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Shou-sugi-ban Wood Treatment: Burning the surface

February 11, 2017

"Today we are going to learn how to do Shou-sugi-ban—burned wood technique thing-a-ma-dooger"

—Samurai Carpenter

The long and the short of it:

  • Torch the surface of the wood to the alligator-skin type of consistency.
  • Brush off charred bits with a stiff wire brush

The result is an embossed look and a darker tone. it also makes the wood more fire retardant, and durable from water, bugs, and fungus by sealing the pores.

Keep in mind:

Growth rings dictate the direction of cupping. Basically, the direction of the growth ring is the opposite direction that it will cup. Think about this when installing your wood.

A couple of nuggets of info on shou-sugi-ban:

  • ​Sugi means cedar, it is a process that was used to treat Japanese Cedar to be more durable.
  • It was developed as a way to mimic the durability of driftwood, which had been treated by extreme weathering through sun, salt, and surf.

Thanks to Caleb of Custom Roofing for the torch. Custom Roofing is a super solid roofing contractor in Victoria if you are looking for one.

More to explore:

The Samurai Carpenter is a timber framer and furniture maker in Victoria, BC. See more on his YouTube channel

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