Fractal Wood burning -- opinion

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Fractal Wood burning -- opinion

Postby loyd » Wed Sep 18, 2019 8:27 am

Well folks, the concept of using a high voltage source to affect a beautiful design in your woodworking projects arrived last night at the TVWW September show and tell. I was afraid that it would at some point and feared for the possible effect. The scheme uses a source of a high voltage energy source to burn wood in what turns out to be a very pretty pattern into your wood project. It can be beautiful. My nephew uses it on his fine wood art objects to fine effect.

The pieces shown were very attractive and the presenter issued safety warnings pointing out that the high voltage/high energy source could be fatal. However, the interest in the process, quite naturally, from the assembled woodworkers there was strong. But I can't stress the term "WOODWORKERS". I have no idea how many of those woodworkers have any experience with electricity; especially high energy electricity, but I would bet the part of the warning "it could kill you" wasn't the highest recollection of the woodworkers present.

To my observation, one of the attributes of woodworkers is the inclination to improvise. Another is to improvise as cheaply as possible. I picture in my mind's eye a workbench with wires and gadgets spread out in the open with high energy wires in a tangled mess. Don't laugh, you've probably already seen it yourself. Example: one member had individual wires of his 220v power line plugged into the receptacle out in the middle of his workshop floor. It happens.

The My opinion this is not a technique that should be attempted by our woodworking members. Just my opinion!! :!: :!:
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Re: Fractal Wood burning -- opinion

Postby loyd » Wed Sep 18, 2019 9:00 am

I thought that a little more on this issue may be useful:

It is the policy of the American Association of Woodturners (AAW) that the process known as Fractal Burning is prohibited from being used in any AAW-sponsored events, including regional and national symposia, and that AAW-chartered chapters are strongly urged to refrain from demonstrating or featuring the process in chapter events. Further, the process of Fractal Burning shall not be featured in any written or online AAW publication, except for within articles that warn against its use. AAW publications will not accept advertisements for any products or supplies directly related to the process.]
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Re: Fractal Wood burning -- opinion

Postby sid_matheny » Wed Sep 18, 2019 11:59 am

I agree 100%!
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Re: Fractal Wood burning -- opinion

Postby loyd » Wed Sep 18, 2019 2:17 pm

I had forgot about Sid's first warning about fractal burning back in January. Repeated here to save you the trip back.

Lichtenberg technique Deaths
Postby sid_matheny » Thu Jan 10, 2019 2:40 pm

I saw on another forum where 2 more has died from using the Lichtenberg technique for burning on wood. That makes at least 4!


https://www.king5.com/article/news/wido ... fb824472d1

https://m.theepochtimes.com/man-dies-fr ... 23162.html
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Re: Fractal Wood burning -- opinion

Postby southpaw57 » Thu Sep 19, 2019 7:57 am

That is enough evidence for me. I am not trying this type wood burning. I will stick with the small "pencil" type that plugs into 110V. :geek:
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Re: Fractal Wood burning -- opinion

Postby loyd » Thu Sep 19, 2019 11:51 am

The frightening thing about uninformed people messing with high voltage circuits was exhibited by some of the comments in the presentation on Tuesday. One person mentioned "just use rubber gloves" as if a normal rubber glove would be protection against the high voltage being discussed. In one video I saw on youtube while researching the procedure had a guy holding one of the "probes" by the insulated part of the wire with his fingers about 2" away from an alligator clip loosely laying on the bare wood. This is what could be expected by a woodworker.

My passion about this issue relates to an event when I was alone in the Pluggable Unit lab at Gunter AFB servicing modules for the display consoles that were used for air surveillance during the hot part of the cold war in about 1959. I knew better but decided to use a pair of 'insulated handle' long nose pliers to attach a lead to a 3150 volt power supply for the display tube. I guess I should have known better. I survived as a much more cautious technician. It really hurt but I dropped the pliers and thus was released from what could have been a lot worse. :oops: I've done other such things due to inattention and figure that other woodworkers have done similar things.
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Re: Fractal Wood burning -- opinion

Postby mrl » Thu Sep 19, 2019 7:58 pm

Loyd there are opinions and there are sound opinions that are backed by facks this is one of them and i arge with all that is sead 1000%
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Re: Fractal Wood burning -- opinion

Postby loyd » Fri Sep 20, 2019 11:10 am

This notice is posted on the home page of the website. It may be modified to suit the EC when they meet, but for now it's the stated policy of the Club.

Although Fractal Wood burning is unique and beautiful, it is extremely dangerous. In response to the fatalities which have occurred while using this high voltage method, the American Association of Woodworkers (AAW) has prohibited it from being used in any events, shows, or publications. The Executive Committee of Tennessee Valley Woodworkers concurs with their decision, and is discouraging promotion of the practice at our Club’s meetings, events, and media. Thank you for helping with this! We value all of our members!


I hope members posting on these forums will honor this policy and, other than safety warnings, refrain from posting articles that do not comply.
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Re: Fractal Wood burning -- opinion

Postby rgulley » Tue Sep 24, 2019 8:17 am

It just occurred to me how dangerous this method really is. I've never seen a commercial unit for fractal wood burning for sale. Not at Woodcraft or Rockler or anywhere else. If they're afraid of the liability, we ought to be wary as well.
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