How To Burn Wood With Electricity – Lichtenberg Figures! DIY Woodworking Projects

Lichtenberg figures are branching tree-like patterns that are created by the passage of a high voltage discharge along the surface, or through, electrically insulating materials. In this video I burn Lichtenberg Figures into wood using Charles Waggoner’s wood burning system.

Conestoga Works-

I’m NOT an expert in anything!! Especially Electricity! It is your responsibility to read and understand how to properly use this system.

Safety notice: The output voltage and current (12,000 volts
@ 35 mA) from this burner can cause serious burn, injury,
or death if these instructions and safety precautions are
not followed. The safe use of this burner is entirely the
responsibility of the purchaser. If you have any electronic
implant, consult your doctor before using. If you do not
agree with this, do not use it and immediately return the
burner for a full refund.

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Hi I’m Carl Jacobson from the, I started woodworking with my grandfather as a young boy. I continued woodworking through high school, and started woodturning after seeing a turned project in a friends shop. Some of my fondest memories are working with my grandfather in his wood shop. Being able to share our passion for woodworking, ties it all together.

The Hunter by Audionautix is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution license (

“Easy Lemon (30 second)” Kevin MacLeod (
Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0 License


Barb Douglas says:

I love this but would be afraid to try it.

GuysWoodshop says:

That is so damn cool Carl! I have never seen anything like that before. Love it!

Anthony Richards says:

Hi Carl, I like the video. I love the burner, and I promise you that when I get it I WILL NOT tap the probes together as I do with my multimeter to test for continuity/connectivity. LOL, keep up the good work.

r crews says:

very nice as always. i made mine from a 12000w 60ma neon transformer. i service neon signs for a living. so to the people that think its not dangerous. it can kill you and the arcs can jump inches. mine will jump around 2.5 be careful and don’t think ti wont hurt you. ive been hit with a 15000w 30ma and it draw up your mussels to the point that you cant let go. just be careful. id lie to continue watching your vids.

IBDaddyO says:

I agree on the salt water vs baking soda water. Big difference in wood coloring. I did some pens with this method, look on my front page at
I added you to a FB group Carl.

sulpher9 says:

Pretty cool stuff! Have seen quite a number of home brew burners, but never been comfortable wiring one up myself. Put an order in with Conestoga today – looking forward to experimenting with it.

the green man says:

id strongly reccomend rubber gloves and boots when doing this

Kostas Annikas Deftereos says:

I have fear with electricity so this is not for me !! but looks great the effect !!!! thanks for sharing Carl !!!

IBDaddyO says:

Nice work as always Carl!

guitim24 says:

brass brush in the car detailing section of walmart or auto parts store

Todd S says:

Nice!!!! I attended the Rocky Mountain Woodturners Symposium this weekend. I was running the gallery and we are seeing more and more Lichtenberg pieces coming in. This area is seeing a lot of bowls, of which are being referred to as Tesla Bowls. Haven’t tried it myself, yet, but I’ve watched several demos on it.

woodworks1423 says:

Have you tried this with glued up wood to see if anything interesting takes place when the arcing crosses a glue line?

Andrew H says:

The power is looking for the path of least resistance. It like everything else in the world wants to use the least energy possible so it is searching for the path that costs the least to take.

Anton Jančo says:

We were talking-who are afraid to let them not go into the mountain, great experiment Carl and especially a lot of inspiration from you, thank you ….

Bob says:

Nice work, Carl! Thanks!


Jim Henning says:

where did you purchase the device? I would love to start doing this!

Nolandeable says:

automotive stores carry brass brushes I have them in stock at my store in canada

Mike Canaris says:

What kind of device you’re using,microwave transformer or neon light?

rodney sharpe says:

sorry to annoy you Carl, but i cant find those wagners burners on the net? have you a link plezzzzz thanks

Adam Quincey says:


wombat pants says:

I just bought my grandson one of these for his 9th birthday. He loves playing woodcraft. He is in the garage trying to figure out how to work it now. Can’t wait to see what the little guy makes.

Ghislaine Bérubé says:

Dang, you’re killing me here! I had my pennies all saved up to buy a floor loom but I subscribe to your weekly video and every week I start waffling about whether I should buy the loom or a good lathe and good quality turning tools. Thoroughly enjoy your inspiring show!!

airman122469 says:

“Don’t hold the probes in the air, they will arc back and forth.” No, they won’t. It’s only 12000V. The maximum arc length in air one would expect from a 12000V source is around a quarter of an inch. I was playing with about 100,000V when I was a teenager, and the largest arc I ever saw was a bit over an inch in length. Yes, getting shocked by 12000V would not be fun, but at 35mA it’s not going to kill you.

sean knowlden says:

i dont know about anyone else but that “acorn” looks like a pretty kick ass honey pot

Jomaster The Second says:

That’s badass. It looks like fractals all over the vase!

Scott Haun says:

How bad does that smell?

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