About Wood and Wood Preparing


Learn more about the types of wood to burn and the classification of plywood can be in this article.

We recommend using birch or poplar plywood grade no worse than BB-BB (or II/II according to CIS standards).

If you use an electric jigsaw to cut plywood without chipping, you can read this article.


Plywood Preparation

For burning on Pyroprinter machine you can use two types of wood preparation: “lazy” and “advanced”.


1. Lazy method (sanding)

Simply cut the plywood to the desired size and treat them with sandpaper.

Advantages of this method:

  • No training required
  • Fast
  • No need to search for additional solutions


  • This method does not get a deep black color after burning
  • When the temperature is exceeded, defects appear – blurred areas may appear on the transitions from black to light. It is the resin that sticks to the tip. Therefore there is a limit on the burning temperature


2. Quick removal of tar and oils from plywood

Many experienced users of the Pyroprinter like this method for its speed and efficiency:

1. Sand the plywood with sandpaper (machine or by hand), use sandpaper with a grain of 180-240.
2. Pour 0.5-1 teaspoon of dry soda on the plywood, distribute it over the surface
3. Sand directly on top of the soda with the same sandpaper by hand for 40-60 seconds (it is better not to use a grinder – it blows away the sand)
4. Brush off the remaining soda from the surface of the plywood
5. Set plywood to burn

Please note! Due to the removal of the resin, you will need to adjust the burning temperature (compared to burning without baking soda treatment). Most likely, the temperature will need to be reduced by at least 2%. Otherwise, the image will be too dark.

Advantages of this method:

  • Higher image quality.
  • Deeper dark colors.
  • Much less absence of defects in places of sharp color change.

Disadvantages of this method:

  • This method is not as effective as with a soda solution. But it is much better than burning without baking soda treatment.


3. Deep processing of plywood (remove the resin, bleaching, sanding)

For the processing of plywood we use two solutions:

  1. A solution of common cooking soda. This solution is used to remove wood resin. After baking soda treatment, the burnt pattern becomes darker.
  2. Hydrogen peroxide 30%. It is used to lighten (bleach) the structure of the wood. The plywood becomes whiter and the texture becomes less bright.


Advantages of this method:

  • High image quality.
  • Deep dark colors.
  • Nice white background.
  • Absence of defects in places of sharp color change.

Disadvantages of this method:

  • It takes time.
  • You need to find 30% Hydrogen Peroxide.

Keep in mind – this is not the peroxide that is sold in the pharmacy. In pharmacies, you can find peroxide with a concentration of 1.5%.

You can find the 30% Hydrogen Peroxide in the Internet stores like Amazon.com. We can not sell it to you because it is prohibited by International rules to send it by Airplanes.


Processing sequence:

  1. Dilute the soda solution: pour a teaspoon of soda into a glass of hot water, stir the solution until the soda completely dissolves. The water should be as hot as possible, but so that your hand can tolerate it. Otherwise the soda will not completely dissolve
  2. Next, moisten the sponge (or a piece of cloth) with a soda solution and evenly wipe the plywood thoroughly over the entire area. The surface should be wet, but there should be no water left on it. Otherwise, excess water can spoil the top layer of veneer plywood.
  3. Let the solution dry for 4 hours. Important! Do not dry the plywood after the soda solution with a hair dryer! Otherwise, the water will quickly evaporate and the soda will crystallize. Dry soda can later corrode the image and the image will become light.
  4. Once again treat the plywood with a damp cloth (or sponge) with a solution of soda.
  5. Allow the plywood to dry completely for at least a day! The chemical reaction must be complete. This is important, otherwise the picture will turn pale! When storing plywood during drying, it is better not to put them in one large bundle. Otherwise, the plywood sheets in the pack will not be dry. You can’t dry plywood on the radiator either!
  6. Treat the plywood with hydrogen peroxide (wet a cloth or sponge and also wipe the plywood). When working with peroxide, be sure to use rubber gloves! Take care of your eyes! The concentration of peroxide is very high, it can cause chemical burns. If the peroxide gets on the skin, then immediately wash this place with water – in this case, there will be no consequences. If the skin is not washed with water, the place where the peroxide gets on the skin will be painful to tweak. The area of skin may turn white for some time. But after half an hour, the unpleasant sensations pass (if there is no any intolerance).
  7. Let the peroxide evaporate for 4 hours. In any case, do not dry the peroxide with a hair dryer!!! The peroxide will evaporate itself quickly enough. If you dry peroxide with a hair dryer, you may get a headache and nausea.
  8. Before burning, sand the plywood with sandpaper or a sanding machine. After that, we remove the formed dust from the plywood with a damp cloth.


In order not to waste time every time we recommend to prepare more plywood at once. This will save you a lot of time in the future.

The best result is obtained on plywood, which was dried for 7 days. Therefore, we prepare plywood immediately for 2-4 weeks ahead.

If your hydrogen peroxide raises the top layer of wood too much, you can dilute it to a concentration of 20%.

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