using the carbon paper.

Step 4: Start to Burn Wood Using Pyrography Machine.

When using the pyrography machine when burning you will want to use different temperature settings for different tasks.
You might want to use higher temperature when doing outlining and a lower temperature when using it to shade areas.
I use a fine point tip to do the tracing of lines on images and I use a round ball tip to do my shading.

Step 5: After Done Burning at Polyurethane to Protect.

After I have finished doing all the wood burning I add a layer of polyurethane to protect the piece.
That is the last step and hopefully this will give you an idea of how to prep your wood before burning. I also am adding this to the maps contest so please vote for me. Thanks
Maps Challenge

Participated in the
Maps Challenge