Archives for October 2015

Walnut Hollow Woodburner Detailer – 6

Walnut Hollow Woodburner Detailer – 6

Let’s finish up the step by step instructions for this Henna Moon Pyrography Project and the test drive review of Walnut Hollow’s Woodburner Detailer.

Please click on any image in this post for a full-sized photo.

Henna Tattoo Pyrography ProjectFinishing the Main Design
Step 14:  I have complete the detailing by working the bottom floral scrolls.

If you are just coming into this project, please see the previous post pages for the free pyrography pattern, the free guide pattern, and the early steps to this Henna Moon Pyrography design.

Henna Moon Pyrography Project
Walnut Hollow Woodburner Detailer – Introduction
Walnut Hollow Woodburner Detailer 2 – History of Henna Tattoos
Walnut Hollow Woodburner Detailer 3 – Tracing the Pattern
Walnut Hollow Woodburner Detailer 4 – Outlining the Design
Walnut Hollow Woodburner Detailer 5 – Detailing the Moon and Sun

Guidelines for the Border Pattern
Step 15:  Border and trim patterns for Henna Tattoo designs can be either organic or geometric.  I chose a small triangle pattern with an arched bottom line for my plaque.

Using a pencil and ruler mark a line 1/4″ from the outer edge of the plaque. This area will become the outer, un-burned margin along the plaques edge.  Measure and mark a second line 1/2″ from the first margin line.  This will be the burned border area.  Measure and mark this area into 1/4″ segments.

In the first border segment pencil a line from the upper right corner to the lower left corner, cutting the segment along the diagonal.  In the next segment make the diagonal line from the upper left corner to the lower right corner.  This creates two of the three sides of your first triangle shape.  Continue working across the border area until all of the triangle shapes are established.

Lay a small coin or bottle cap at the inner base of your triangle shape.  Adjust the coin until it touches both legs of the triangle, then trace along the coin with your pencil.  This creates quick, easy, and accurate arcs.  Pencil mark a small circle on the inner border guideline, centered in the arc.

Henna Tattoo Pyrography ProjectHenna Tattoo Pyrography Project


Henna Tattoo Pyrography ProjectBurning the Border
Step 16:  I worked the upper triangle shapes with a lattice-work pattern.  Begin by burning a fine line about 1/16″ from one side of the penciled guideline.  Stop the line 1/16″ from the guideline at the bottom intersection point of the triangles.  Repeat until you have worked four thin lines in the inner triangle.

Next, repeat the above step working from the opposite side of the inner triangle.  This creates a crossed-line lattice. Use a touch-and-lift dot stroke at the intersection of each line in your lattice-work.

The outer or lower triangle has been shaded from a medium to pale tonal value, starting at the outer point of the triangle using a tightly packed scrubbie stroke.  Outline the three sides of the triangle.

Using a touch-and-lift dot pattern make a medium-sized dot at the intersection of each triangle along the inner edge.  Burn the circle that lies on the guideline to a medium tonal value.  Touch-and-lift a small dot evenly spaced between these two dots.

Close-up of the Border Work
Step 17: Here are the close-up photos for the border pencil lines and the burned triangle border work.

Henna Tattoo Pyrography ProjectHenna Tattoo Pyrography Project

Finishing Step
Step 18:  Using a white artist eraser, work the eraser across the entire surface of your finished burning to remove any remaining tracing lines, pencil guides, and the normal dirt and oil accumulation that occurs during the burning process.  A white eraser contains no dye that can permanently mark and mar your pyrography.  Remove the eraser dust using a soft, clean cloth.

Pyrography can and does raise small wood fibers from the surface of your plaque as you work.  Using a crumbled paper bag lightly sand over your plaque to remove these little fibers.

Sign and date your work.  As a habit I sign my projects of the back of the plaque.  Your work is ready for the finishing spray, sealer, or oil finish of your choice.

