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I was researching different ideas for a deck in my back yard and found some interesting decking patterns on the internet, then stumbled across this video about the ancient japanese finishing technique call Shou Sugi Ban, which involves burning and scrubbing the cedar wood to give it weather resistance, bug resistance, and strangely enough, fire resistance. The end effect leaves the wood with a metallic sheen that changes with the angle you view it at and is quite beautiful.

I realized it would be way too much work to do a whole deck this way, but it might be really cool as a coffee table. I then decided to basically make a coffee table using the same style as a diamond pattern deck, but scaled down.

The table is all cedar except for hidden support, and all wood is readily available at your local big box home improvement store. Total cost is a little over 50 dollars in wood, plus whatever tools you don't have.

I am a total amateur wood worker, which will be obvious when you look at my pictures, but the table receives a lot of compliments and if I can make it, so can you.

Step 1: Materials List

1x4x8 cedar board 6.48 x 3= $19.44

3.5x6 cedar picket 1.48 x 8= $ 11.84

1x2x8 furring (white wood) 1.02 x 4 = $ 4.08

4x4 cedar post $ 8.00

tung oil (optional)$ 10.00

stain (optional) $ 7.00

<p>Last year I was at a beach bonfire, and after the fire was put out I saw the metallic sheen of which you speak on the outside of some of the logs - I wondered if there was a way it could be used decoratively - and here it is! I love that this is an actual thing, and I will definitely try it, as soon as I get my hands on a torch.</p>
<p>Do it bud. Looking at your instructables, I'm sure you can take it further than I have. Can't wait to see what you turn out.</p>
Great instructable! Interesting and well designed.
<p>Fascinating! I'm going to give this method a shot on some future project. Thank you very much for sharing this!</p>
<p>The table turned out beautifully - cool design, cool technique. Thanks for sharing!</p>
<p>nice table!</p>
<p>Looks really nice!<br>I think Ill give it a try.</p>
<p>I hope you do! It would be awesome to see an &quot;I made it&quot; post on my first instructables.</p>
So you basically fire harden the wood all over the surface, wash it, &amp; that's it?
<p>Yes, wash it with a wire brush. You can vary the amount of char and scrubbing, getting all sorts of different textures, like alligator skin. </p>
<p>Is that the same amount of charring on white pine 2x4 with different amount of scrubbing?</p>
<p>It's different amounts of charring, AND different amounts of scrubbing, and I think it's probably cypress wood judging from the article I got the picture from.</p><p>http://goo.gl/bfr9Ql</p>
<p>Well, I can't post a link to get past the wsj login, but the company that produces the shou sugi ban in the photo is at this link.</p><p>http://www.deltamillworks.com/</p>
<p>And I wish pictures could convey the wonderful metallic sheen and how it changes as you walk around the table.</p>
<p>Nice job! I like it</p><p>Perhaps you can tel me something, which I did not understand on the film of the feller showing the process. After he scrub the planks he apply with a brush something from a white bucket.... to be sure is that some kind of yacht varnish?</p><p>hope to hear your replay thank you</p><p>Happy new year!!</p>
<p>It is Tung oil or Linseed oil. I don't recommend it on an interior piece, but it helps with weatherproofing any shou sugi ban that will be outside.</p>
<p>What about setting glass insets on top of it, or can you put polyurethane on it, or would the diminish the glass-affect you get from the metallic burnt wood?</p>
<p>I'm still thinking about putting glass on top of the table, but the 32&quot; size I chose is making it problematic to find an inexpensive piece of glass.</p><p>As far as the polyurethane, I couldn't tell you. I've never used it. If you try it, let us know how it looks.</p>
<p>Wonder what this would look like if you did the torching on all of the outside-facing surfaces? Could even do less scrubbing on the trim pieces to make them darker for contrast..</p>
<p>That's an excellent idea, and I want to do exactly that if I ever build another one.</p>
<p>Could this be made from pallet wood? I can get red oak, poplar, etc in quantities(in other words, all I want if I be patient!) I like your instructable as I am always looking for alternate, cheap projects! I am retired and have more time than money!</p>
<p>I imagine it could. Cedar is &quot;traditional&quot; and if it's going to be outside I'm sure it's the better choice, but for a coffee table I would think any wood is fine. Let us know how it comes out.</p>
<p>nice....</p>
You should have finished both sides
<p>You should have never unplugged me.</p>
<p>Cool! I liked how you have used the torch?</p><p>If I'll use butane torch instead, it would do the same job?</p>
<p>I don't know, aheibi. Give it a try and let us know!</p>
<p>I've tried it, and the butane torch do the same, the only different is that you couldn't use a butane torch on a snowy day :-)</p>
Not too bad, not too bad, at all, especially coming from a killer computer. Love your handle. 2001 was an amazing movie, even more so considering when it was made.
<p>If I only had a nickle for every time someone asked me to open the pod bay doors. :)</p>
I've seen this done in Japan. They fire all sides. I was told that firing only one side may lead to warping as the plank is only sealed on one side. Great look. Wife must be pleased. She's probably thinking of your next project already. Ha ha
<p>Thanks! If I was using Shou Sugi Ban outdoors, I agree, it would need to be fired on all sides, but in an indoor conditioned environment, I'm guessing it will be fine with just one side. I'll let you know if I ever see any warpage.</p>

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