Wood burning project with an intricate flower design

How to Burn Wood with Electricity 

Burning wood with electricity always seems to be a difficult process. In previous times, it takes a lot of hard work and effort to burn wood effectively, and getting the process right requires expertise and years of experience.

New technology has come out to help individuals’ burn wood effectively. However, these technologies have not given the best results that are needed by these individuals.

We realize this problem and have put together this article to give you the right information to burn wood with electricity effectively. We will provide you the five best steps you need to do this successfully.

Let’s dive in.

You Need to Know the Risks Involved

Here are some of the effects of burning wood with electricity that you should take to heart.

Before you proceed in taking this risk, you need to ensure that you know the entire processes and risks involved. You need to understand that there are certain dangers involved in this process if you are not careful.

If you are not experienced in certain processes, you might need the help of a professional to guide you. Don’t be afraid to reach out and learn from someone who has more experience. You must not burn this wood alone.

You are required to wear your protective equipment. Note that you are working with both fire and electricity, so you need to protect yourself.

Some of the personal protective equipment you need to wear, includes a helmet, some hand gloves, and a face mask.

Bring in the Necessary Materials

When you are fully aware of the risks involved and have fully protected yourself, you need to note the materials involved in the process. To burn wood with electricity, you need to use the Lichtenberg Figures.

The main aim of this article is not to teach you the entire working process of the Lichtenberg Figures, but to show you how to use the Lichtenberg Figures to burn wood with ease.

Several materials come with the Lichtenberg Figures. They include:

Alligator Clips

Use alligator clips to help transfer electricity from the source to the probes and help you hold something safe. One thing you need to know is that safety measures need to be applied here. This is because, at high voltages, the current can jump on the clips.


The probes are also important materials of the Lichtenberg Figures. In some cases, it is made up of a brass rod sanded to a point. There are also coated copper nails present.


If you are going through a process like this, then you need to put your gloves on. When you are working with the alligator clips, then wearing the 12,000-volt insulating gloves is ideal.

These gloves can be very uncomfortable, especially if you’re not used to it, but it could save you from a dangerous shock.

Neon Sign Transformer

The Neon Sign Transformer is another important material you need. It is used to provide the high voltage that is required to burn across the surface. In the Neon Sign Transformer, the electricity from one end of the probe tries to reach the other end.

From our research, we highly recommend using the Allanson SS1235ICH 12000V 35mA NST.

Preparation of the Wood

It is regarded as one of the most important parts of wood preparation and burning. Proper wood preparation is important for you to burn the wood in the best way.

There are several steps you need to take when it comes to the preparation of the wood. When these steps are followed, you will get the best wood burning process.

Sand the Wood Properly

The first step in the entire wood preparation process is to sand the wood properly. Once you begin the burning process, you would want to limit the sanding amount to preserve the figure detail.

Best Wood Burning Tip for Writing

Prepare the Solution Mixture

By now, you should know that dry wood itself will not be able to conduct electricity. There will always be a need to coat the body for the wood with a conducting solution. To prepare this conducting solution, mix a tablespoon of baking soda in a cup of warm water.

You need to know that the experiment is flexible, depending on the size of the wood you need to burn. However, the ratio is still the same.

Apply the Solution

When the solution is mixed, you need to dip the paintbrush in and apply the solution on the wood surface. The wood must not be swimming in the solution for it to work properly.

Apply it gently and dab the wood lightly to avoid any excess.

When you have done this, place the wood in a separate corner for the next 5 minutes to absorb the solution.

The last thing you need to do is simple. Apply a light coat at the end of the solution. This light coat helps the solution to stay up on the surface of the wood during the burning process. Now, the wood is ready to be burnt.

Burn the Wood Carefully

This is the most important part and also the most dangerous part. So, you need to be careful at all costs. The good thing about this is that it is a process that can easily be done. We will explain it in later sections.

To start the process, turn on your Neon Sign Transformer and place your probes a few inches apart. While this is going on, you gently watch how the figures crawl towards each other and burn. You are required to rest the alligator clips on the dry parts of the wood.

This will help you balance the probes properly so you will not have to hold them while electricity passes through.

After you have done this, turn off the Neon Sign Transformer and move the probes out. This movement will create a different branch in the figures.