Walnut Hollow Woodburner Detailer Review

I started this project to answer the question “Why would I want a Walnut Hollow Detailer that has less power, reaches a lower temperature, and that is not temperature adjustable when I already have a Versa-Tool and several higher-end burning units?”

Many of us discovered pyrography when the only electric burning tool was a soldering iron.  That one temperature tool had a permanently installed wedge shaped pen tip and when plugged into the wall socket reached a very high temperature just below 1000 degrees.  The only control we had over our tonal values and burn lines was determined by how lightly we touched the tip to the wood, and how long we allowed the tip to stay in contact with the wood.  For very pale tonal values you had to unplug the soldering iron, let it totally cool down, then you plugged it back into the electric strip and did your pale tones before the tip reached full temperature.  Scorching and halos were simply part of any burn.

The Versa-Tool is a fantastic wood burner which I highly recommend.  The inline rheostat allows you to control the temperature of your tool tip and gives you so much more control over your tonal values.  It is a perfect entry-level wood burner at an extremely reasonable price that you will use throughout your pyrography hobby.

But, yes there is a but, the Versa-Tool is temperature set for multiple hobbies which include soldering, stencil cutting, hot-knife cutting. Because it is a cross-craft tool it has a high temperature range, near the 1000 degree mark, and you can experience both scorching and haloing even with careful attention to the rheostat setting.

My high-end burners – RazorTip, Colwood, and Optima – are also cross-craft temperature set with even a hotter capacity than the Versa-Tool.  This type of burner uses a great deal of electric power, and I have watched as my high-end units tend to drop in temperature when the air conditioner or electric heat kicks on.  My Optima has such a high range that I don’t think I have ever had mine set above a ‘6’ on a ’10’ dial.  All of the above cross-craft styled tools can need a recovery time after you burn a long line or work to fill an area with a texture pattern.

When Walnut Hollow created the Detailer they had only one craftsman in mind – the pyrographer!  This tool was made for us, and us alone!  That 750 degree permanent temperature setting is just high enough to create clean, crisp black tones without scorching our wood, gourds, leather, or paper burnings.

It quickly hits its set temperature and holds that temperature throughout long burning sessions. Because of the lower temperature setting, I never had to pause to let the ball tip recover from a long line stroke or from fill stroke work.  In fact, I never noticed any variation in the tip heat or in the tonal value of a burned line throughout this 6 hour pyro session.

Since Walnut Hollow really thought ahead, all of the interchangeable tips that you have for your Versa-Tool or even an older Walnut Hollow one-temperature soldering iron tool will fit and work wonderfully with your Detailer.  So they are giving us the full range of burning pen tips that we love and use all the time.

“So why would I want a Walnut Hollow Detailer that has less power, reaches a lower temperature, and that is not temperature adjustable when I already have a Versa-Tool and several higher-end burning units?” Because it lives up to its advertising – “A perfect temperature for precision and detail” pyrography burnings.

Treat yourself today to a tool made to fit anyone’s budget and created with you, the pyrographer, in mind by visiting  Oh, and while you are there get yourself a Versa-Tool! The Walnut Hollow Detailer and Versa-Tool are so reasonably price you can easily afford both.

Thanks for joining me in this Henna Moon Pyrography Project.

Disclaimer:  I am not associated nor work for Walnut Hollow and have received no financial compensation for this review.  All opinion expressed here are mine and based on my experience using this tool.

Walnut Hollow Woodburner Detailer – 5

Walnut Hollow Woodburner Detailer – 5

We are continuing the step by step instructions for this Henna Moon Pyrography Project and the test drive review of Walnut Hollow’s Woodburner Detailer.

Please click on any image in this post for a full-sized photo.

Henna Moon Pyrography Project
Walnut Hollow Woodburner Detailer – Introduction
Walnut Hollow Woodburner Detailer 2 – History of Henna Tattoos
Walnut Hollow Woodburner Detailer 3 – Tracing the Pattern
Walnut Hollow Woodburner Detailer 4 – Outlining the Design

Our tracing pattern is the line art for just the outlines of each element in this Henna Moon design.  During these steps we will work to fill each element and areas inside each element with Henna-styled details and patterns.  You can re-burn the same line art outline time and time again, and create new projects by changing which pattern elements you fill with shading and which fill patterns or textures you use in each element.

