Jin-di-sugi (ish) Style Bunny Cage Table

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Project by jscabinetmaker posted 03-17-2009 08:35 PM 4002 views 1 time favorited 4 comments Add to Favorites Watch

My daughter is getting a bunny for her 7th birthday and the cage needed to be off the floor. My wife suggested building a basic table for it, so I did…mostly. The table is very basic: Cypress with the apron M&T into the legs. Because the design was so simple, and I had Cypress left from another project, I wanted to use a technique I’ve had kicking around in my head for some time. Jin-di-sugi, for those unfamiliar, is a Japanese technique used on woods with opposing growth ring densities (very hard and very soft), such as Cypress. Traditionally the wood is buried, and dug up some time later. While buried the soft fibers decay leaving the hard portion and revealing a very distinctive pattern and texture. Time was of the essence so I just attacked the wood with a wire wheel attached to my drill, giving much the same effect, albeit with far more dust.
I’m planning on using this technique in future pieces, some using a solid pigmented finish to hide the color and fully reveal the grain. I finished this w/ three coats of of sprayed lacquer.

4 comments so far

View CharlieM1958's profile


16274 posts in 4211 days

#1 posted 03-17-2009 09:11 PM

Interesting effect. I like it!

-- Charlie M. "Woodworking - patience = firewood"

View spanky46's profile


995 posts in 3383 days

#2 posted 03-17-2009 11:03 PM

Looks like that will do the trick!
Great job.

-- spanky46 -- Never enough clamps...Never enough tools...Never enough time.

View cabinetmaster's profile


10874 posts in 3551 days

#3 posted 03-18-2009 02:35 AM

Great looking table. It should do the job…........

-- Jerry--A man can never have enough tools or clamps

View 's profile

593 posts in 3965 days

#4 posted 03-18-2009 03:15 AM

You did a nice job making that grain pop, jscabinetmaker.

Your technique has the advantage/disadvantage (make your choice here) to leave all the grain with the same color, though.

If you want to achieve a more traditional look (i.e. alternating darker and lighter stripes) you can use what is nowaday’s “traditional” fast and modern way to do it: torching the wood and then hand-brushing it with a brass brush. As the grain is harder than the attaching wood, the later burns faster and you remove it easily with the brush.

Although—obviously—I would first make a few test runs on some scraps of a similar wood before torching the complete project! :o)

Another (slower) alternative is to leave the wood age unfinished… for some 40 years! This is how most of the traditional houses look here.

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