The chickadee above was burned on a scrap piece of wood from the woodpile of a cabinet shop in New York where Elizabeth's sister is employed. The rejected pieces are not long enough to make a drawer or have a knot or other defect, but are perfect for wood burning. There is some grain in the wood so one must be more careful as the burning pens tend to follow the grain. This is not much of a problem when using basswood or other very soft woods.
Prior to the class, Jim purchased an Excalibre Detail Master burning system. This system has outputs for two pens. While both pens are not hot simultaneously, a selector allows the operator to select one or the other. He also purchased tow handpieces. One handpiece has a skew tip permanently attached. The other handpiece accommodates replacement tips. We learned that not all replacement tips on the market will fit the handpiece. We also learned that the handpieces. get quite warm while using and the replacement tips don't always make good electrical contact. It's not a good idea to try to change the tips when the unit is turned on--do we need to explain why?
While at the Folk School, we were introduced to Colwood wood burning tools. Class instructor Orchid Davis was a devotee of Colwood burning systems and pens. She uses a Colwood J Tip for most of her work. She had a vast collection of pens for students to experiment with to see how each pen worked. Before the class was over, Jim had purchased an adapter to permit his Detail Master System to use Colwood pens and a handful of pens to go along with it. He purchased two J's for most burning, two M's for straight lines, a C tip for free-hand writing, and a pen shaped to form fish scale.
We like Colwood pens because the cork insulator on the handle is very comfortable. Also, we found that lower power settings could be used on our power supply when Colwood pens were installed.