Woodburning a sign.

My mother recently asked me to woodburn her a sign for her kitchen to go along with the other two signs I made. She wanted the sign to say “My Kitchen Was Clean Last Week, Sorry You Missed It.” So began what would become my most challenging woodburning project yet.

The first thing I did was go online and try finding a font that matches the message of the sign. After experimenting with different fonts, I eventually decided to use one that was already installed on my computer, one called Poor Richard. I composed the layout of the sign and ended up with this template.


The challenging part was getting this template transferred to the wood on which I would do the woodburning. The wood was 23 inches long and I had to find a way to enlarge the template so the letters wouldn’t be too small. I found Rasterbator to be the perfect solution. I uploaded my image, specified the number of pages I wanted to use and minutes later, downloaded the PDF file of my image for printing across two pages. I taped the pages to the wood in preparation of transferring the template. Looking back on this step now, I should’ve adjusted the margin settings at Rasterbator to make the letters more visible among the two pages, but I was still able to transfer the template to the wood as described in the next step.


Next I used a pen and pressed down on the wood as I traced the outlines of the letters.


After I removed the paper, I took a pencil and marked the outlines to make them more visible.


When that was finished, I could see the transferred letters more easily.


All that was left to do was the woodburning.


Here’s how the sign looked after I intentionally burned “My Kitchen”.


After the lettering was done, I put in a border to complete the sign.


Of course, I signed and dated the back of the sign for posterity.


Now it’s ready for delivery to my parents’ house, where my mother will varnish the sign before hanging it in her kitchen.

How to woodburn a Trollface.

Recently I decided to undertake an ambitious woodburning project to create a smoky rendering of the famed Trollface. Here’s how I did it.

I began by stealing acquiring a piece of scrap wood measuring 8.5 inches by 4.5 inches. At first I thought I could sketch the Trollface directly on the wood but found it trickier than I thought.

Later I came up with a better idea. I downloaded a copy of the image and then used an image viewer to resize it so it’s small enough to place the printout on the wood. Setting the length to 4.5 inches made it too large so I ended up setting it to 4 inches and made sure to maintain the aspect ratio to print the resized image.

Then I used some scissors and clipped the image for taping to the wood.  Afterwards I grabbed my ballpoint pen and pressed down on the paper as I embarked on the essential task of tracing the printed likeness of this mischievous character..


Removing the paper revealed the barely visible impressions on the wood from the tracing. Carbon paper would have come in handy right about now. I’m thinking I should have pressed the pen down harder but at least the impressions were visible enough to mark them with a pencil.


Next I plugged in my woodburner and started the burning process, starting with the outlines first.


After that was done, all I needed to do was fill in the outlines where needed.


And it’s done. Are you jelly?