How To Make A Priddle Vaporizer 1000

As you may have noticed we use a fair amount of pyrography on some of our turned pieces. This is possible largely in part to, what we call, the Priddle Vaporizer 1000 that we built a couple of years ago.

The Priddle Vaporizer 1000 is made from a 10 amp battery charger and based on a design by woodturner, Graeme Priddle, hence the ‘Priddle’ portion of the name.

We made it because, although the smaller, commercial versions of woodburners are very good for traditional woodburning applications, they don’t lend themselves well to projects that require a lot of burning or those that require larger brands. The problem in these cases is that the tip tends to cool quickly and you have to wait a long time for it to reheat, therefore a project may take much longer than necessary. Likewise, with the extra power the options for homemade brand styles greatly increases.

Here’s a photo of the burner in use. You can see why it’s called a vaporizer. 🙂


Here’s an example of some of the brands that we use:

woodburning tips

Here’s what they look like when burned into wood:


You can see them here on a few projects that we decorated with the PV1000:

We made our burner from a 10 amp manual battery charger that we picked up used. It is important that the charger is a manual type as this ensures that it will stay on all the time. The automatic ones are designed to turn themselves off when a certain amount of’ charge’ is reached. The ’10 amps’ is important too. We tried a 6 amp which we ended up burning out when using some heavy gauge wire on our brands. We also used a 20 amp which offered very little control on the rheostat and it ultimately kept burning up our wire.

Speaking of wire, we use nichrome wire for our brands. Because of its high resistance qualities it can take a lot of heat. It is the type of wire used in toasters, hair dryers, hobby rocketry, etc. There are lots of places to buy this online and we bought ours from Norm Smith at Jacobs Online with good results. We bought 18 and 20 gauge for use with the PV1000 and 22 gauge to use with our Razortip burner:

razortip woodburner

We easily make our own pens using a hollow shaft (We turned ours from wood), a plug to match the one we used in burner, some wire, a couple of terminal strips and some epoxy:

woodburning pens
woodburning brands

Because they’re so cheap to make we have several of them so that we don’t have to always keep changing the different brands.

Making the different brands is just a matter of shaping the nichrome wire to give us the design, or part of a design, that we want.

If you would like to make one of these burners yourself we have included several links to websites that offer varying amounts of instruction.

Although the burner is simple to make it does require knowledge of electricity and electrical systems. If you are not familiar with these items you should not attempt to make one of these woodburners. Likewise, this project requires that you use a product not for what it is intended for. This can lead to grave implications as well. Take heed!

Back to the shop…

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