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Colorado Trinket Box

What you will need for this project:

  1. A small gourd bowl, roughly 5 inches in diameter
  2. A woodburner, (I use the razertip dual burner as my choice of woodburners.  Read more about woodburners and pens
  3. An assortment of tips, I generally use a medium shader or spoon for large dark area's, a small spear or small pointed writing tip.

woodburners and pens:

There are many professional woodburners on the market, and to do fine woodburning they are an absolute must.  You can do a lot with a regular woodburning iron, but they have no heat control and are very limited in tips, flexibility, and control.  Even if you make your own temperature control, they are still very limiting in other area's.

Woodburning pen units are pricey, but my philosphy is you get what you pay for.  If you are shopping for a woodburner, look at the variety and type of pens that are available also. 

Fixed tip pens: Most pens are fix tips, meaning the tip itself is soldered in place into the pen, it is permanent and not designed to be changed by the consumer.  Fixed tip pens are also expensive because you are buying a new handle and heating element for each little wire tip.

Replacable tip pens:  these are pens that give the user the opportunity to remove one wire tip and replace it with another wire tip.  This saves a lot of money especially when you start collecting a variety of tips. I have about 20+ different tips, if they were all fixed tip pens then I would have about $400 just in pens alone. 

There are two types of replacable tip pens, one is a friction held pen in which the wire tips slide into two little tubes in the end of the pen.  These are convenient, but as the tubes and wires wear, and even before that, if the wire tip does not make good solid contact, the pen will get hot to hold.  The other type is the binding post pen in which there are two screws, one for each end of the wire and on each post of the pen, in which the tip inserts and a screw tightens them securely insuring a strong contact.  This is what I have, and buying tips are as cheap as $3.50 each when buying a set or variety of wire tips.

When you get your woodburner, don't go hogwild on tips.  You will find that many tips designed for one purpose are good for many others.  I have done complete gourds using one single tip.  However, it is nice to have a shader, writing tip, a skew or chisel tip, and perhaps a spoon.  The size is also determined by how detailed you want to get, if you want fine detail then you need the smallest and sharpest instruments, if you are doing larger work you can move to the medium or even large tips.  In this project I will use all small tips with the exception of the medium shader which I used for the sky.

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