Introduction: Wood Burning (Map of Middle Earth)

Over the past week the absolute high was 30 degrees (Fahrenheit, it's a crappy scale, I know), that being said I wasn't overly anxious to work outside in my shop. So, I decided to do a Instructable all within the comfort of my warm room, and since I had just helped a friend wood burn a picture for his girlfriend, I figured I would do some more since I hadn't in a while. Anyways, here's my Instructable on wood burning the map of Middle Earth (names excluded) hope you like it, let's get started!

Step 1: Tools and Materials

Wood Burner (with multiple tips)
Pencil & Eraser
Pliers (to change tips on burner)


Step 2: Choosing Your Picture and Tracing

I chose the map of Middle Earth because, well, it looks so darn cool and I love Lord of the Rings. After you choose your picture draw it on your piece of wood. I free handed mine because I'm lazy, and wanted to give it that hand drawn look (mostly the lazy part), but if you want to get it precise print out the size you want tape it to the board and, with the sharp burner bit, burn the main outline onto the wood as well as the main mountain ranges and lakes and pretty much each large dark section with bold lines. The entire piece can be done like this if done carefully but it will take much more time and effort. A third option, if you have the resources its to project the image onto the plank and trace it.

Step 3: Basic Outline and Mountain Forming

Once you have it drawn, begin to outline the main lines. For this step you want to make bold lines so use the sharp straight tip that is somewhat like a knife. Make sure to take your time with this step as any mistakes that are made are more difficult to remove as the marks are deeper and bolder. However, almost any mistake can be fixed by using either sand paper or a knife to cut/ sand away the burnt layer, but don't be to comfortable making mistakes because if they are to severe they could leave distracting marks or cuts in the wood.

In order to give mountains their shape you have to shade one side, essentially splitting it down the middle with darkness on one side and light on the other. This gives the mountain its 3-D look. The flat teardroped shaped tip is the easiest to use when forming mountains as it has a curved tip that is still at a point, this way it burns quickly but it is easy to slide it around spreading the shadow evenly.

Step 4: Shading

This piece requires a lot of shading to look right. In order to shade the forests, quickly move the teardrop shaped tip back and forth, whenever the tip stops it leaves small burn marks, tightly knit , these marks resemble the forest tops very well. then darken the outlines of the forest and fade it inwards. For the lakes use the edge of the teardrop shaped tip, drag it along the edges and bring it in, this gives a much more even shadow when done correctly. Then repeat that process until the lake is the right shape, making sure they are very dark but not to much darker than anything else on the map so that it would stand out too much. One of the most important shades is the one along the coast, this makes the whole map stand out.

Step 5: More Shading

Once I finished the first round of shading I went back through and darkened things up a bit, gave the mountains very light shadows, shaded the edges of the map inwards, burned the edges of the board, and added the compass rose.

Step 6: Finished!

And now you're done! Hang it up or us it as a box cover or even a coaster. Anyways, hope you liked it. If you have any comments or questions please feel free to ask! Don't forget to vote!

Thank you and God Bless!

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