Shou sugi ban: let the burning commence!


A few weeks ago, I wrote about how I'd be using the ancient Japanese technique of shou sugi ban on my siding to achieve a cool charred look with the added benefit of insect-, fire-, and rot-resistance. Yesterday, burning of my western red cedar kicked off with a great start aided by some great friends.

Armed with a couple of tanks of propane, a pair of torches (one of which, alas, did not survive the day), a fire extinguisher, a bucket of water, and some quality cedar, the team got to work charring the wood about eight boards at a time, each board taking a minute or two to burn to the desired texture.

After each set was adequately charred, we oiled the boards with an all-natural Brazilian rosewood oil, giving the already-gorgeous charred cedar an even lovelier shine.

Tremendous thanks to Leila, Abby, Sarah, Chris, Alix, Dan, Dan, Allison, Lauren, Tanya, Brian, and Mark for their help in torching and oiling dozens and dozens of boards in just a few short hours. Of course, there's still lots of burning to be done, so if you'd like to try your hand at the flamethrower, just let me know within the next few weeks.

Hours: 5
Hours to date: 216 (24 days)

Other news from the Boneyard: Brian's windows are in, Lee's siding is nearly finished, and Boneyard Studios gets a little attention on the CBS Evening News and The Daily!

Boneyard Studios on the CBS Evening News (above) and The Daily (below).


  1. I would love to help. I live in Alexandria, VA. I can oil. my son would love to help char / burn the wood. :) wanted to help Lee last month, but couldn't. let me know!


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