After a while, you will see that the heat from the figures will start drying out the wood. When the Neon Sign Transformer is turned off, you must apply a light coat on the wood. This coat will keep the figures crawling at a higher speed.

When the figures become too slow, it will become too crowded, and the wood will be scorched. When it is too fast, the wood will not be branched. While you are burning the wood, you need to start testing and trying out new methods to ensure that you get the best results and apply the perfect mixture.

One thing you need to note is that when the wood is too dry, it will not burn. Also, when this wood is too wet, it will not burn. You need to be able to know the right temperature you need to burn the wood effectively.

The perfect burn speed lies in between the wetness and the dryness. At this point, the application of the mixture and the concentration makes the burn speed excellent.

If you are burning for the first time, it is always very tough to determine. This is why we strongly recommend using practice pieces to know how everything works best.

Cleaning the Figures Properly

After you have properly burnt the amount of wood you want, clean the figures properly to avoid a mishap.

When done, place the wood in a sink to wash off the surface.

In cases like this, you need to use hard bristles and flowing water to thoroughly brush the figures. While you are doing this, ensure that the char is removed carefully.

After you have properly brushed the surface of the wood, gently sand it with sandpaper of 400-1000 grits.

In this process, you must sand the surface carefully. This is to prevent the Figures from scratching.

The figures are very delicate, and you need to take care of them for the best.

If you have gone through this process. Congratulation, you have successfully burnt your wood with electricity.

In the latter part of this article, we will discuss the various benefits of the burning wood with electricity.

Benefits of Burning Wood with Electricity

It Makes the Wood Last Longer

If you are looking for a way to make your wood last longer and give you the best result you can get, then burning the wood with electricity is the best option. If you are looking for the best way to ensure that your wood lasts longer without any insect infection, properly burning it is the right option.

Most people do not know this, but when you burn your wood, it works better and faster than when you make furniture with ordinary wood. With burnt wood, you are sure that your furniture will go a long way.

It is Easy to Coat

Most carpenters love burning their wood with electricity because it is easier to go through the coating process. You may be wondering what the coating is. A coat is a protective layer placed on the wood to prevent it from getting damaged by moisture and humidity. If you want your wood to last longer, then you must go through this coating process.

When you burn your wood with electricity, it would be easier for the coating process to take place. This is because the surface of the wood will already be finely prepared and made to perfection. You must prepare your wood if you want your coating to be neat and well prepared.

It Makes the Wood Stronger

Whenever you burn your wood with electricity, it makes the wood stronger and ready for use. Before you use your wood for furniture or fences, you must ensure that the wood is burnt properly to prevent it from damage.

In some places, rain and other types of insects always have great effects on the wood. So, when you use this wood in the long run, it is always prone to damages and attacks from insects.

This is where wood burning is important. When burning the wood with electricity, it will give the surface a hard effect.

It Makes the Wood Moisture Resistant.

The main thing that destroys any wood or wooden furniture in your home is the presence of moisture. Once the water drops on the wood’s surface, you will begin to see stains that may not be pleasant. This is why the wood-burning process is important.

When you burn your wood with electricity, it prevents water droplets from penetrating the wood’s surface. When the wood is burnt, you can comfortably place these wooden items under a moist environment, and it will not get damaged in the long run.

There are a few things you need to know. When you burn your wood, do not attempt to play with it underwater. Even if it has low water penetration, you still need to be careful.

Final Thoughts

We have done a lot for you in this article. In this article, we have shown you the best way you can burn wood with electricity and the right approach to follow. We discussed extensively on the Neon Sign Transformer and the Lichtenberg Figures.

Before you go through a process like this, you must ensure that you are safe. Just like we have emphasized in the previous points, do not go through this burning process alone. You must always ensure that you’re always alert and ready to help you whenever you face trouble.

This process is not an easy one. If you get it wrongly, you may end up hurting yourself. If this is your first attempt at burning wood with electricity, then we suggest that you do so with a professional by the side. You can minimize the risk if there’s an expert to guide you.

This is the best wood burning process you can think of. It is very simple to execute, and it gives you the most long-lasting results. For your home wooden furniture and fences, this should be the right approach for you.