Introduction: Backyard Shou Sugi Ban

Shou Sugi Ban is a beautiful ancient Japanese siding technique that preserves wood by charring it. Here I will teach you how to create this look yourself simply without a propane torch.

Step 1: What You Will Need

- wood planks (traditionally cedar is used but I used pine which is cheaper)

- heat resistant gloves

- heat resistant jacket (optional)

- a small portable grill or fire pit

- combustable materials - wood, newspaper, etc

- matches

- metal fireplace tongs

- wire (copper is ideal but regular metal wire works just fine)

- wire cutters

- boots or closed toed shoes

- bricks

- a garden hose or a large bucket of water

Step 2: Prep: Make a Pyramid With Your Wood and Set Up Base

Position your wood planks on the ground with the three faces you wish to burn facing upwards. Then fold the two on the outside upwards so you create a triangle shape. Take your wire and wrap it around the wooden triangle, one on top, middle and end to secure the wood pyramid.

Make a non combustable base close to the grill using bricks to place your burning wood once you take it off the fire. Get the hose out or bucket of water and have it ready to use.

Step 3: Build a Base for Your Wood and Get Your Fire Going!

Build a non-combustable base for the fire on the grill. I recommend using bricks. Make a gap in the middle where the fire will be slightly smaller than the width of your wooden triangle.

Get a fire going in the grill.

Make sure to have your gloves handy!

Step 4: Get Ready to Burn!

Place your wood on top of your base.

Over a few minutes you will see smoke coming out of the top of your triangle. If your triangle isn't too tall, fire will soon shoot out from the top. Leave it on for another minute if that happens.

Step 5: Remove the Wood

After you behold the beauty of fire, remove the wood using your fire tongs (pictured above).

Step 6: Cool Down

Place your burning wood on the brick base and hose it off with water to stop it from burning. Once the fire is out, cut the wire, let the steam evaporate, and take a look at your wood!

Step 7: Shou Sugi Ban Complete!

Now you have created a beautiful finish for your wood that may last up to eighty years! If there are areas that didn't burn well you can run it along the fire again.

If you like a less charred look, take a metal brush and run it along the wood. Wear a dust mask to prevent from inhaling the dust.

And you're done! Thank you!