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Forum topic by RussellAP posted 05-17-2017 11:36 PM 837 views 0 times favorited 21 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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RussellAP

3103 posts in 2126 days


05-17-2017 11:36 PM

Love this process, that is unless the wind is blowing.
Toasting cedar and pine produces similar looking wood, tones the ugliness of the pine down.
This method does not work well for fine joinery though, no straight edges, can’t glue them up either.

At first I was burning them, then brushing them with a wire brush, then using my garden hose and a stiff nylon brush to clean them up. All that’s needed is the nylon brush though. Do wet them down while brushing or you’ll inhale all that soot.

The process causes the sap or oils to form a type of natural varnish, it also burns away all the soft wood that would fall out in a year or two and ruin any other finish on cedar.

I like to use waterproof on it when the boards are clean and dry. It adds just a bit more protection and it makes the wood look ebony, for a couple weeks at least, then a beautiful toasted brown comes out. Truly the best looking wood I’ve seen.

Keep construction simple. I discourage end joining due to uneven boards. It’s also a little dangerous to run a board that’s been treated through a table saw as there is no straight edge on the fence. Might seem like it’s going to work, but it’ll get ya.

Keep construction simple one face board on another, you’re not going to do fancy cuts on it, unless you re-torch it. I use a small hand held propane for any wood that I cut after the process, just to keep it uniform.

Most important….if you’re going to do this process, do all the boards all the way around. Defeats the purpose to not have the joints treated. If the boards are a bit shaky when you put them together use a 1” chisel to level them out a bit.

The frame on this table had to be put together before the burn. Due to its large size, I thought it was a stronger way to make them. I did get the waterproofing in the joints though.

This is what I make now exclusively.
Very popular and I don’t have dangerous chemicals to deal with.
Let me know your experience with Shou sugi ban.

-- A positive attitude will take you much further than positive thinking ever will.


21 replies so far

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IndianaWoodworker

25 posts in 1489 days


#1 posted 05-18-2017 12:37 PM

I don’t have any experience with this, but I sure would like to get some. Any resources you would recommend?

-- Measure twice, cut once?!? But, cutting is more fun than measuring!

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RussellAP

3103 posts in 2126 days


#2 posted 05-18-2017 12:44 PM

There isn’t much out there. Apparently not too many folks here know about it either. I just got a roofing torch kit at HF and a 30lb tank of propane and started burning. A couple passes on a board will usually get the alligator skin you want. Try it out with something small.

-- A positive attitude will take you much further than positive thinking ever will.

View jbay's profile

jbay

1860 posts in 738 days


#3 posted 05-18-2017 01:03 PM


I don t have any experience with this, but I sure would like to get some. Any resources you would recommend?

- IndianaWoodworker

Find some of this. It’s treated all the way through and will save you the labor of burning the surface yourself.
It comes with straight edges and you won’t need to worry about trying to re-do joints after you cut it.
http://www.thermotreatedwood.com/what.html

-- If anyone would like to see my Portfolio, PM me and I would be glad to send you the link.

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RussellAP

3103 posts in 2126 days


#4 posted 05-18-2017 01:18 PM

jbay, that’s a little out of my price range. I’ve had customers request woods of this type but no one is willing to pay for it. Same with those colored plastic chairs you see online for $325, no place around here to get materials, you would have to paint some white plastic and that won’t hold up. Cheapest way is to burn it yourself. As long as you get a light alligator skin everywhere, you can be sure it’s well treated. It helps to have the wood cut to size and ready to assemble when you burn it.

-- A positive attitude will take you much further than positive thinking ever will.

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jbay

1860 posts in 738 days


#5 posted 05-18-2017 01:31 PM



jbay, that s a little out of my price range. I ve had customers request woods of this type but no one is willing to pay for it. Same with those colored plastic chairs you see online for $325, no place around here to get materials, you would have to paint some white plastic and that won t hold up. Cheapest way is to burn it yourself. As long as you get a light alligator skin everywhere, you can be sure it s well treated. It helps to have the wood cut to size and ready to assemble when you burn it.

- RussellAP

How much was it?
I know you’re not going to use it but IndianaWoodworker was asking for resources, so I was giving him an alternative to something that’s cheaper, by the time you put in all the labor, than to make your own that’s not as good.

-- If anyone would like to see my Portfolio, PM me and I would be glad to send you the link.

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RussellAP

3103 posts in 2126 days


#6 posted 05-18-2017 01:33 PM

I saw some at HD 2’ x 3’ panel of decking for $47

-- A positive attitude will take you much further than positive thinking ever will.

