Introduction: Shou Sugi Ban Lamp (Charred Wood)

Shou Sugi Ban - The ancient Japaneseart of charring wood to preserve it, making the wood have a nice darker textured look and making it more fire resistant.

In this Instructable I'll show you how to make a fairly simple wooden lamp, and if you have the tools and equipment you can char it like I have done.

Step 1: Tools and Materials


Flame source – can be either a blow torch or log burner

bottle spray of water – to control the burning of the wood

Saw – For cutting your wood to size

wire brush – can be a steel wool ball, or stiff brush (to get all the soot off)

Sand paper

Gloves – stop your hands burning, simple enough (I sprayed the gloves to stop them burning)

wood finishing oil – I used danish oil, as that was the only one in the shops near me. (From a bit of research Tung oil seems to be the best, a few coats and the wood is waterproof)

Net curtains – helps finish the wood before oiling.

Wood glue


Wood of various sizes, I chose a small log and a thin long piece.

Lamp, I had an old lamp that we no longer used so took out the lamp fitting and unscrewed the plug socket, so I could easily feed the cord through the logs.

Step 2: Cut Wood to Size

Pick your wood, it's best to pick something that won't be too long for your longest wood drill bit. as i discovered and had to cut it down by a cm or so.

Cut wood to how you would want your lamp to look, I found an interesting pattern in a branch that I was going to burn, woodworms burrowed holes through it and created an awesome texture to it.

I found it best to remove the bark from the logs so you get the best looking char and smooth it out as uch as you can.

Step 3: Drill Holes

Just drilling a small pilot hole first through the middle of the top of the thin piece until you reach the middle, then turn it around and do the same until they meet, then drilling bigger hole so the wire can fit through it.

Then in the stand drill a hole through the side, then estimating where the hole is, drill through the top until they meet.

Step 4: Char Your Wood

Simple enough – using either a log burner as or a blow torch to get the desired effects, I found that when I oiled certain woods it made it look a lot darker, so it's best to do a light char on a scrap bit and oil it if possible to see what it will look like once oiled.

Step 5: Remove Soot

Using a stiff brush or a light steelwool ball remove the soot, then if needed sand the piece.

After removing most of the soot, using the net curtain to buff and polish the surface.

Step 6: Oil the Wood

Using a scrap non lint cloth or brush, oil the wood, repeating 1- 3 times, refer to what it says on the tin

Step 7: Assemble

With my lamp fitting I had to cut off the attachment that connects the lamp holder to its stand, and drilled a bigger hole in the top to fit the small plastic hollow screw bit and glued it down with some wood glue.

Then feed the cable through the holes in the lamp stand and glue the two bits of wood together, using a clamp to secure in place.

Step 8: Enjoy

Put somewhere where people can see andadmire your work, and marvel and wonders of Shou Sugi Ban.

Or like I'm going to do, you can box it up and give as a nice gift to a friend or family.

I never know what to get my brother, (as he already buys everything he wants) so this year I thought I'd make him something!

Although I might keep this one and make him Shou Sugi Ban lamp mk 2.

Homemade Gifts Contest 2016

Participated in the
Homemade Gifts Contest 2016

Epilog Contest 8

Participated in the
Epilog Contest 8

Trash to Treasure Contest 2017

Participated in the
Trash to Treasure Contest 2017