Fractal Burned Crotch Bowl #105

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Project by Jim Jakosh posted 07-10-2016 03:07 PM 2417 views 2 times favorited 31 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I got interested in fractal burning using a 2000v transformer out of a microwave. I had used it on plywood and wanted to try some solid wood and found this roughed out bowl in the chip barrel and put the electrodes to it. It had a deeper pattern in it but I burned it before I finished turning it so a little was cut away.
It is a chestnut crotch bowl that is 7 1/2” diameter and 1 1/2” deep.

I added a couple shots of the burning but it is so bright that it does not show well.
Here is a video that shows it better:

It is finished with clear lacquer.

Cheers, Jim

-- Jim Jakosh.....Practical Wood Products...........Learn something new every day!! Variety is the Spice of Life!!

31 comments so far

View GR8HUNTER's profile


8525 posts in 1827 days

#1 posted 07-10-2016 03:52 PM


-- Tony---- Reinholds,Pa.------ REMEMBER TO ALWAYS HAVE FUN :<))

View UncleStumpy's profile


745 posts in 3427 days

#2 posted 07-10-2016 04:02 PM

Super patterns on the bottom!

But you should NEVER say burned crotch to a man!

-- "They don't want it perfect - they want it SPECIAL"

View lew's profile


13366 posts in 4870 days

#3 posted 07-10-2016 05:12 PM

I am gonna try this!

-- Lew- Time traveler. Purveyor of the Universe's finest custom rolling pins.

View Tooch's profile


2016 posts in 2991 days

#4 posted 07-10-2016 06:06 PM

Interesting technique, the result sure is cool

-- "Well, the world needs ditch-diggers too..." - Judge Smails

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Joe Lyddon

10963 posts in 5167 days

#5 posted 07-10-2016 06:11 PM

COOL technique / method!

I agree with UncleStumpy… That would SMART… BIG TIME! :)

If a microwave oven went bad, I would think the Transformer would likely be Bad…
... or maybe the Tube that generates the microwaves goes bad first??


-- Have Fun! Joe Lyddon - Alta Loma, CA USA - Home: ... My Small Gallery:

View Grumpy's profile


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#6 posted 07-10-2016 06:43 PM

Amazing results Jim. Not sure about the safety aspects though.

-- Grumpy - "Always look on the bright side of life"- Monty Python

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#7 posted 07-10-2016 08:30 PM

Impressive technique. Great results.

-- John C. -- "Firearms are second only to the Constitution in importance; they are the peoples' liberty's teeth." George Washington

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11269 posts in 2955 days

#8 posted 07-10-2016 09:19 PM


-- God bless, Candy

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Jim Jakosh

26292 posts in 4220 days

#9 posted 07-10-2016 09:33 PM

Thanks you for your comments! It is very it could kill you if you got between those probes. I always unplug it to be sure it is off when I mess with the clamps.

Hi Lew, you’ll be amazed when you do it!!.

Hi Joe, you get the transformer out of a good oven! I bough one at the Restore on half price day and tore it apart for the transformer. I did buy a 9000 volt Neon sign transformer first and it worked for a week and then just quit so I bought this one. I’m looking for a 15,000 volt one!

Hi Tony. safety is a factor for sure. I don’t leave anyone around the transformer when I do this. They have to watch from a distance.

Cheers, Jim

-- Jim Jakosh.....Practical Wood Products...........Learn something new every day!! Variety is the Spice of Life!!

View Mark Wilson's profile

Mark Wilson

2938 posts in 2178 days

#10 posted 07-10-2016 09:59 PM

So, Jim, the microwave I brought out to the dungeon because it stopped working – intending to tear it down for the transformer – probably stopped working because the transformer’s shot? And it’s just taking up space? How can I find out whether this is the case? I’d hate to discard it, if it was just a button, or wire problem that caused it to stop working.

-- Mark

View doubleDD's profile


10420 posts in 3158 days

#11 posted 07-10-2016 11:38 PM

That’s a wicked process but I like the results. An lot more character than torching it. We just gave two old working microwaves to Good Will last month. I will have to think more about this one Jim.

-- Dave, Downers Grove, Il. -------- When you run out of ideas, start building your dreams.

View peteg's profile


4436 posts in 3938 days

#12 posted 07-11-2016 12:06 AM

You’re just havin too much fun Mate, keep the extinguisher handy ;)

-- Pete G: If you always do what you always did you'll always get what you always got

View kiefer's profile


5852 posts in 3782 days

#13 posted 07-11-2016 12:48 AM

Jim that is electrifying cool to look at .


-- Kiefer

View Jim Jakosh's profile

Jim Jakosh

26292 posts in 4220 days

#14 posted 07-11-2016 02:52 AM

Thanks Mark, Dave ,Pete and Klaus!! It is fun. I made a video of one other piece and it out on You tube somewhere.

Hi Mark, I don’t know how to test the transformer except to put a ground to one side of the board and the hot to the other and coat it with water and baking soda. The output is around 2000+ volts and I could not get my 9000 v one tested anywhere . I would take the transformer right out of there to do the test. Running a 2000 v wire through the case would cause it to jump to anything grounded. Maybe an electrical shop has a tester that goes that high.

When it tried to test my 9000 volt one, I just put a small piece of copper wire between the hot and ground and nothing happened so I pitched it.

Hi Dave, it is so cool when it runs out like branches on a tree or lightning bolts. When it gets to be a high flame , it is burning deep and that is not as pretty as the fine lines!

Hi Pete. Yup, retirement has been fun for me. I enjoy every day when I can try something new. I have had several of these burning with a big flame all the way across the board, but when I unplug it, the whole flame is gone the wood does not stay on fire!!.

cheers, Jim

-- Jim Jakosh.....Practical Wood Products...........Learn something new every day!! Variety is the Spice of Life!!

View Mark Wilson's profile

Mark Wilson

2938 posts in 2178 days

#15 posted 07-11-2016 03:23 AM

Thanks, Honorable Jim. Now, I’ve watched a handful of videos on setting up a transformer as a “Lichtenburg Torch.” The way you stated the case, it seems that you just ran wires from the transformer to electrodes, and it worked. Isn’t there some monkeying one must do with the transformer’s wiring, itself, first?
Also, about controlling the flow:
I’ve seen everything from placing several “grounding spikes” in various positions, to clamping the board between two lengths of angle aluminum or steel, energizing those bars, and getting the lightening to flow from the edges inward towards strategically placed nails. The first guy I saw doing this, thanks to Alan Stratton, used a properly-insulated set of two hand-held electrodes, which he placed in different spots on a turning, to get the desired effect – a little here; a little there; a bit more over there – kinda painting with a lightening bolt. And, of course, there’s the fact that the placement of your conducting fluid should determine where the bolt goes, more or less.
To be quite honest with you about it, the whole idea, in whatever way it’s done, frightens the bejeebees out of me. I should get over that, though, in the interest of satisfying the profound intrigue it produces in me.

-- Mark

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