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Ipe & maple mallet #3: Burning lines with Formica

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Blog entry by Rick M. posted 03-14-2014 05:18 AM 695 reads 2 times favorited 6 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 2: Turning Part 3 of Ipe & maple mallet series no next part

There was a lot of interest in this part so I’m adding another blog entry.

In the past I’ve used guitar string: burns nicely but abrades the line so it isn’t very dark; bailing wire: gets too hot and scorches the wood around the line and leaves a heavy carbon deposit that can flake off; and even copper wire: conducts heat so efficiently that it doesn’t work.

Then awhile back Captain Eddie mentioned burning lines with plastic laminate (Formica). So I stopped by the local Borg (Lowes/Home Depot) where they have walls of free, small, plastic laminate samples and picked out the ugliest, brightest color sample (so I won’t lose it). I start the line with a either a skew or diamond shaped carbide tool, cut a few millimeters deep, then hold the edge of the Formica against the cut line at around 2000 rpm. It heats up quick and burns a nice clean, black, line. Give it a try, works great.

The samples can be found in the countertop/cabinet section and look like these:

Here is a close up of the nice dark lines using this method:

-- http://thewoodknack.blogspot.com/



6 comments so far

View CFrye's profile

CFrye

3824 posts in 584 days


#1 posted 03-14-2014 10:11 AM

Another tool/trick in the arsenal! Thanks Rick!

-- God bless, Candy

View doubleDD's profile

doubleDD

2780 posts in 788 days


#2 posted 03-14-2014 01:00 PM

I have always used the traditional wire method or a piece of hardwood to whatever thickness I needed to burn lines. Since I happen to have 3 samples from the new counter tops we picked out, they will be added to my lathe accessories for further use. I’ll give them a try. Thanks Rick.

-- --Dave, Downers Grove, Il. When you run out of ideas, start building your dreams

View Don Broussard's profile (online now)

Don Broussard

2136 posts in 996 days


#3 posted 03-14-2014 06:51 PM

Thanks Rick. +1 to another trick to use.

-- People say I hammer like lightning. It's not that I'm fast -- it's that I never hit the same place twice!

View Roger's profile

Roger

15261 posts in 1549 days


#4 posted 03-15-2014 12:59 AM

Hey Rick. Thnx for the tip. Those burns did come out very nice. I’ve always used different sizes of wire. I’ll definitely be picking up a few of these next bigbox store I’m in.

-- Roger from KY. Work/Play/Travel Safe. Kentuk55@bellsouth.net

View Tim Dahn's profile

Tim Dahn

1479 posts in 2310 days


#5 posted 03-25-2014 09:12 PM

Thanks, great tip!

-- Good judgement comes from experience and experience comes from poor judgement.

View DustyCellist's profile

DustyCellist

71 posts in 274 days


#6 posted 05-01-2014 06:10 AM

Looks great, I’ll be sure to grab some next time I’m there!

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