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RussellAP

3103 posts in 2126 days


#7 posted 05-18-2017 01:34 PM

Right now at Lowes, I’m getting a 12’ x 5 3/4’ x 5/4 untreated cedar for $16.71 a board.

-- A positive attitude will take you much further than positive thinking ever will.

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jbay

1860 posts in 738 days


#8 posted 05-18-2017 01:50 PM

How much time does it take you to fully treat 1 board?
Burning (all sides), brushing & clean up..

-- If anyone would like to see my Portfolio, PM me and I would be glad to send you the link.

View IndianaWoodworker's profile

IndianaWoodworker

25 posts in 1489 days


#9 posted 05-18-2017 01:54 PM

Jbay…thanks for the link, but the pleasure I get from viewing my finished product is enhanced by the process I went through to make it. I’d really like to learn this technique, so I was looking more for resources for learning. Thanks again.

-- Measure twice, cut once?!? But, cutting is more fun than measuring!

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RussellAP

3103 posts in 2126 days


#10 posted 05-18-2017 01:59 PM

One board is about 2-3 minutes. I have compared the time it takes to stain and seal the particular job. This way saves a lot of time. I can fully treat and assemble two Adirondack chairs per day and not be nearly as worn out. Plus I don’t come in contact with chemicals. I’d love to be able to buy this stuff, but the market just won’t bear it. I’m selling primarily to folks in $500k plus neighborhoods now and they bitch and moan about my current price. I don’t see getting much more out of them. Right now I’m selling the Adirondacks for $200 each and the love seat is 250. Easy to make, (once you get that first thousand units made), and people love the new look.

-- A positive attitude will take you much further than positive thinking ever will.

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RussellAP

3103 posts in 2126 days


#11 posted 05-18-2017 02:05 PM

IndianaWoodworker, just be safe. That roofing torch puts out a lot of heat and a slight wind gust puts it right on you. Pick a sheltered outdoor spot, have a hose running water and a fire extinguisher handy. It’s really pretty easy. If you have something metal that will raise your boards up about a foot or so, it’ll go easier on your back. I used plastic horses with a couple metal fencing poles between them to do my burns, but its kind of high and can stress my arms out.
You’ll see after your first pass on a board how quickly it chars, but come back and make sure you get a light alligator skin on it. That way you know you’ve penetrated and toasted it through. The rest is just clean up. I strongly suggest keeping the wood wet while you clean it up. Otherwise the soot goes everywhere including inside your house.
I’ve also seen people make the project, then burn it. I guess that’s okay for a sheltered location, but the joints are vulnerable if left out in the open.

-- A positive attitude will take you much further than positive thinking ever will.

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IndianaWoodworker

25 posts in 1489 days


#12 posted 05-18-2017 02:50 PM

Now you’ve prompted another question, RusselAP. One site I found when I looked up the term states that this is making inroads into indoor furniture making. Have you seen anyone use this technique on a glued up panel? In my minds eye, I picture that it would work as long as fire resistant epoxy was used to join the boards…I would also think that the burning process would expose the joints between the boards. Am I right on that?

-- Measure twice, cut once?!? But, cutting is more fun than measuring!

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jbay

1860 posts in 738 days


#13 posted 05-18-2017 03:04 PM



One board is about 2-3 minutes.
- RussellAP

You must be superman, lol
I’m too old and lazy to do all that brushing and scraping.
Whatever works for you,
Good Luck,

-- If anyone would like to see my Portfolio, PM me and I would be glad to send you the link.

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RussellAP

3103 posts in 2126 days


#14 posted 05-18-2017 03:12 PM

IndianaWoodworker, It does round the edges of the board. I don’t know what the final look of fire resistant epoxy would be. Most glue ups just crack open. The only way I can see to do fine indoor joinery is to make the piece then fire it lightly, no alligator, just a good ebony char which will give way to a nice brown when cleaned up. Indoor furniture is just for looks anyway, outdoor is a bit different.

-- A positive attitude will take you much further than positive thinking ever will.

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RussellAP

3103 posts in 2126 days


#15 posted 05-18-2017 03:13 PM

jbay, that includes burn time. Stacking a bunch of boards together gets the end grain and laying them flat together cuts time even more. I can completely treat two chairs and a love seat in about an hour and a half compared to 4 hours staining and sealing.

-- A positive attitude will take you much further than positive thinking ever will.

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