SmithBuilt Project: Sight Glass: The Ancient Japanese Technique of Shou-Sugi-Ban

Shou Sugi Ban is an ancient Japanese exterior siding technique that preserves wood by charring it. Traditionally, Sugi, or 8Japanese Cyprus, was used. Nowadays, designers and architects have used other species of wood like Douglas Fir, Cyprus, and Oak. The process involves charring the wood, cooling it, cleaning it, and finishing it with a natural oil. Although time consuming, the final product is not only gorgeous, with its rich, silvery finish; the charred wood also resists rot, insects, and fire and can last up to 80 years.

Jesse surveys the boards prior to the burning process.
Jay ignites the planks with a roofing torch.
Before we perfected our “vortex box” technique we tried a standing wall burn. 
Jesse at the burn.
Jay removes the softer burned out sections with a wire brush exposing the standing grain. This process yields that beautiful “standblasted look” but with a black carbon patina. 

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