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Author Topic: Lichtenberg  (Read 2810 times)

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Offline Magicman

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Re: Lichtenberg
« Reply #20 on: May 13, 2023, 08:07:27 AM »
Plus to me, some of it is overdone and ugly.  ::)
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Offline YellowHammer

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Re: Lichtenberg
« Reply #21 on: May 13, 2023, 08:20:54 AM »
We had some customers in the past do it, some got ďknocked to the groundĒ some just quit, and some Iíve never seem again.  I talked to the ones who were doing it at length to determine their electrical awareness and skill level, as well as their technique.  None seemed to be using proper electrical safety precautions as they described their attempts to me.  None were using a proper remote deadman switch.  None were using proper electrical PP&E.  One said he bought his Lichtenberg set online and so it was ďSafe.Ē

There seem to be two tiers of technique an operator progress through.  A purely remote technique that can be managed relatively easily in terms of safety, and once they get bored of that, then a manual, hands on stage which is much more dangerous but gives much better results.  The manual hands on technique involves moving the electrodes across the wood piece, in effect like a lightning pen, and the operator can do some pretty amazing stuff like write names, draw lake outlines, and stencil.  However, itís by far the most dangerous and it also produces the best results.  

One guy I talked to was hand holding his electrode wearing only a single set of rubber electrical protective gloves he ordered from Amazon.  He was painting electrolyte solution with one hand and holding the energized electrode in the other, burning people's names on wooden coffee cups.  I verbally laid into him in front of his wife at our shop and let them both know that they better get his last will and testament in order.  

The most common response I get from our customers is they say if they "get hit" it will be no worse than an electric cattle fence.    
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Offline WV Sawmiller

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Re: Lichtenberg
« Reply #22 on: May 13, 2023, 04:18:40 PM »
   I don't do it. I take my wood to a guy who does it for me. I think he said he used the transformer out of a microwave oven. Others use transformers out of neon signs. I am told the neon sings have a much lower wattage (Amperage?).

    I saw a man at our local flea market selling jewelry boxes he had made and engraved. He said he used a low voltage kit and told me about the neon sign. He also filled his with colored epoxy to make the etching stand out more.
 
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Offline doc henderson

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Re: Lichtenberg
« Reply #23 on: May 14, 2023, 08:01:27 AM »
volts x amps = watts

I have considered it, but not sure who to trust to teach and build/buy a unit.  I could get pics of a pattern and just laser engrave it on wood with CO2 laser.  Lost my hard drive (computer cannot see it) after a power outage a few days back.  not good at graduation time.  
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Offline YellowHammer

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Re: Lichtenberg
« Reply #24 on: May 14, 2023, 08:29:25 AM »
We had a Lichtenberg guy show up yesterday, about 30 years old, barefoot.   ::)  He brought some samples and I thought about this post.  

The problem I see is what happened yesterday, that the patterns are pretty random and other than the "Oh, it looks cool" that people blurted out first, then they immediately ask "What's it supposed to be?"

I like Doc's idea, use a laser engraver to match the look while actually making a design that fits the customer and becomes a sellable product, not just a novelty.  
YellowHammerisms:

Take steps to save steps.

If it wonít roll, its not a log; itís still a tree.  Sawmills cut logs, not trees.

Kiln drying wood: When the cookies are burned, theyíre burned, and you canít fix them.

Sawing is fun for the first couple million boards.

Be smarter than the sawdust

Online Don P

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Re: Lichtenberg
« Reply #25 on: May 14, 2023, 09:05:35 AM »
Down at the voltages and frequencies we usually work with I have a fair understanding of how to stay out of the circuit. playing with stuff like that, it is beginning to "broadcast" power. I have no desire to be a ground. I accidentally did a little bit of that with the high frequency glue machines in the furniture and cabinet shops. Management didn't consider it a feature  :D.
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Offline DMcCoy

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Re: Lichtenberg
« Reply #26 on: May 18, 2023, 07:56:16 AM »
A stick welder or plasma cutter wouldn't do the same thing?

Online Don P

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Re: Lichtenberg
« Reply #27 on: May 18, 2023, 08:52:30 AM »
I'm no electrician but I think you are changing voltage and amperage but not frequency in the welder and cutter. A microwave and neon transformer are putting out in the thousands of cycles per second frequency vs 60 cycles/second, high voltage in the thousands, low amps milliamps, but i think the microwave is far more milliamps than the neon. Your personal wiring runs at way lower and fries if you get into the circuit.
The future is a foreign country, they will do things differently there - Simon Winchester

Online Ianab

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Re: Lichtenberg
« Reply #28 on: May 18, 2023, 03:22:32 PM »
A stick welder or plasma cutter wouldn't do the same thing?
Welders generally increase the current / reduce the voltage. The voltage isn't enough to jump the insulation. The microwave / neon is high voltage with lower current. But it only takes .02 Amps to kill you if it gets you in the wrong way, and the high voltage can break through insulation or track along a damp surface.
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