Shou Sugi Ban Bench

My first attempt at the Japanese wood burning technique, Shou Sugi Ban, on an entry way bench.

I was asked to do an entry way bench for a couple that just purchased their new home. They let me know they liked everything I’ve done thus far and had free reign on design and color. The only stipulation was that it looked natural. This was a really fun project to do. The only scary part was taking a perfectly square and smooth bench and burning it!


See Detailed Process Below


Type(s) of Wood UsedDouglas Fir
Colors UsedNone
Special TechniquesBurning with weed burner - Shou Sugi Ban
Estimated Time to Complete2-3 weeks
Type of FurnitureBench

Detailed Process


I had a bunch of rough Douglas Fir lumber lying around. You can see what the rough cut lumber looks like from the pictures. I had to mill them so they were perfectly straight and square. Once, I figured out the dimensions of the bench, I cut the pieces to rough dimensions and glued them up so they were in 3 separate pieces (bench top and two legs). After the glue dried, I planed off the excess glue that dried up on the outsides, cut them to final dimensions. I cut out notches on the underside of the bench where the legs would sit into. Before, gluing the legs to the bench, I added dowels to the top of the bench legs, where it meets the underside of the bench for extra support. After, the bench was assembled, I burned the whole thing using a weed burner. Once, I got to the desired look, I brushed off any remaining soot. Lastly, I finished it off with a water-based polyurethane.

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