My First Fractal Burn

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Project by Grumpy posted 06-15-2019 04:47 AM 1254 views 2 times favorited 18 comments Add to Favorites Watch

These are my first attempts at fractal burning. It took a bit of time to get the equipment safety features organised after I was given a homemade version of a fractal burner powered by a microwave oven transformer.
With a lot of help from my son, who is an electrical engineer, we came up with a unit that was safe but believe you me a bit scary if you a are bit clumsy with safety which I’m not.
What we came up with.
1. A foot pedal operating switch. if you get a high voltage jolt and it throws you the circuit will be cut immediately.
This pedal switch was a good price on eBay

2. A Variable Voltage Controller. This is to my mind an essential piece of equipment to control the intensity of the burn particularly when the probes are close together. It is also a secondary safety device if you turn it to zero after each burn.

3. I use wooden props to hold the probes as I don’t think it is necessary to hold the probes. It may be a bit slower to do the job that way but much safer as you won’t get a second chance with this gear.
Also I operate with the probes out of reach from the foot pedal switch as an extra safety feature.

4. I keep the main components, transformer & voltage controller, in a plastic box with the controller knob on the outside. The high voltage side of the transformer is not exposed then.

5. I have deliberately not shown the wiring for this project as that’s for the professionals.
Ps Thanks to Jim Jakosh for his help on this setup.

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

18 comments so far

View Bob Collins's profile

Bob Collins

2847 posts in 4923 days

#1 posted 06-15-2019 05:28 AM

Nice first burn Grumpy, good to know you took safety into account when constructing the burner. Look forward to seeing more burns. I bought my burner from the US with foot pedal and probes from

-- RIP Bob C, Australia. Your best teacher is your last mistake.

View Grumpy's profile


26812 posts in 5091 days

#2 posted 06-15-2019 05:30 AM

Thanks Bob. I see a lot of potential with it!

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

View Mark Wilson's profile

Mark Wilson

2949 posts in 2303 days

#3 posted 06-15-2019 06:30 AM

Et tu, Gman? Now you’re messing with that?

-- Mark

View metolius's profile


432 posts in 1970 days

#4 posted 06-15-2019 06:44 AM

Thanks for walking through your equipment and technique !

-- derek / oregon

View robscastle's profile


8264 posts in 3444 days

#5 posted 06-15-2019 07:31 AM

Well done Grumpy I reckon Pete will be next.

You look like its all covered safety wise and we will be seeing project No2 without any problems as opposed to a funeral notice!

The projects still looks pretty scary just the same, may be LBD is next!

-- Regards Rob

View crowie's profile


5014 posts in 3191 days

#6 posted 06-15-2019 09:10 AM

Looks impressive Tony, but not a toy for play; either the equipment of the final work of ark.

-- Lifes good, Enjoy each new day...... Cheers from "On Top DownUnder" Crowie

View  woodshaver Tony C   's profile

woodshaver Tony C

8277 posts in 4593 days

#7 posted 06-15-2019 10:55 AM

Your first burn looks good Tony, Nice to see that you built the burner with safety in mind. Hopefully no accidents; just beautiful work!

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

View Redoak49's profile (online now)


5386 posts in 3228 days

#8 posted 06-15-2019 12:31 PM

Looks great and sounds like you built with safety in mind.

View Karson's profile


35278 posts in 5640 days

#9 posted 06-15-2019 02:25 PM

Tony: A great looking project. Nice job on the build.

-- I've been blessed with a father who liked to tinker in wood, and a wife who lets me tinker in wood. Appomattox Virginia [email protected]

View GR8HUNTER's profile


8975 posts in 1952 days

#10 posted 06-15-2019 02:25 PM

I love seeing this and I had a transformer on the bench for 1 year hoping to build one but im to lazy and old and not safety minded enuff to use this so for now I will enjoy all your beautiful work :<))))) GREAT JOB looing forward to seeing more from you

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

View Douglas Bordner's profile

Douglas Bordner

4074 posts in 5304 days

#11 posted 06-15-2019 02:34 PM

Looks great and excellent attention to safety!

-- "Bordnerizing" perfectly good lumber for over two decades.

View Jim Jakosh's profile

Jim Jakosh

26778 posts in 4345 days

#12 posted 06-15-2019 05:06 PM

Great looking burn, Tony. You will love how you can burn a small pattern on a small object with the nice voltage regulator you have!! Be safe…..........Cheers, Jim

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

View Grumpy's profile


26812 posts in 5091 days

#13 posted 06-15-2019 11:07 PM

Thanks for your comments Jocks. There is a multitude of things that can go wrong with this project so if you intend to make one get professional advice on the journey

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

View bushmaster's profile


4135 posts in 3522 days

#14 posted 06-15-2019 11:55 PM

Great burn, nice you had help to get it much safer than one sees on Utube. I also made a safer system but am no electrical engineer, but atleast one can have a sense of safety. Don’t know if you looked at mine. here is the link if interested. I like how you held your electrodes.

-- Brian - Hazelton, British Columbia

View swirt's profile


6624 posts in 4212 days

#15 posted 06-16-2019 03:29 AM

Nice look at the equipment, but man I really like that first burn. I like the way it looks like a tree,

-- Galootish log blog,

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