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Shou Sugi Ban

Shou sugi ban is a traditional Japanese method of preserving wood for construction to make it pest and mold resistant by burning it. When further exposed to the UV radiation in sunlight, the wood hardens making it even more resilient.

How to Make It

  • Cedar planks. This is traditional, although the technique works on other woods, like basswood, pine, and oak
  • Some way to burn the wood. This could be a fire or a blowtorch
  • Stiff bristle brush. Some sources recommend a wire brush, others recommend one with stiff plastic bristles
  • Wet rag or air compressor
  • Sealant. Boiled linseed oil is most natural, but polyurethane and other sealants are also an option
Safety Materials
  • Fire resistant gloves
  • Dust mask
  • Bucket full of water
Step 1

Lay your wood out, and char it until it flakes slightly, like this:
This can be done by holding a blowtorch over an area for five to ten seconds, or by placing the wood over a fire and monitoring it. This should be done with your fire resistant gloves on and a bucket of water nearby in case of accidents

Step 2

Use your brush to brush the wood. Go with the grain, and get as much of the dusty carbon out as possible. You should wear a dust mask to avoid inhaling small particles

Step 3

Clean off the remainder of the particles. This can be done rather quickly with an air compressor, or slightly slower with a damp rag. If you use a rag, allow the wood to dry completely before moving to the next step. If using an air compressor, wear your dust mask for this step as well

Step 4

Coat the wood. The most natural way is with boiled linseed oil, although other sealants may be used. Most tutorials suggest a table sized amount of wood will take slightly more than a quart of linseed oil

Step 5

Use it! It can be used for a table, siding, steps, anything that needs to be weatherproofed


housing/natural_building_methods/shou_sugi_ban.txt · Last modified: 2019/02/27 04:42 by saltqueer