Burn Letters in Wood With a Magnifying Glass




About: I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me. Philippians 4 13

This is a great guide on how to burn a name on wood with a magnifrying* glass. This works great for a gift or name tag. If you make this, I promise you won't be board! ;)

*For the sake of this 'ible, I will be calling a magnifying glass a magniFRYing glass, because it frys the wood.

Please note: my pictures won't be that good, cause I couldn't figure out a way to keep my shadow from getting in it.

Step 1: Materials and Tools

This is what you will need:

A Board. It can be any length and height, but it doesn't need to be very wide. Sand one side smooth for burning.

A pencil

An eraser

A ruler

A magnifrying glass

A pair of sun glasses

A piece of finishing sandpaper.

A hot, sunny day.

Step 2: Writing the Letters

It's time to write the letters! Find out what you want to burn than draw it on. Ok, I will get more detailed than that. First, figure out how many letters the word you will be burning has. Next, take you ruler and measure the length of you board. Mark lines evenly spaced across your board. Make as many lines as your letters. Since my word had 13 letters, I made 13 lines evenly spaced across the bottom of the board. Put your ruler along the line and draw a letter. Repeat until you have your word on the board.

Step 3: Burning Pt1 and Warning

Now its time to burn! If you haven't done this before, take a piece of scrap wood and burn random stuffs on it. How to burn: Put on you sunglasses, than take your magnifrying glass on a hot, sunny day. Point the magnifrying glass toward the sun and lift it a few inches above the ground. There should be a small, bright dot on the wood. Raise and lower the magnifrying glass to get the smallest dot possible. After a few seconds, the place where the dot is should start getting black. When that happens, move the magnifying glass around and it should make a black line on the wood. Play around with it for a bit, than you are ready to start burning your wood.

Warning: BE CAREFUL! That small dot is HOT! Do not burn people or pets.

Step 4: Burning Pt2

Now it time to burn you wood! Trace the wood with the dot of fire and it should turn black. Don't let the dot stay in one place too long. It will make the black line too wide.

Step 5: Sanding

Your almost finished! Take your piece of sandpaper and lightly sand the board. Don't sand over the letters, cause if you do, it will sand off the black lines. I sanded almost too much on the letters. You can see in the last picture the letters aren't as black.

Step 6: Done!

Your done, and that wasn't even very hard!

p.s. Don't forget to comment, vote, favorite and subscribe!



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    20 Discussions


    2 years ago

    I found an old spotlight lens with a short focal point (~3 inches) and mad a little frame to hold it at the right distance. On a sunny day it works really well.

    3 replies

    Reply 2 years ago

    I think it helps if you have a short focal length. I got my lens from a bus light assembly.


    Reply 2 years ago

    Cool! I just tried to do it with a regular magnifying glass and it didn't work.


    2 years ago

    I used to do this a lot a few years ago. Now, that I think of it, I should have used a welding mask, not only sunglasses!

    5 replies

    Reply 2 years ago

    Sunglasses are barely enough, but with a welding helmet, you couldn't see the lines to burn.


    Reply 2 years ago

    If you wanted to put it on kickstarter, you would just make the glasses darker.