Newbie, I need help with circuit design

Thread Starter


Joined Jul 5, 2007
hello everybody

here is what i want to do

i would like to have a variable temp wood burner the type you change the whole pen not just the tip

what would be the best circuit to use for varing the temp at the tip of the pen ? i would assume that you would use a pot to change the wattage from the control box to the pen

i would like a temp range 0-2000 degs what would i have to use to obtain that? the other things i need to consider is shielding my hands from the heat coming from the tip, what would be the best material to use for the hand piece? i've seen aluimum, wood and composits used in make the store bought models

i'm just starting my research for this project , before you say just buy one ,no thats not what i want to do not because of the cost most retail from 75 to 1000 bucks so i could find one that would be a deal thats not what i want

i want to build my own just dont know where to source everything
thanks for the help


Joined Apr 20, 2004
You would use a variac to change the temperature. 2000 deg. is a bit more than a metal tip can handle. That's more like a flame temperature.

A wood-burning iron, like a soldering iron, is pretty well perfected. hardly anybody makes his own soldering iron from scratch, as it could never be as compact as a commercial unit. Good luck on the project.


Joined May 16, 2005
Are we talking celsius or fahrenheit? Metal starts glowing around 1000F.

An ordinary triac light dimmer will allow control of a low-cost wood-burning pencil. You can put the dimmer and an outlet both into a "4-square" box, run a cord out one of the knockouts via a clamp connector, and finish with a night-light to indicate "power on." I have the same arrangement for my soldering iron.


Joined Jun 30, 2006
You can make a cheap one variable with a light dimmer rated for the wattage.

I can't seem to find a link to the ones meant for existing floor lamps. They have a cord, nice outlet and knob all ready to use.

Ones you'd have to wire up are here but go to incredible wattages.

If you must build one here is one similar to the above at 1200Watts.
There are lethal voltages, you'll go blind, your momma will cry if you make a mistake.