Woodburning pens are small tools that pyrographers use to make intricate or delicate designs on pieces of wood. It looks like a laser pen. This pen has numerous tip styles to create different kinds of designs.
But these tips won't stay the same forever. As time passes, they get old, dirty, discolored, etc.
Eventually, they stop working the way they should, and you will end up with designs on your wooden pieces that are sloppy and not precise.
To prevent this from happening further, it is necessary for you to know how to clean woodburning tips. And we will help you learn that.
Why Clean Woodburning Tips?
Woodburning tips are found in a certain tool called the woodburning pen. This pen is used by professional pyrographers.
But people who are learning about woodshop also like to use them too. There is a collection of different tips for the pen that can be used to make different designs.
The pen heats up, and the tips burn into the wood to make the designs. Sadly, the resin that lies inside the wood material tends to escape through the pores of the wood when it comes in contact with all that heat from the woodburning pen’s tip. This makes the pen get dirty from carbon, which sticks to that very tip.
You might not notice it or make a big deal out of it. But when the carbon builds up on the tip from being used so much, the woodburning pen will eventually fail to work, or it will work with bad performance or results.
That is why it is important for you to clean your woodburning tips every time you use it.
How to Clean Woodburning Tips
Below are some methods that you can use to clean the woodburning tips:
Method 1: Sandpaper
Gently rubbing sandpaper on these metallic tips is a good way to make the accumulated carbon get broken off or scraped off the tips.
When you are about to do this, you need to make sure your woodburning pen is switched off since the pen tips will be very hot. Wait till it is cooled down and then start working on it.
When choosing sandpaper, it is best to choose a 320 grit paper. The reason milder sandpaper is better is that the rougher ones could wear off the tip or chip off any parts of it.
After you gently use the sandpaper on the tip and successfully scrape off the carbon bits, you need to wipe off the charcoal or carbon bits with a damp sponge as a finishing.
Method 2: Heat
A quick method to clean the woodburning tip would be to set the pen on high heat. When the temperature is very high with the maximum heat setting on the pen, then it is very likely that the carbon on the tip will start to burn off on its own.
For this method, all you have to do is set the pen down on any kind of surface that won't be harmed from the overheating and then let the heat rise till the tip is at its hottest temperature.
The carbon on the tip will start to crack and naturally fall off because the heat will make it lose the moisture that makes it stick to the tip.
After all the debris has broken off, you can turn the woodburning pen off. And after it has cooled down, you have to wipe off any excess dirt left on the tip.
Method 3: Strainer
The strainer we are talking about here is the tea strainer that has a metallic net-like structure. This is a non-abrasive technique to clean your woodburning tips, and it is cheap too.
Scrape the tip on the opposite side of the strainer’s curve so that the carbon bits fall through the net part.
Using circular motions is a good idea for this kind of method. You can then wipe off any dirt left on it. This kind of strainer should be kept aside in your tool cleaning kit since it would not be healthy to use it as kitchenware anymore.
Method 4: Polishing Burr
For this method, you need a rotary tool kit and a polishing burr. Attach the two of these together and make sure the sizes are compatible with each other as they are attached.
This helps the pen’s tips get an intense and deep clean. But when you are polishing the tips with a polishing burr, you shouldn’t overdo it because it will start to thin out the metal of the tips and weaken it.
The rotary tool is supposed to be set at its lowest setting anyway so that you can keep the polishing at a steady pace and under your control.
While you are polishing off the carbon residue, you should stop with intervals and check on the progress so that you know when you are done. When the metal of the tip is clean and shiny, then you don’t need to keep going.
Method 5: Knife Method
This method does not necessarily require real metal knives. You will be using sharp and hard scraps or pieces of wood to scrape off the carbon build-up.
After you have accomplished that, you can scrub the tip to clean off any residue that is left over.
Method 6: Rouge Method
The rouge we are talking about is the jeweler’s rouge. It is used as a polishing compound. And the reason some people like using these jeweler’s rouge for cleaning their woodburning tips is because it is gentle on the metal of the tip and doesn’t scratch it in any way.
Moreover, the rogues still help clean off the carbon on the tip. There are different kinds of these rouges which you can use on your pen’s tips.
Also, the green rouge is a little coarse and is better for daily use right after you are done using your woodburning pen tool.
Then there is the red rough, which is a bit finer and is used for a finishing touch of polishing after you’ve removed the carbon.
If you do have these woodburning pens and various types of tips for the pen, then it is very important for you to know the above methods of how to clean woodburning tips so that you can use them for making art on wood.
And if you use any of the above cleaning methods regularly, then you will never face any problems with your tool and can have smooth performance and best results on every project.