I am doing wood burning, and I wanted to use higher voltage. I have a neon sign transformer-10000 volts- but it only has 3mA. It doesn't seem to be enough to push through the wood. Can I increase the amperage or do I just need to get another one?

  • I have been using a microwave transformer up till now.
  • \$\begingroup\$ have you tried adding more salt? ie. make the load more conductive? \$\endgroup\$
    – Aaron
    Sep 14 '20 at 19:31
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Aaron I'm not sure that'll help much; if I remember right, neon transformers, like microwave oven transformers, are intentionally designed to limit current output. \$\endgroup\$
    – Hearth
    Sep 14 '20 at 19:34
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Hearth Just going based on when I did it. If there isn't any, or enough, salt, then it doesn't work. I too used a microwave transformer. \$\endgroup\$
    – Aaron
    Sep 14 '20 at 19:41
  • \$\begingroup\$ Try laser CNC. Seriously, a 5W blue laser (with collimating lens) will vaporize wood at 0.1mm resolution. Lithophanes and engravings come out amazingly well. \$\endgroup\$
    – rdtsc
    Sep 14 '20 at 19:46
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ What sort of "wood burning"? The pyrography I have seen done uses something similar to a soldering iron. The tool itself gets hot. No need to shove large currents through the wood at lethal high voltages and currents. \$\endgroup\$
    – Simon B
    Sep 15 '20 at 7:41

This is a basic Ohms law question.

U = I x R

The amperage is deepening on the resistance in the wood. So by decreasing the resistance in the wood will increase the amperage. Lower R = Higher I is U (voltage) is the same.

The voltage in the transformer is depending on the ratio between the primary and secondary coils and the input voltage (primary).

And to increase the amperage the wires needs to be replaced with a higher diameter (Lower AWG).

Ref.: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Transformer


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