Baking Soda

As weird as it may sound, using baking soda to condition the wood can drastically increase the outcome! I found that it burns darker, but also more uniformly. Without conditioning, I was not able to produce greyscale / dithered images on Spruce Plywood (cheapest plywood i could find) due to the non uniformity of the wood. On the exact same wood, conditioning with baking soda resolved that issue, and allowed a quicker burnt and required less power.

How to

  1. Dissolve 1 tea spoon of baking soda into 1/3 cup of water
  2. With a spray bottle, spray the entire face of the wood. (this can be done with a rag as well).
  3. Let it fully dry. You will notice a yellow tint in the wood after conditioning, this is normal.
  4. Optional, apply a white wash tint to the wood (1 part paint to 2 parts water, wiped after one minute), and let it fully dry.
  5. Burn your work (dithered image or vector).

The following picture was burned at 1900 / 80% / 127 dpi. Burning at higher power and higher rate produced less carbon deposit.

Image was downloaded from a google search, for test purposes only.

There was an argument that using water alone would result in the same outcome. I did the experiment, using the same piece of wood, one side sprayed with baking soda solution and the other being sprayed with water. The wood was left to fully dry and subsequently burned. The water did not do any change to how the wood burns, but again, the baking soda clearly burned darker. We can also notice the yellow tint from the baking soda.

2 thoughts on “Baking Soda”

  1. Pingback: Skyline on Wood - Burnt Vision

  2. Pingback: Wood Uniformity - Burnt Vision

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