How To Start Wood burning

Dremel VersaTip wood burning tool

Have you always wanted to try out pyrography?  Whether it’s to create your own wooden art piece or personalise gifts, its best to learn the basics first. In this easy to follow beginner’s guide we’ll show you the correct way to use a wood burning tool and best practices to follow. All to help you get creating in no time with the Dremel VersaTip!

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Get to know your tool

Dremel VersaTip wood burning tool

We will be using the Dremel® VersaTip to get started with wood burning. This cordless butane tool is a 6-in-1 gas torch that can be used for pyrography, hot cutting, soldering and more. The tool comes with 6 different tips:

In the kit, you’ll also find tin and a sponge box which will come in handy for a soldering project.

Depending on your wood burning project, you can switch the temperature setting for the best result. Don’t forget to try out the different tips and temperature settings on scrap material before diving into your project. More on that can be found in tip 5, but first: safety!

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Safety First

Before you get going with wood burning, you need to consider personal and workspace safety first.  As we are working with a butane powered tool, ensure your working environment is well ventilated or outside. Also make sure that your workspace is clutter free with no highly flammable material nearby. To protect yourself, be sure to wear eye protection and a dust mask preventing you from being affected by any fumes the burning wood may emit. Keep away your hair and any loose clothing from the tip and flame. For maximum control and stability, use a clamp to secure your workpiece in place. Always read the manual and familiarise yourself with the tool before using.

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Attaching a tip

Dremel VersaTip wood burning tool with Shaping knife (203) pyrography tip

With all the different types of tips to try out, we want to be sure to attach them to your tool correctly.  Before changing or removing tips, ensure your pyrography tool is cooled off. With the 2 wrenches provided, you can keep the catalyst steady with one wrench, and tighten the tip with the other. The key to attaching your tip correctly is having the exhaust hole facing upwards and away from your workpiece. This avoids the exhausting heat to leave any marks on your project.

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Filling the gas

Dremel VersaTip wood burning tool with Shaping knife (203) pyrography tip

Filling up your VersaTip is simple. Grab a bottle of regular liquid butane gas, flip your VersaTip upside down and hold it securely whilst inserting the nozzle of the butane canister into the tool. Follow any instructions on the butane you are using. The tank is full once small amount of gas begins to escape from the filling valve, always stop filling when this occurs.

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Operating the tool

Dremel VersaTip wood burning tool being filled with butane gas

Your wood burning tool is now ready to use! The VersaTip is fitted with a child safety lock, so to turn it on you have to push the blue lock up a bit which will enable it to push the trigger down and ignite the flame. Don’t forget to move the switch if you would like to use the tool continuously. Do you hear a short whistling sound when igniting? Don’t be alarmed. This means your tool is heating up. To turn off your VersaTip, release the lock button by pushing it to the right, this will immediately turn off the flame. Lay the tool down on its wedge to keep the hot tip off any surface and allow it to cool down. This will take approximately 20 minutes.

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Practicing pyrography

Practicing pyrography techniques on scrap wood using Dremel VersaTip

Practice your wood burning skills on a scrap piece of wood to get used to how the tool feels and to adjust the flame control knob to change the intensity of heat. Also, get to know your wood. Softwood will burn faster and more easily, so a lower temperature and faster movements will guarantee success. Hardwood will require more time to burn combined, so slower movement with a higher temperature. A good practicing technique is to try wood burning a simple shape like a square or circle. This  pyrography technique will help you improve your control and knowledge about different heat intensities on wood, pushing you one step closer to finding your favourite look and style of pyrography.

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Taking care of your VersaTip tool

Using a Dremel VersaTip wood burning tool to create fine lines in wood

Taking care of your Dremel VersaTip after you’ve finished your pyrography project is important for the tool life. Keeping your pyrography tips clean will also avoid having excess material from your previous project getting in the way. To do this ensure the tool is cold and has not been used for over 30 minutes. Clean it by using a dry or damp cloth with a very small amount of a neutral detergent, depending on the severity of residue left on the tool. This final step will make wood burning fun and stress free so you can express your inner creativity in a few simple steps!