Wood burning with soldering iron

How to make perfect Wood burning with soldering iron?

Pyrography, or the art of burning drawings on wood, is a familiar concept for many who recall childhood memories.

However, some may not know that it is possible to use a soldering iron to burn the same kind of artistic designs on wood.

In this article, we will discuss the basics of how to do wood burning with a soldering iron – from the tools needed and safety precautions to helpful tips and creative ideas.

For those who want to try their hand at this unique craft without investing in costly tools, burning wood with a soldering iron can be an inexpensive and fun way to get started.

Now there are special kits in which there are tools for burning, which creates a number of questions whether it is possible to burn wood with an ordinary soldering iron, or only specialized models are needed here.

What you need for Wood burning with soldering iron?

Creating art with a soldering iron and wood is a unique and creative way to express oneself and it is known as Pyrography.

If you’re looking to get started in the world of wood burning, there are some essential items that you’ll need to have on hand before getting started as listed below:

  • Wood sample/ plywood with clean surface.
  • Soldering iron.
  • Different types of Solder Tips.
  • Fine grain Emery paper (sandpaper) for Tip cleaning & wood cleaning.
  • Stand/Shelf.
  • Pliers for changing tips.
  • Designs.
  • Pen, Pencil and paper.
  • Dry & clean rags.
  • Lacquer/ varnish.

Which wood is best for wood burning with solder?

For starters, the type of wood should be determined based on the project being undertaken.

Softwoods such as pine, cedar and cypress are ideal for projects that require intricate designs or fine details, while hardwoods like oak, maple and walnut are good choices for larger projects or those that involve texturing.

In addition to selecting the right type of wood for your project, it is also important to choose a quality piece of lumber that is free from knots or blemishes.

This will ensure a smooth surface which will make burning with solder easier and more efficient.

Wood pieces for wood burning with iron solder

To decorate with the soldering iron, untreated wood is necessary. Above all, you should avoid woods that are painted with varnishes, the combustion of which can produce toxic fumes.

Best wood for pyrography

The softer the wood, the better and faster you can burn decorations. The lighter the wood, the more clearly the fire decoration emerged.

The following types of wood are particularly suitable for wood burning or Pyrography art:

  1. Pine Wood,
  2. birch Wood,
  3. Ash (Fraxinus),
  4. Maple Wood,
  5. Lime Wood.

Preparing the Wood: How to do it perfectly?

From sawing and cutting to sanding, there are several steps involved in ensuring that the wood is properly prepared.

Doing it right will result in a finished product with a high-quality look and feel.

  • The most important part of preparing wood is to make sure it’s cut correctly. Using a hand saw or power miter saw, you can make precise angles and cuts so that the pieces fit together nicely.
  • After cutting, it’s time to start sanding the surface of the wood using grits from 80 to 180, depending on how smooth you want your finished product to be.
  • Once sanded down, use a damp cloth or brush on the grain of the wood for extra protection against splintering and cracking as you work with it further.

In conclusion, The wood surface should be clean and dust-free before burning.

You should also sand them briefly with a coarse sandpaper in the direction of the grain. Before burning, however, you must take care to remove the dust completely.

Steps: Wood burning with soldering iron

Wood burning with a soldering iron is an inexpensive and easy way to create intricate designs.

Wood burning with soldering iron

Here are some steps that beginners should take when learning how to wood burn with a soldering iron.

Surface Preparation

First of all, prepare the workplace. At hand should be not only a pyrograph, but also a stand for it, a set of replaceable nozzles, pliers.

The room should be well ventilated, in extreme cases, be sure to turn on the fan, put on a respirator.

Under the elbow of the working hand, put a towel rolled up in a roller. Take care of good lighting.

Choose the Drawing

Once your workspace is ready and all supplies have been gathered together, it’s time to begin!

First draw out your desired design onto the surface of the wood using a pencil or marker.

With a sharp hard pencil, outline the contours of the future image. Remove excess lines with a soft white eraser. The picture can be transferred using black copy paper.

In the absence of appropriate skills, a suitable drawing is printed, after which it is applied to the board using stencil paper.

Choose correct type of Tip

The next step of wood burning is choosing which type of tip you would like to use for your project.

If the surface is softwood, such as pine or cedar, then use a conical shaped tip. This type of tip will allow more control over smaller details like writing words or creating intricate designs.

Different types of Tips available in market are:

  1. Cylindrical Point / Conical Point
  2. Universal Point
  3. Shading Point

Burning: Get Ready

Turn on the soldering iron. Remember solder heats up very quickly (within 1-2 minutes) and is constantly heated to a high temperature.

Put it only on a special stand, when working, make sure not to accidentally touch the hot part with your hand.

First, burn out the edges of the picture, its main lines and only then proceed to the internal details and hatching.

Move your hand towards you, and then you will be less tired. If you took a complex image where there is a fill, a gradient, then first of all perform the contours.

If something goes wrong, the erroneous lines can be sandpapered. Mistakes are inevitable, but you should not be afraid of them.

Pay attention to how the wood fibers are arranged. When working, try to move the device in the direction of these fibers, and not against them. So, the process will be greatly simplified.

 If several lines are located in close proximity, they should be applied with some delay, which is required to cool. 

Give it a delicate post processing!

After finishing the wood burning, treat the burned surface with fine grit sandpaper. Also, to protect the art from damage as well as put decorative colors:

  1. Apply varnishing on the wood surface. Varnish gives glossy finish as well as protect the surface design from damage. At the same time, the picture does not lose its contours, remains bright and saturated.
  2. If necessary, partial or complete coloring of the space that is formed between the applied lines is carried out.

Safety while performing Wood burning with soldering iron

Wood burning with a soldering iron is an art form that has been around for centuries.

While it is a fun and relaxing hobby, it can also be dangerous if safety precautions are not taken.

Wood burning with a soldering iron is an activity that can provide hours of enjoyment and relaxation.

It is important to understand the dangers associated with wood burning so that you can practice safe techniques and protect yourself from potential harm.

When working with a soldering iron, always make sure that you wear protective clothing such as long sleeves, gloves, and eye protection.

Additionally, try to work in a well-ventilated area or use a dust mask to avoid inhaling any dangerous fumes produced by the heat of the iron.

Make sure that any tools used for your project are sharp and have no frayed edges to avoid cutting yourself while using them.


In conclusion,wood burning with a soldering iron is a unique craft that combines woodworking and metalwork.

It takes some practice, but once you get the hang of it, you can produce beautiful and intricate designs with relative ease.

Not only that, but the process is relatively inexpensive compared to other tools used for wood burning. This makes it an ideal activity for those who are just starting out in this hobby.

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