Can You Use a Soldering Iron for Pyrography?

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Creativity is unlimited

There are many different methods you can use to express your creative spirit. Pyrography is just one of them and if you do not have a bone fide pyrography toolset it may be possible to make adaptions to your soldering iron and still create your masterpieces.

To find out what pyrography is and how to use your soldering iron in this creative expression, just continue to read our article. It has the information to get you on the right track and be a unique artist

What is pyrography?

If you are new to this aspect of the artistic world, the term simply implies that you bring your creative images to select pieces of wood. The term itself means writing with fire.

Pyrography is done freehand and lets you create whatever design you think is beautiful. This art form is not limited to wood and can be done on leather if you prefer that canvas.

This art form has been practiced since the ancient Egyptians walked the earth and have been found in Han Dynasty China as well as many African tribes and different ethnic groups throughout Europe and South America.

If you take this art form up you are joining a long and rich history that has produced a myriad of fine art works that many collectors love.

Can you use a soldering iron for pyrography?

The best answer that can be given here is that a soldering iron can be used to create wonderful pyrography works of art but it is not recommended you use one. There are some reasons why you should stick to actual pyrography equipment to get the job done:

  1. It is not an ideal tool to use and some may not get hot enough to burn the wood
  2. The tips are made from copper and iron and not great for wood burning
  3. Most of the tips are not slender or pointed enough to be effective n this art form
  4. Soldering iron tips may be damaged faster and easier than pyrography tips
  5. Only pencil soldering irons can be adapted for pyrography work

Converting your soldering iron to a pyrography tool

If those points do not discourage you from using your old soldering iron for wood burning,m then you need to learn how to convert that tool into a form that works well for pyrography art.

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Tools needed:

  • Old soldering iron

  • Nail about 5mm thick and about 100mm long
  • Steel files
  • Grinder, hammer, and pliers
  • Drill & steel ruler
  • Permanent marker and safety equipment

Steps to follow:

#1. gather your tools and be prepared to work for 2 1/2 hours

#2. put the nail in your vise and measure the length you need. Make sure to measure from the pointed end and cut the head off

#3. grind the nail down to the correct thickness. You can do this either by hand or with an attachment on your power drill

#4. Now place the nail into your drill and put the drill in your vise. Turn the drill on and use a steel file to shape the nail to the design you need.

#5. Test your bit or bits. The mail may take longer to heat up than regular soldering bits but that is normal.

Tips for using a soldering iron for pyrography

Everyone needs tips, even old pros like Tiger w3ooods. They regularly go to other experts to help their swing and getting tips for doing pyrography will help make you an artist producing professional-looking work.

#1.Get the tip that is slender and the pointiestThese tips give you the most control over your work as well as provide you with a large range of effects you can apply
#2.Use an iron that can get really hotThe hotter the iron gets the less time you have to wait to make your marks on the piece of wood
#3.Keep cleaning your tipsSoldering iron tips are not made from nichrome like pyrography tips are. This means wood and ash will stay on the tip and need to be cleaned off if you want a good looking piece of art
#4.Always do a test or twoUse some scrap wood to practice on. You need to adapt your technique to the lack of control the soldering iron offers
#5.Change the tipIf you are going to solder after doing wood burning, make sure to change the tip#6,Create a patternUnless you are really talented and do not need them patterns help guide your hand. This is especially important when doing fonts and artistic logos
#7.Layout the pattern gentlyYou do not want to dent the wood and ruin your work before you get started
#8.Experiment with different tipsThis will help you find the right one for your task and broaden your ability to create a unique look
#9.Be patientIt takes a while for the iron to get hot enough so block out enough time so you are not rushed as you work#10.Work carefullyThere are no second chances when you do wood burning, so avoid making mistakes
#11.Remember to erase any remaining pattern marksHaving a clean look is what you are after and those marks may interfere with your using any stain or varnishes that preserve your work

Some final words

If you cannot go out and get yourself a nice wood-burning set then an old soldering iron will fill in and help you create. While the soldering iron is not the correct right tool it will do in a pinch as long as you use the right soldering tips.

You can make your own tips to make sure you have the right ones, just make sure you can attach those DIY items to your soldering iron securely. Any mistakes ruin your new hobby and have you starting all over again. Practice does make perfect and you can develop your own art style as Picasso did.

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