Writing with fire is an art that has been around since the dawn of recorded history. We can argue that the use of the best Pyrography tools started among the Egyptians. Another hypothesis is that the art dates back to prehistory, the exact time when the first human beings on the planer used charred remains to create unique designs. Today, Pyrography can and will only be as successful as you would want it to be if you use the recommended wood for the project.
Pyro Crafters recommend using basswood for Pyrography. This wood is a good option not only because it looks beautiful but also because it has a solid surface.
My only gripe with basswood are the size options. I’ve only been able to find basswood in precut plaque sizes or circular sizes with the live edge in hobby stores or online. You can find the planks online, however they are pricey and why buy higher priced planks of basswood when poplar is less expensive and already in the local store?
Overall, if you are looking for a clean and light wood that you can use for Pyrography, this one should do the trick.
Basswood isn’t the only type of wood that Pyrographers use to write with fire. According to this Quora’s Post, Mahogany and Jelutong also make good options for wood burning.
Basswood, mahogany, and Jelutong. You want a wood that is lighter in color, has no real grain, and is consistent density across it. This insures the burn line looks the same over its length. It also insures better control of line quality and placement. Grain structure that make a great finished piece of wood is difficult to wood-burn.
Mahogany and Jetulong are good options because they do not have any real grain. As such they are easy to use.
If you are looking for a type of wood that has uneven grain, Saw Dust Connection suggests trying birch plywood.
Birch plywood is more challenging to use because of the grain and since it is a darker wood there is not as much contrast. Burning on birch will require a higher temp on the burner than burning on Italian poplar and basswood. Be cautious when burning on plywood not to burn into the glue which can cause health problems. My favorite birch is Russian birch because it has less flaws and more even tones and overall is a better quality than Baltic birch. When looking at birch the better the grade, the less flaws you will find.
But birch plywood isn’t a top rated wood, to say the least. That’s because the uneven grain makes it so difficult to burn.
Of course, there are so many wood types that you can use to write with fire. But they aren’t good enough to create top-notch designs. As such, we recommend that you use only what’s suggested by experts.