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Wood burning on satin finished wood

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  • Wood burning on satin finished wood

    Hello I recently purchased a ukulele and wanted to get my girlfriend to burn a design into it.

    one thing to point out is that, while the wood looks natural, it has a light satin finish on it.

    will this affect the burning process or should I lightly sand the ukulele first ?

  • #2
    I would be concerned about the fumes you would get burning through a finish and would therefore only burn on bare wood.


    • #3
      Steev is right, not only the fumes, but the finish might melt.


      • #4
        I wouldn't burn over the finish because of toxic smoke and the burning will not be "clean" and sharp. Shading would be impossible. Depending on the type of finish, you might not be able to sand it down if it is a penetrating finish.

        Why not just paint it?
        Living among knives and fire.


        • #5
          First off, any idea what the uke cost in the first place? In Twelfth Fret/Toronto, I see all kinds of prices.
          Burn it and the value might be 10% of what was paid.

          Some gently breeze will blow the fumes away. I presume your design won't be too terribly elaborate ( or is it? You never said).
          Brian T


          • #6
            You definitely want to sand the finish off. Not only will the toxic fumes be a problem but the heat from the burning pen will bubble the finish and make a real mess.
            Keep On Carvin'
            Bob K.

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            • #7
              8" and 10" nails have heads which are 3/4" diameter.
              With a Dremel and cut-off wheels, you can carve any design in the steel that you like.
              Add a handle, use a propane torch and you can brand your carvings, both before and after finishing, if need be.
              Very little smoke/fumes. No collateral damage to any of the rest of the finish at all.

              I've met some carvers online who can't steady their hand to sign a carving.
              With a little help though, they can manage one of my branding irons just fine.

              Brian T


              • #8
                I'm no expert but I wonder musically what burning some of the wood might do to the sound. I'm not sure how big of an area you would burn, but it seems to be burned fibers are probably not going to resonate properly. But then that may or may not matter to you.