Lichtenberg: Woodburning with lightning
December 29, 2016 | 9:57 am CST


Some creative woodworkers have discovered an amazing process for putting unique lightning-like woodburned decorations on wood. It's called lichtenberg and involves running a high-voltage charge through specially treated wood. As the charge burns from one contact to another across the wood, it creates a lightning or tree-shaped burn that branches out across the wood. The technique involves painting the wood with a conductive solution (usually baking soda and water) and applying a high-voltage charge from some kind of transformer. Check out the how-to video below.

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William Sampson

William Sampson is a lifelong woodworker, and he has been an advocate for small-scale entrepreneurs and lean manufacturing since the 1980s. He was the editor of Fine Woodworking magazine in the early 1990s and founded WoodshopBusiness magazine, which he eventually sold and merged with CabinetMaker magazine. He helped found the Cabinet Makers Association in 1998 and was its first executive director. Today, as editor of FDMC magazine he has more than 20 years experience covering the professional woodworking industry. His popular "In the Shop" tool reviews and videos appear monthly in FDMC.