String Burning Tool

Guitar String Burning Tool for the lathe. This tool is very useful to get clean, sharp burn lines in your wood turning project. This project is a part of a newer series I have start called Project 15/15. The basic concept is to take $15.00 and 15 minutes and see what I can make. For the most part I’ll be right $15.00 and right at 15 minutes. It maybe just over or short of the $15 and 15 min, but it will be close. I would like to see what others could do in with this concept. Lets get started.

For the most part this will be about the only thing you will have to buy. Some of you will have this stuff setting around the shop. 1″ dowel rod and guitar strings. Little piece of scrap ply wood would be helpful, but not required.
Use your hand for a measuring device. Grab the dowel rod and mark a line you will need two of these. Mine was about 4″ long.
Here is where a scrap piece of plywood can help. Make this quick and simple jig. This will help you hold the dowel rod while your drilling a hole into it. Rip off 2 – 1.5″ striped of plywood. I stapled one strip to one side the the left over plywood. Place the dowel rod against it and placed the other 1.5″ strip against the other side of the dowel. This held the dowel rod while I drilled a hole on the next step.


Yup, that’s a hand drill. I had to use this old hand drill of my grandfathers. My drill will not grab a 1/8″ drill bit.


This is a counter sink bit. This is not required, but it made the knot from the string sink into the dowel. Makes it a bit nicer on the grip.
All that’s left is to feed the string through the holes of each dowel rod. One side of the string already had a knot or some sort of connector on it. The other side I put this very small wire connector on it after finding the size of string I wanted. The length is your choice. I used the length on my miter gauge slots on my table saw. Mostly so I can put the dowel rod into them and they won’t roll around.
 vlcsnap-00031Make groves into your piece of wood first. Then you can place the string into the groove without them slipping around.


Wear dust mask the smoke is strong.
The wire also gets pretty hot. Don’t let your fingers touch the string while doing this.
The results are great. Nice clean and sharp burn line into the work piece.