RayburnGuy

Home Made Stencil Burner

8 posts in this topic

I read a post in the archives that the Lure Professor had written about stencil cutters. Not being so great at cutting templates and such with a hobby knife I looked them up online. Most of the hobby type cutters were really nothing more than wood burning tools with finer tips and they ranged in price from around $12 to up around $70. I almost ordered one, but then I remembered I had a small, 25 watt soldering iron. The wheels started turning (albeit a lot slower and with much more grinding and gnashing of the gears than 20 years ago) and I figured I could modify my soldering iron into a stencil burner. The soldering iron had a straight brass rod that was approximately 1/8" in diameter with a coarsely sharpened tip. Much to big for cutting stencils so I took the tip out, chucked it up in a hand drill and sharpened it to a fairly fine, sloping point on the bench grinder. After doing the initial grinding I polished it with sandpaper while it was still chucked up in the hand drill until it was nice and smooth. The tips in the stencil cutters I looked at were at an angle to allow easier positioning while holding it like you would a pencil. I screwed the straight tip that was now sharpened back into the soldering iron, plugged it in and waited for it to get hot. After the tip was good and hot I took a pair of needle nose pliers and bent the tip to about a 45 degree angle. If you try this you will need to hold the tip well back from the sharpened end so as to avoid ruining the end you just sharpened. With one end screwed into the soldering iron and the pliers holding close to the middle it should bend fairly easy. I tried it out and it worked fairly well and the best part was that it didn't cost me a dime. You can probably tell more about it from the photo below.

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post-21848-062907700 1286032070_thumb.jpg

post-21848-062907700 1286032070_thumb.jpg

post-21848-062907700 1286032070_thumb.jpg

post-21848-062907700 1286032070_thumb.jpg

post-21848-062907700 1286032070_thumb.jpg

post-21848-062907700 1286032070_thumb.jpg

post-21848-062907700 1286032070_thumb.jpg

post-21848-062907700 1286032070_thumb.jpg

Edited by RayburnGuy

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I read a post in the archives that the Lure Professor had written about stencil cutters. Not being so great at cutting templates and such with a hobby knife I looked them up online. Most of the hobby type cutters were really nothing more than wood burning tools with finer tips and they ranged in price from around $12 to up around $70. I almost ordered one, but then I remembered I had a small, 25 watt soldering iron. The wheels started turning (albeit a lot slower and with much more grinding and gnashing of the gears than 20 years ago) and I figured I could modify my soldering iron into a stencil burner. The soldering iron had a straight brass rod that was approximately 1/8" in diameter with a coarsely sharpened tip. Much to big for cutting stencils so I took the tip out, chucked it up in a hand drill and sharpened it to a fairly fine, sloping point on the bench grinder. After doing the initial grinding I polished it with sandpaper while it was still chucked up in the hand drill until it was nice and smooth. The tips in the stencil cutters I looked at were at an angle to allow easier positioning while holding it like you would a pencil. I screwed the straight tip that was now sharpened back into the soldering iron, plugged it in and waited for it to get hot. After the tip was good and hot I took a pair of needle nose pliers and bent the tip to about a 45 degree angle. If you try this you will need to hold the tip well back from the sharpened end so as to avoid ruining the end you just sharpened. With one end screwed into the soldering iron and the pliers holding close to the middle it should bend fairly easy. I tried it out and it worked fairly well and the best part was that it didn't cost me a dime. You can probably tell more about it from the photo below.

Once in a while I post an Idea intitled (ANOTHER NUTTY IDEA) . Well if I had an award for A post like that you would definately get it today . Its a good Idea and it works, plus it was cheap and generated out of necessity. Great job my friend!

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Once in a while I post an Idea intitled (ANOTHER NUTTY IDEA) . Well if I had an award for A post like that you would definately get it today . Its a good Idea and it works, plus it was cheap and generated out of necessity. Great job my friend!

Thanks toadfrog. I enjoy reading your "nutty ideas". Glad I could come up with one.

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I think it is a very good idea too.

The only difference that I can see between the commercial tool and your solution, is the distance between the tip and the holding position. It would be nice to reduce this distance for more control, but I have not found a solution yet. Maybe it is not necessary if you have a steady hand.

Dave

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I think it is a very good idea too.

The only difference that I can see between the commercial tool and your solution, is the distance between the tip and the holding position. It would be nice to reduce this distance for more control, but I have not found a solution yet. Maybe it is not necessary if you have a steady hand.

Dave

That was one of the first things I noticed as well Dave. I didn't see an easy fix to this either. It could be done by cutting off the flange that connects the tip to the handle, cutting some of the length out of the tube and then welding the flange back on, but I'm going to try it as is for a while.

Ben

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That was one of the first things I noticed as well Dave. I didn't see an easy fix to this either. It could be done by cutting off the flange that connects the tip to the handle, cutting some of the length out of the tube and then welding the flange back on, but I'm going to try it as is for a while.

Ben

If you can find some tube cork you can slide it over the shank. its hard to find. But you may be able to make it by rolling a flat sheet and using hi temp silicone to keep the tube in shape. That would allow you to slide it on and off as necessary.

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If you can find some tube cork you can slide it over the shank. its hard to find. But you may be able to make it by rolling a flat sheet and using hi temp silicone to keep the tube in shape. That would allow you to slide it on and off as necessary.

Thanks toadfrog. Never even thought of using cork. I've probably got an old, busted rod around here somewhere I could steal the cork off of. Just from the few times I've used it I can tell you one thing. It sure don't take long to learn where the hot parts are. :eek:

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Thanks toadfrog. Never even thought of using cork. I've probably got an old, busted rod around here somewhere I could steal the cork off of. Just from the few times I've used it I can tell you one thing. It sure don't take long to learn where the hot parts are. :eek:

EVERYBODY ALWAYS POST your ideas no matter what. Somebody somewhere will either get a giggle out of it or we can all chipin and expound upon it. That is the prime directive of this sight. Glad I could help.

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