Simple pyrography shadingSimple Shading in the Henna Flowers

Step 9: Henna tattoos often feature stylized flowers, detailed leaves, and repeat patterns of circles, arcs, or triangles.  After the outline for each element is complete that element – flower, leaf, scroll – is detailed with small repeat patterns as spiral curls, wavy lines, lattice lines, and stems with bud dots.

I began the inner detailing of my henna tattoo elements by working the four large flowers that surround the Sun and Moon faces.  Using a light pressure touch with the pen tip of my Walnut Hollow Detailer and a tightly packed scrubbie stroke I created a pale tonal value shading in the flower petals.  That shading is placed at the bottom of each petal where it tucks under another petal.  The outer edge area of each petal was left unshaded – unburned.  This gives a white area to the upper petal and a dark area to the lower petal.

Note:  Even when using simple shading I still want some areas left un-burned to become my white tonal value, some pale sepia tones, some medium tones, and some dark tonal values.  In Henna Tattoos that pale and medium tones come from light pressure, fine line strokes.  Deep mid-tones and blacks come from touch-and-lift dot stokes.  The blackest tones are tightly packed touch-and-lift dots.


Henna Tattoos for PyrographyLine Detailing in the Sun Rays

Step 10: The outer ring of sun rays was worked in a simple long wavy line that followed the outline shape of one side of the ray.  The sun rays that lie behind the upper curve of the moon are accented with small dots, worked along a diagonal line.  This is just a touch-and-lift stroke with the ball tip of the Detailer.

Note:  You can use just about any geometric pattern, line pattern, or texture fill stroke to create the detailing inside of your flowers, leaves, and scrolls in Henna Tattoos.   So for each flower chose or create a new fill pattern, and use that pattern for each of the petals in the fill.  Leaves, paisley-shapes, and scrolls can be either pattern filled or area where you wood burn a small flower and leaf motif.



Henna Tattoos for PyrographyDetailing the Sun Circles

Step 11:  A stem-and-bud dot pattern was used in the inner row of Sun rays and a triangular pattern fills the circle that encompasses the Sun face.

Note: As I worked the Sun rays from the outside towards the inner ring near the face I packed my strokes tighter.  I have not changed my temperature setting or how much pressure I am using on the pen.  Adding more lines into an area darkens the tonal value appearance of that area. 




Henna Tattoos for PyrographyCreating the Leaf Details

Step 12:  The leaves of a Henna Tattoo are just as decorative as the flower petals or scrolls.  One set of leaves uses a line stroke with a circular spot in the center.  Another group of leaves has an inner outline with the outer border worked in parallel lines and the inner area in a small flower pattern.


Working the Lower Scroll Element

Step 13:  I have added the shading and detailing to the lower scroll element by using a leaf and scallop design inside of the scroll.

Detailer Review:  At this point in the burning I have worked for about three hours.  The Detailer, throughout this entire time, has never skipped a beat.  It has held a consist, constant, even temperature with each and every stroke.  As you look at the close-up, below, you can see I still have no hot spots where one line intersects or turns and angle, I have no scorch marks, and my line work is the exact same tonal value throughout the stroke’s pull.

c-up 002


I will be posting the final steps to this project tomorrow, Friday, Oct. 30th.  We will work the bottom accent elements, then create the pencil guidelines and burn the border trim.  Plus tomorrow I will give you my final decision on how the Walnut Hollow Woodburner Detailer has preformed … but, I expect you already know I am totally delighted with its performance throughout this project.

PS – At this point, three hours in, I still have no carbon build-up on the ball tip of the Detailer and not one gray-black carbon smudge because of a dirty tip … big grin!!!!