Tesla Bowls

Tesla BowlI use high voltage to burn lightning-like patterns in some of my wood turnings.

I use a neon-sign transformer at about 15,000 volts.  I take multiple safety precautions and approach the process with a bit of caution and respect for the danger involved.

 The patterns are technically called Lichtenberg figure, and are actually the same sort of pattern that lightning makes in the sky.

I call these things “Tesla Bowls” after Nicoli Tesla, who did (among a great many other things) some pretty mad-scientist-style experiments making artificial lightning in his Colorado Springs laboratory.

I demonstrated my process to my Woodturning Club in July 2016, and that demonstration (all 75+ minutes of it) is on YouTube if you happen to be interested.

I have also written up a bit of a description, if you’re interested in more detail about how I do this.

Wood Turning by Dave Landers