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These heavy coil tips make short work of house nameplates and other signs

image transfer using laser printer or photocopier

Heavy coils give a wide burn and fill large areas quickly

Coils are made from strong stiff nichrome wire and are available in a variety of widths from 3 to 8mm. They will burn a wide line or can be used to shade large areas. With light pressure and a rotary movement over the wood they can be used to give a large uniform shaded area. they are even powerful enough to burn without contact to give a soft shading effect. This page describes how to do some large numbers for a house sign.

Image transfer with laser printed image

First produce a mirror image of the number on your PC and print it out to a suitable size. Use a laser printer or a photocopier of the old fashioned sort which uses a powder toner.

Ready for Ironing!

The printout is taped face down on the wood taking care to position it correctly.

Re-melt the toner onto the wood

Use a hot iron and rub thoroughly all over the surface of the back of the image. The black toner will transfer a faint impression of the original. You might have to rub quite hard. The toner may stick the paper to the wood but it is easy to pick it off.

This shows the result

Try to printout the image as dark as you can to get the best transfer of toner.

Next do the outlines

Notice here I have bent the point sideways to make it easier to get an even line.

Now fill in with the coil

Burning well

The coil produces a striped texture. If you want to avoid this the coils can be ground down a little to a more even surface. It is OK to file or grind or modify the coil so long as you do not weaken it unduly.

You can buy coil points and other spares from some Robert Sorby dealers such as Turners Retreat
Direct link to coil points at Turners Retreat here Coil point pack of five (lightweight 3mm only)

If you can get hold of some Nichrome wire you can easily wind your own coils around a nail or strong needle to the width you require.

Peter Child machines are available from Turners Retreat. Please see notes below if you live outside the UK

For customers outside the U.K.

Suitable units are available for other countries as follows : - -
Euro 240 volt machine fitted with Schuko plug.
U.S.A. (and Canada) machine specially made with 110 volt input and U.S. style power cord and plug.
Select from the drop-down list on the Turners Retreat page to choose the correct machine for your electricity supply.

Machines are,in fact, available for most countries complete with the appropriate power cord and plug and with a transformer suited to the electrical supply. The Turners Retreat website lists UK, European, American, Canadian, Australian and Japanese versions and may expand the list as time goes on.
Robert Sorby is the manufacturer now and machines are available from some Robert Sorby retail outlets. See the website for a list of dealers in your country.

Turners Retreat
Turners Retreat Logo

Turners Retreat also trade as Craft Supplies. They sell Pyrography tools and also woodturning tools, accessories and sundries. They have a shop, a web shop and a nice printed mail order catalogue.