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Shou Sugi Ban - An ancient Japanese technique of preserving/antiquing wood, traditionally used for cladding the exterior, preserving the wood and making it fire resistant.

So this is my second attempt at making a Shou Sugi Ban lamp, my first: Shou Sugi Ban Lamp (charred Wood),

it was good, but I wanted a second try, Charring the wood deeper and giving the wood a darker feel.

Plus i gave the first one to my brother and I wanted one too.



Step 1: Materials and Tools

You will need:

  • Lamp holder and socket (I used an old lamp from a charity shop and disconnected the wires)
  • Wood - anything from logs to old table legs
  • Wood glue
  • Sand paper
  • Drill
  • Saw, to cut the wood to the size you want
  • Clamps, to help glue the logs together
  • Gloves (if charring the wood)
  • Spray bottle of water (to keep your wood from burning too much)
  • Fire to char the wood, or a blow torch ( I used both, Fire to do most of the charring, then the blow torch to finish off to the desired effect)
  • Danish oil, or any other wood finishing oil, not essential but does give the wood a nice finish,(although you can polish the wood using an old net curtain, rubbing the charred wood until it's nice and smooth.)

Step 2: Remove the Bark and Cut the Wood to Size

Removing the bark was harder than i thought, in the end I found the best
way was to start at the top and work around peeling as much as you can before going down the log.

Figure out how tall you want your lamp to be, also keep in mind how deep your drill bit will go into the wood, bearing in mind it will be hard drilling from both ends and meeting in the middle.

I made sure my piece for the top was just slightly smaller than my longest drill bit, and for the bottom bit i drilled diagonally towards the middle.

Step 3: Char Your Wood - Log Burner

If you have a fire this will be much easier, essentially put your wood in the fire until its charred and/or slightly on fire, take out and spray with some water to put it out. How long you leave it in there depends on how dark you want your wood to be.

Step 4: Char With Blow Torch

Same goes if your using the blow torch, torch your wood until black, the longer you torch the blacker.

I find using the Blow torch you can target specific areas, leaving come areas less black giving a nice effect.

Step 5: Sand/brush the Wood

Using either steel wool, stiff brush or sand paper,sand the piece down, getting as much of the soot off of it.

I used fine grade steel wool to very gently sand it down and shine the wood. You can also use some old net curtain if you have any.

Step 6: Apply a Finish to the Wood

Using some fine grade 0000 steel wool I applied some Danish oil to the wood, gently rubbing the oil into the wood. Applying a second and third coat once previous had dried.

Step 7: Figure Out How You Want Your Final Lamp to Look

Get a feeel of how you want your lamp to look, which is the best side which to go on top or bottom, and where you want your wire for the lamp to go.

Step 8: Drill Holes and Feed Your Wiring Through

Drill the holes through the middle of your piece.

For the top piece i drilled straight through the middle and for the bottom and drilled a diagonal hole (as my drill bit wouldn't go all the way).

Once the holes are all drilled,feed the disconnected wires through the holes, connect it all up, put bulb in and switch it on (always a good idea to check everything works before glueing everything in place).

Step 9: Glue It All Up

First i glued the lamp holder to the top piece, as my clamp wasn't long enough for the whole thing, you can either glue it, or if you have a better lamp holder than I did, drill a hole for it to slot into or a chisel a slot for a nut to sit in.

Looking back it would of been best to drill a bigger hole for it to sit in, as the glue doesn't seem the strongest holding it, but it stays upright. Or get a better lamp holder which can screw into a nut.

Second I glued the top piece to the bottom, making sure the wire was pulled tight.

Step 10: Plug It In

Plug it in, switch it on and enjoy!

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