New Fractal Burner Box and Electrodes

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Project by Jim Jakosh posted 09-29-2018 11:53 PM 12485 views 12 times favorited 27 comments Add to Favorites Watch

After looking at a lot of fractal burner setups, I settled on what I wanted for my new burner and built a box to house it all. The box is 7/16 maple plywood and the electrodes are 1/2 PVC with mesquite plugs in the ends.
It is finished with clear gloss enamel.

Some of the guys use a Variac to vary the input voltage to the transformer but one guy uses a 1500Watt dimmer switch instead and he said it worked great. I had a 600 watt dimmer switch in my electrical supply box, tried it and it worked good. I can control the voltage for small pieces with that. On bigger things I thought I might burn it out so I put a toggle switch in the circuit to use the dimmer or go for full voltage and bypass the dimmer.

I made the electrodes super safe with thick insulated wire and handles to keep my hands far away the metal tips. I can handle both of them safely this way if I need to. The wires do not go to the ends like the last ones. They are soldered to pieces of conduit inside the handles. I left the conduit t sticking out away from the PCV so the PVC would not get burned.

I added a switch and pilot light to the box so I always know when the it is on.

I was in a hurry to try it out and did it in the basement and my wife thought I was burning the house down.She has a too sensitive of a nose

cheers, Jim

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

27 comments so far

View  woodshaver Tony C   's profile

woodshaver Tony C

7504 posts in 4122 days

#1 posted 09-30-2018 12:13 AM

Wow! That is a really interesting project Jim. Well though out and neatly put together. Will any microwave transformer work?
Better warn your wife next time! hahah!

-- St Augustine FL, Experience is the sum of our mistakes!

View ralbuck's profile


6541 posts in 3036 days

#2 posted 09-30-2018 01:00 AM

Looks good and also safe!

I may have to try to make a unit like that.

I really like the indicator light idea too; always a good idea for things that can cause problems if left on accidentally.

-- Wood rescue is good for the environment and me! just rjR

View Jerry's profile


3388 posts in 2417 days

#3 posted 09-30-2018 01:26 AM

You have an aluminum foil hat, don’t you… :-)

-- There are good ships and there are wood ships, the ships that sail the sea, but the best ships are friendships and may they always be.

View Festus56's profile


4105 posts in 1997 days

#4 posted 09-30-2018 01:51 AM

Nice set-up Jim. Someday I would like to try that.

-- Mark -- Really we're not crazy, just "Limited Editions" -- --

View swirt's profile


5217 posts in 3741 days

#5 posted 09-30-2018 01:56 AM

Nice project Jim. So many well thought out pieces to it.

-- Galootish log blog,

View doubleDD's profile


9459 posts in 2812 days

#6 posted 09-30-2018 02:25 AM

Looks like you found out what you were looking for Jim. Cool set up. The handles look relatively safe. It still makes my skin crawl some but I would love to try it.

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

View Joe Lyddon's profile

Joe Lyddon

10923 posts in 4822 days

#7 posted 09-30-2018 04:21 AM

Looking really GOOD and SAFER!!

You almost started a FIRE!!

Have an extinguisher handy? LOL

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

View Ivan's profile


15943 posts in 3637 days

#8 posted 09-30-2018 09:14 AM

...just carful with that!

-- Ivan, Croatia, Wooddicted

View MJR's profile


366 posts in 1183 days

#9 posted 09-30-2018 09:19 AM

Cool setup

View recycle1943's profile


4469 posts in 2391 days

#10 posted 09-30-2018 10:52 AM

it looks like safe way to handle a potentially dangerous tool

-- Dick, Malvern Ohio - my biggest fear is that when I die, my wife sells my toys for what I told her I paid for them

View lew's profile


13114 posts in 4525 days

#11 posted 09-30-2018 01:08 PM

Super Job!

Nice idea with the vent holes in the back

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



416 posts in 1410 days

#12 posted 09-30-2018 01:34 PM

This is a safe solution to the issue. Super!

-- Anatolii UKRAINE

View splintergroup's profile


3774 posts in 1992 days

#13 posted 09-30-2018 02:35 PM

Nice assembly Jim! Having all the equipment together and portable will really add to the enjoyment and you can take your “freak” show on the road 8^)

Those electrodes are probably the best design I’ve seen yet.

I am a bit concerned about the dimmer begin used with a transformer, the inductive spikes will eventually take their toll on the electronics, but certainly a lot cheaper than a variac (and fits nicely inside your box.The paranoid in me would have the dimmer inside an electrical box within your unit.

So have you settled on your soda and vinegar mix or are you still searching for the ultimate solution?

View Jim Jakosh's profile

Jim Jakosh

24781 posts in 3875 days

#14 posted 09-30-2018 04:03 PM

Thanks for all the nice comments and concerns. It is dangerous, produces great results and I feel a whole lot safer with this setup.

Hi Tony. I think any microwave trans former will work. There usually 3 lead coming out besides the 120V input leads and you have to find the one that puts out the high voltage and cap the other 2 with wire nuts. I have 3 more transformers on the bench and found the hot wire for all three and cut the non usable ones short and capped them . This video should help you:

Hi Bruce, I have that same concern that the dimmer will burn out. It does have an aluminum box around it in there. This way if it goes, I can switch to full power and be back where I started until I buy another one. I’m still looking for a 1500 watt dimmer that is less the $40!

I will only be using baking soda and vinegar from now on. That reaction mixes it the best and give super results for wetting.

cheers, Jim

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

View ZAGREB's profile


1276 posts in 2419 days

#15 posted 09-30-2018 06:30 PM

impressive ,but watch out your fingers and eyes

-- bambi

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