LICHTENBERG BURNER

I first saw a Lichtenberg burner, or also called a fractal burner, at an outdoor woodworkers show. After watching some you tube videos on how to use and make them, I realized how incredibly dangerous they can be, if not built or used safely.

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I used a transformer out of a microwave oven for my power supply. It puts out 2,000 volts at 500 milliamps.

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I have one master switch that turns on the pilot light. The other switch allows the 600 watt dimmer to vary the voltage feeding the transformer, in case I want to slow down the burning.

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I used spark plug wire for the 2,000 volt leads.

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I just soldered the spark plug wire to the #6 solid copper wire, and used weatherproof shrink tube to cover the splice. Crimp on connectors are used for the end at the transformer.

 

To keep the transformer cool, I drilled vent holes underneath it, to allow air flow.

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For the safest method, I made a set of leads that could set in place, for hands free operation.

 

There are lots of situations where you need to hold the leads. For these applications I made some leads with 1 ¼” PVC. I used some insulating material that I had for supporting the spark plug wire and also the #6 copper, inside the PVC. It’s either HDPE or UHMW. I honestly don’t know the difference between the two. I still use leather gloves with a nitrile glove liner inside the leather glove, to prevent sweat from soaking through the leather.

 

I built this with electrical safety in mind, to prevent electrocution. I can’t stress enough though, to work slowly and methodically and ALWAYS have someone with you in case of an emergency. 

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