Taking a flame to wood to create a finished produce may seem counter-intuitive. But CharredWood.com, Bend, OR, says it combines new-school technology in finishing lumber with time tested Shou Sugi Ban Japanese wood finishing techniques, "charring wood to last many decades without the need for maintenance."

Generally seen on exteriors, the charred wood surfaces also have appeal for interiors. 

The Japanese Shou Sugi Ban art of charring wood as a preserving and finishing technique is more than three centuries old. Wood is scorched under a controlled flame, then brushed to varying degrees before installation. Depending on species, duration and intensity of the flame, and whether and how they are brushed after the flame, the surface will vary.

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Western Red Cedar is a very traditional West Coast exterior cladding, and is naturally resistant to damage from UV and weather, insects, rot, decay, and fire due to its high tannin content - the compound that makes Cedar red.  

CharredWood.com sells Western Red Cedar in numerous custom styles, grades, and widths, with commonly used knotty and clear sidings available in solid, beveled, and ship lap. "We are able to custom order a variety of styles and then apply our Deep Char finish based on your project

requirements," says CharredWood.com. 

Produced on a per-project basis, 8 weeks lead time is the typical turnaround. "Our minimum order size at this time is 500 sq ft. However, if you have a smaller project we are willing to make exceptions based on the specifics." o 

Charred wood materials for trim and fascia are used as accents or contrasts with the charred materials. For this reason, "We currently do not offer charred trim and fascia except for on large specialty projects."  

Charred wood products install with the same techniques as the traditional siding materials. Coated or stainless steel fasteners rated for outdoor use with Western Red Cedar are recommended, as is using proper protective gear when cutting or installing charred wood products.

CharredWood.com says its Deep Char cedar is often installed without any finish, though a natural oil finish is a perfect complement to the inherently beautiful nature of charred wood material. "The finish will be important if you want to keep the char from rubbing off on people or their clothing if they touch or lean against the surface."

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