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  • Scalpel + Burning Pen?

    Hey guys, I've just found this site so I thought I would sign up and learn more from experienced people.
    I have been doing pyrography for three years now, however I have run into a small issue, I burn runes into my work and sometimes it's very hard to do small characters. My burning pen came with a scalpel attachment, I just wanted to ask if that is ok to put on the pen when hot so I can get smaller letters/art done. I don't want to do anything without asking before hand just in case an accident happens, had one before with one of these pens and it's not pretty! Picture of my setup below.


    Thanks.


  • #2
    I'm guessing that since it came with it, it is intended for use with the pen. But of course you would change tips when they are not hot! It may be intended for use as a hot knife, for cutting plastic and such, but similar tips are used with better woodburning pens, although they are typically not scalpel sharp. The better pens allow you to control the temperature with a knob and have a variety of smaller writing tips and balls. So I would try it with yours and you may find it does everything you want. But if your pen doesn't have a temperature control, the tip may get so hot that it is easily bent. I use a Colwood Detailer with replaceable tip pens and find it much better for fine work than the type you have. And it is much cooler in the hand and allows better control.
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    • #3
      Originally posted by mpounders View Post
      I'm guessing that since it came with it, it is intended for use with the pen. But of course you would change tips when they are not hot! It may be intended for use as a hot knife, for cutting plastic and such, but similar tips are used with better woodburning pens, although they are typically not scalpel sharp. The better pens allow you to control the temperature with a knob and have a variety of smaller writing tips and balls. So I would try it with yours and you may find it does everything you want. But if your pen doesn't have a temperature control, the tip may get so hot that it is easily bent. I use a Colwood Detailer with replaceable tip pens and find it much better for fine work than the type you have. And it is much cooler in the hand and allows better control.
      Thank you for the reply.
      I was just looking into Colwood Detailing pens, they look a lot better than UK sold wood burning pens for sure. I've noticed the tips that come with the pen I use are a bit too big to do highly detailed work. I'll more than likely end up purchasing a Colwood in the future.

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      • #4
        I do a lot of professional pyrography and have an Optima system, and the pens are really sharp. I also do very fine detail work under magnifiers. I wouldn't use an "exacto" knife attachment unless it was designed for the pen...heat/overheating issues. Your existing wood burner looks like a heavy craft/hobby style. If you do a lot of wood burning it might be best to upgrade to another burner.
        Bill
        Living among knives and fire.

        http://www.westernwoodartist.com

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        • #5
          Razertip makes single and double pen control units with dozens of different tips. The rustic furniture shop down my street runs 2 complete sets
          for wood/bone/antler and never any complaints.

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          • #6
            That is a soldering iron - I have them to 150 Watts - they get Hot! The large ones are for more HEAT not temperature. They tend to be hotter as well. Used on Chassis and Gutters.
            If the iron part came with it it will work and be qualified. If you have an iron and the tip is to large, one could crimp an wire, [bare], around the hot point area and have it protrude outward. Keep the extension short as possible as it is extended and cooled. I'm a retired Electronics Engineer and Physicist and would prefer single like you have. That is a heater in the barrel and the copper tip, [copper conducts better heat and current], and it would be considered an Electric Soldering Iron and anything goes. You can wrap 10 turns of say bare 16 ga copper wire and have a small prod off the front to burn with. Therefore anything goes - you could take one of the 'spare' tips - check diameter and make a new one or buy one at an electronics / Harbor Freight / fix shop to replace it - and then file the front down. The iron will not be hurt if it is plugged in without a tip or with a larger tip. The need is for a small hot point and it is fully capable. The Hobby industry takes the same handle and adds on different nose inserts for slicing and burning. If you put the tip (not barrel) into a pot of water it won't hurt it, it might cause oxy black on the copper and steam out of the pot.

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            • #7
              I've been using the Colwood Detailer with interchangeable tips for several years, and haven't found anything it couldn't handle.

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              • #8
                Just another comment on the various pyrography systems out there. Any of the serious burners will work well and the technology inside is actually almost the same. Human factors and creature comforts are what users are usually attached to. There is one burner that does burn hot but there are "devices" you can put on you fingers/hands to eliminate that problem. Also, don't get confused by the "wattage" advertisements.

                So, stick with an established burner and you will be fine...avoid the "soldering iron" type.
                Bill
                Living among knives and fire.

                http://www.westernwoodartist.com

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