Lichtenberg Figures and High Voltage Wood Burning

In this project, I used a microwave transformer and ~2200 volts to generate awesome lightning patterns in wood known as Lichtenberg figures. The commercially sold 3d Lichtenberg figures in acrylic blocks require a particle accelerator, but a much simpler figure can be made using high voltages across wet pieces of wood.

Example of what the final product looks like

I used an old microwave transformer to achieve the estimated 2200VAC needed to burn the wood. After reading some tutorials I wetted the wood with saltwater but found that it didn't make the wood conductive enough to burn. I later switched to soaking the wood for ~5 minutes which worked a lot better. 

Most of the smoke is actually just steam

Many people online had the best success with pine, but I found that oak burned the best. Some of the wood barely burned and had mediocre results but for the most part, the project turned out well. I sanded the blocks and added a light wood stain to finish them up. 

Obligatory warning: high voltage is dangerous, don't try this project unless you know what you're doing and make sure you always have a class C fire extinguisher nearby.