Craft & Design Woodworking
Burn Fractal Patterns into Plywood

 

The Backyard Scientist (who you may remember pouring molten aluminum into a watermelon) has a very cool how-to for burning Lichtenberg fractal patterns into pieces of plywood using electricity. Not only is the process mesmerizing (as you can see above), but the resulting patterns are beautiful.

Two microwave oven transformers in parallel provide the 2,000V applied to opposite corners of the 5mm plywood. A mixture of baking soda and water spread across the wood’s surface allows for better conductivity. Interestingly, the patterns flow better going with the wood grain.

plywood

This project is potentially very dangerous, so don’t try this without doing proper research and taking the proper safety precautions.

Check out the instructions or watch the video below.

plywood

plywood

https://youtu.be/BuG1oNRQnyI

[via Reddit]

6 thoughts on “Burn Fractal Patterns into Plywood

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  2. Absolutely amazing and beautiful! Thanks for posting this!

    2 questions:

    1) Do you need both transformers to complete the process, or can you use just one to create the fractals?
    2) Do the fractal patterns automatically follow the wood grain, or can they go cross grain as well? (for example, the wood grain runs horizontally, but the fractal pattern goes vertical)

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