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Charring Basswood. And then, afterwards?

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Forum topic by Holbs posted 07-21-2017 10:47 PM 428 views 0 times favorited 11 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Holbs

1721 posts in 1863 days


07-21-2017 10:47 PM

I am about ready to continue my plantation shutter project and pretty much decided to go with basswood with a single coat of shellac then charring both then scraping with a wire brush.
But after I do that, what are the do’s and don’t following charring? I was thinking of putting couple coats of shellac and followed by a number of poly urethane spray coats over stiles, rails, and louvers… basically treat them as normal wood pieces. However, everything I have read up on “charring” explains “HOW” to charr, but not how to finish the charring.
I might just go for it and see of myself. I just wanted to post this question to avoid any “OMG the charr fumes with permeate through any finish and you’ll ruin everything you idiot” comments :)

-- The Carpenter Bee is derived from the Ancient Greek word wood-cutter


11 replies so far

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Rich

1975 posts in 423 days


#1 posted 07-22-2017 04:28 AM

I’ve set this thread to “watch.” I find the Shou Sugi Ban technique very interesting. There was a thread on LJ regarding finishing/topcoats a while back, but I can’t find it.

I wish I could contribute, but I’m hoping to learn something here.

-- No matter how much you push the envelope, it'll still be stationery.

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Holbs

1721 posts in 1863 days


#2 posted 07-24-2017 03:50 AM

I really like the look. This is 1 coat of shellac, then charred, wire brushed.

-- The Carpenter Bee is derived from the Ancient Greek word wood-cutter

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Rich

1975 posts in 423 days


#3 posted 07-24-2017 04:04 AM

That’s awesome. Where did you get the torch head? Is it a weed burner or something?

-- No matter how much you push the envelope, it'll still be stationery.

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Holbs

1721 posts in 1863 days


#4 posted 07-24-2017 01:45 PM

yep rich…a harbor freight propane torch for weeds, I believe.

-- The Carpenter Bee is derived from the Ancient Greek word wood-cutter

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rwe2156

2710 posts in 1315 days


#5 posted 07-24-2017 02:18 PM

Very nice. I’ll be doing this project myself, but mine will be painted.

Where did you find out about this technique? Is it applicable to other species?

Is there a top coat? If so, what are you using and are you spraying it?

I’m probably going with the Sommerfeld shutter kit and hardware.

Which are you using?

-- Everything is a prototype thats why its one of a kind!!

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Holbs

1721 posts in 1863 days


#6 posted 07-24-2017 05:17 PM

These pieces will not be in direct sunlight. And I wanted to get experience in finishing since every project prior was plywood. Seemed like a good place to learn shellac, gel staining, and HVLP spray. If I install plantation shutters in the kitchen window and kitchen patio door, I will paint them white as they will see direct sunlight.
Where did I find out about this technique? Youtube :) Though, their videos usually relate to house siding since charred wood is fire resistant.
Applicable species? Unsure. I did a test char before doing the stiles & rails with basswood. One with shellac coat, one without shellac coat. For some reason, the shellac coat “popped” out more than non-shellac coat. I would like to try this on poplar and douglas fir or even knotty alder eventually.
A top coat? yes… I will treat this as I treated my window casings: a coat or two of shellac, sand, spray with poly.
I went with the Rockler plantation shutter kit because of the great reviews and affordable price tag. Tried their 3/8” dowel jig… don’t like it as I found it moves a hair (which is bad when it comes to dowels). My next shutter project, I’ll see about using a plunge router mortise jig for dowels or floating tenons.

-- The Carpenter Bee is derived from the Ancient Greek word wood-cutter

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Kelly

1821 posts in 2778 days


#7 posted 07-24-2017 05:26 PM

I thought the charring I’d seen on siding left more of the charcoal than what I’m seeing on your shutters.

The char thing made sense to me, since my family lived the world of antiques, owned an antique and bottle shop and spent summers exploring ghost towns and long abandoned homesteads. Digging through old dumps, we, often, found blocks of charred wood that showed no signs of decay, while other wood didn’t fare so well.

Looking forward to learning from your adventure.

P.S. You can add extension pipes to these torches, so you don’t have to bend down so much. I use Teflon and it’s firing away fine decades down the road from when it was bought.

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Holbs

1721 posts in 1863 days


#8 posted 07-24-2017 05:31 PM

Yep Kelly… I went rather easy on the charring since this is the first time using this application. Is why I have to do some touch up on my dinky butane torch in some areas because unsure what “over doing it” would do to basswood. If this pans out to something I want to get into, I think I’ll make some oven or bakery for pieces.

torch extensions… you are right. Lots of kneeling to get these 8 shutter frames charred. Going to have to look for extension pipes..thanks!

-- The Carpenter Bee is derived from the Ancient Greek word wood-cutter

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Kelly

1821 posts in 2778 days


#9 posted 07-24-2017 05:33 PM

I suspect a simple spray bottle would go far to controlling your experiment. It’s amazing how quickly a heavy mist knocks down the start of something bigger.

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Kelly

1821 posts in 2778 days


#10 posted 07-24-2017 05:37 PM

Mine is nothing more than 1/4” pipe and a double female nipple acquired from a local hardware store.

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Holbs

1721 posts in 1863 days


#11 posted 07-24-2017 05:55 PM

If I really get into charring projects, maybe I’ll just find some commercial pizza oven on craigslist :)

-- The Carpenter Bee is derived from the Ancient Greek word wood-cutter

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