Monday 9 July 2018
Pyrography is a technique that has myriad uses, and the technology has moved on no end from using a hot poker. Perfect for adding feathers on bird carvings or contrasting effects on other forms of carvings, pyrography can be a woodcarver's secret weapon in making their work come to life. Whether used subtly to create realistic representations or strong, dark strokes to create dramatic effect, wood burning can give carvers that added interest which they might not normally achieve.
This is where the new Razertip SS D10 pyrography unit comes into its own. It allows two handpieces to be fixed to the unit which means you can have each set-up with a different nib, resulting in different effects being created. Other models are available that only have one handpiece fixed at any one time.
When I took this unit out of the box I thought that the machine looked reassuringly well-built. The instructions provided are clear and gives you all the information you need to get started, and all the pieces supplied fitted where they should.
The handpieces have a long, flexible cable with a single plug at one end to pop in the appropriate hole on the main console. Once both handpieces are fitted, there is a toggle which will switch which tip will be heated at any one time, so swapping is very easy.
There is a numbered dial used to regulate the heat: No.1 is a low heat ideal for subtle shading, and No.10 is fierce and very hot, resulting in the tips becoming bright red for scorching wood.
The tips that can be bought to fit the handpieces vary in thickness from pre-made scalpel type, to wire which you can buy and make to your own requirements, so the range of heat settings are necessary to vary the heat to create the different effects and counter the thickness of the wire.
What is it like in use?
Using the item was a doddle. Swapping pens was as simple as switching a toggle. Various tips can be bought to suit differing requirements, allowing the user a great degree of flexibility. The handpiece is comfortable to hold and easy to use. The heat control is responsive and provides an excellent range.
Have you guessed that I liked it yet? Well I did, especially having the option of plugging in two handpieces ready to use, rather than unplugging this and then swapping that. Fixing the tips is easy: just loosen two screws remove the tip, slide in a new one and tighten the screws.
The unit is simple to use and very effective. At £160 it is not an impulse buy, but it is something to consider if you are a bird carver or want to explore the wonderful options within pyrography.