September 19, 2021

How to make a Pyrography Pen | Guide with Video Tutorials

DIY pyrography pen

This is a step-by-step guide to making a pyrography pen. Pyrography is the art of burning patterns into wood. This is an ancient technique that requires a lot of patience and dedication. Pyrography is an art form, not a craft. However, many steps are involved in preparing your wood, and the results are impressive when finished. Get to work making your pyrography pen.

Materials needed

  • 5 Volt 2 Amp Power Supply
  • Soldering iron
  • Wire strippers
  • Wire cutters
  • Heat shrink Tubing
  • Sewing Thread
  • 2 Sewing needles of the same size 
  • Skewer (wooden)
  • Glue
  • Lighter.
  • Pencil.
  • Carbon paper.


Safety precautions

Wear safety glasses so you will not get wood particles in your eyes. A face mask protects you from wood saws that cause chronic diseases. Use a fumigator when soldering so that you will not get hurt when the superglue burns off harmful fumes. 

Make sure you are about to work in a safe and well-ventilated area. The burning tool should be attended to when hot. Switch it off and unplug it when not in use. Put on a face mask rated P-95 or higher to stay safe and healthy. Tie your long hair before it starts a fire in the shopping. 

Vegetable-tanned leather is safe for use. There are no chemicals released when burning. Toxic fumes and sawdust are your enemies. Prevent burns from fumes and sawdust. Keep fans in your warehouses to eliminate and keep the windows open. The smoke escapes the room easier than staying in your lungs. 

Prepare the Pen

When you are safe, start preparing the pen cut off as you make the sharp end of the skewer. Place two sewing needles on opposite sides of the skewer as you leave half of an inch handing off the skewer. 

Wrap the sewing thread around the needles in the position the pen needles leave the skewer until the sewing thread takes a circular shape. Be careful when wrapping the sewing thread so that you do not get poked by the sewing needles. 

When you have the proper amount of thread that keeps the needles in place, apply super glue using a brush over the sewing thread. All the superglue has to dry into place. Do not cover the whole sewing needle in the sewing thread. That gives the pen needles room to breathe. 

When the glue dries, bend one of the needles using pliers. Be careful to avoid hurting yourself. When bending the needle in place, it might snap. It takes time to master the bending process without snapping. When it snaps, it maypole you or fly off where you cannot see. That is dangerous since it is your workspace. The ends of the needles are tiny, and it isn’t easy to spot where it lands. 

A third hand keeps an eye on the needle and keeps the pen sturdy while soldering.  Allow the sewing needle to contact the other pen needle. Use graphite paper to transfer an image onto the wood before burning for better results. Chances of making mistakes are low. 

Connect the power supply

When connecting a power supply, use a wire cutter to cut off the end of the power supply’s adapter. Separate two wires as you solder one to each needle. Wrap the thread around the connection points and attach using super glue. 

When you have reached this stage, the pen is complete. You may now test your pyrography pen as you plug it onto the power supply. Stay alert just in case something goes wrong. Get ready to switch the unit off. 

There are possibilities of a fire or overheating if there is a poor or bad connection. Practice multitasking so that the other hand stays ready to switch off while the other is operating. The needles should be red-hot and start burning after a few seconds. 

Finishing off

The finishing stage gives the pyrography pen extra protection. Use heat shrink tubing where your hands rest on the pyrography pen. Wrap more string around the top of the pyrography pen to straighten the wires. That is at the opposite end of the needles. 

Wood burning

Since you are using hot objects, be careful. It is easy to start a fire when using a hot object. A spark starts a fire that you might fail to control. Avoid using treated wood, both chemically or pressure-treated wood. 

These wood produce harmful toxins when burnt. You might even burn the whole factory when burning treated wood since it contains high flammable chemicals. Some of the effects are a long time and some start showing instantly. 

Always use safety glasses.

Eye protection keeps you safe from eye irritation. For hot tips, use a set of pliers and a ceramic dish for the hot tips. Use a set of pliers and a ceramic base for hot tips.

Tips to making a good pyrography pen

  • Transfer your precision design. As much as you might be experienced drawing using your hand, carbon paper makes you transfer a pattern onto the wood. The process is easy since you have to print a design, place the carbon paper over the wood and trace the outline. 
  • Keep different nibs to work with. 
  • Practice on a sample before working on your final design.
  • Use light strokes, and do not press the pen hard since it is hard to understand darker areas. 
  • Follow the grain when burning. 
  • Outline your picture and fill it in.

Choosing the right wood

The wood you choose should be dry, sanded, and smooth. It should not be anywhere near hot tools. Avoid both pressed and chemically-treated lumber because it is dangerous. The chemicals used are highly flammable. 

Treated wood might burn down your warehouse. No stains or other finishes should be part of the wood. In other words, use raw lumber. These include watercolors and paints. Checking wood toxicity requires the use of a new piece. Sand the wood before you start making a pyrography pen. 

Choosing the right pen

There are two types of wood burner tools: solid tip burners and variable temperature wood burners. Craft styles are for projects that do not need. Know the pen that suits your woodburning projects. 

The variable temperature is in more detail. You may need a woodburning tool capable of fine details to enhance your wood carving projects or an assortment of tips to achieve a variety of designs for leather-burning projects. 

A pen that comes with more power performs better. It also works faster. Use this guide to learn what you should look for. 

Video Tutorials for making a homemade wood burning tool

Making a pyrography pen is fast and cheap. But it requires skill and precision. The power connections must be accurate, and you need patience. Otherwise, your firing tool will explode.

David D. Hughes

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