Wood Etching With a Magnifying Glass



In this ible I will demonstrate how to copy a outline/silhouette/any design to a piece of wood with very few materials, only a piece of wood, and a magnifying glass.

Step 1: Materials

Yep you guessed it! Magnifying glass and wood. (Note: a picture like the one shown is ideal for guiding, but completely optional. Another note: If a picture is used, a few pieces of scotch tape will be used.)

WARNING!!! Before you begin be sure to be wearing sunglasses or welding goggles as this can be VERY damaging to your eyes.

Step 2: Choose Your Photo

Your photo can be of anything that is a silhouette or an outline, I chose a silhouette of a budgie. Make sure that it can cover your selected piece of wood.

Step 3: Trim Your Photo

If necessary, trim your photo. Tape it down flush against the surface that you would like the picture to be copied on. It is important that it is flush or else it may not copy correctly.

Step 4: Etching

First take your wood and picture outside into a sunny area (you need to see the sun unobstructed by clouds, houses, trees, etc...) Next take your magnifying glass and poise it a few inches away from the wood, adjust until you get the most concentrated light. Hold in the same position until it starts to smoke, and turn to ash. Now move it slightly and wait until it begins to smoke and turn to ash again. Repeat until the whole silhouette or outline has turned to ash. (Only the parts that are turned to ash will be browned so be careful to only burn what you want to show up on your wood.)

Caution: DO NOT put your hand/fingers anywhere near the focal point, if touched the concentrated light can create some very nasty burns.

Step 5: Final

Now remove the paper and tape from the wood and admire your great handiwork.

This works because the light of the sun contains some energy, when you use a magnifying glass to concentrate the light onto one point you also concentrate all of that energy into the same spot, which creates a lot of heat, and eventually smoldering. With more fuel this would be able to become a bonfire.

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