Pioneer Millworks says its wood finish is on fire with Shou Sugi Ban lumber
June 8, 2017 | 6:46 pm CDT
FARMINGTON, N.Y. - Reclaimed lumber mill Pioneer Millworks says it has experienced a marked demand for color and texture in its wood products, which has led to the introduction of a new line of Shou Sugi Ban charred wood.
“This ancient Japanese technique is pragmatic and dynamic,” explains Jered Slusser, Wood Design Expert at Pioneer Millworks. “Applied to our sustainably harvested Larch it offers designers and homeowners a choice of color and texture, a look that could evolve over time depending on exposure to the elements – wabi-sabi, a reminder of the transience and imperfection of all things.”


Customers seek new wood materials like injetted panel and charred timber boards

Andy Hehl,  Kebony USA, explains work with Delta Millworks using Shou Sugi Ban finishing at July 18 Leadership Forum.

Shou Sugi Ban is an ancient Japanese technique of burning wood as a preservative treatment for exterior siding. Pioneer Millworks is applying this process to sustainably harvested Larch, an incidental species which has notable insect and rot resistance. The Deep Char grade exposes an ‘alligator-like’ texture, while Shallow Char produces rich black and brown tones still maintaining the sawn texture and high relief in the grain. Color Char is a combination of finishes on the Shou Sugi Ban available in green, red, blue, and more.

Shallow, deep, or enhanced with color the new product line is suitable for interior or exterior applications. The company notes that this finishing technique can be applied to other reclaimed wood species on request. An exterior oil is applied to all grades and are standard with shiplap or ripped two edges, ranging from 5-5.5” wide, 2” to 12’ long.
“There is an effortless style achieved with this line,” continued Slusser. “It brings new options with iridescent colors, varying textures, and proven durability to designs. It is easy to see why it is a hugely popular product and we’re excited to share it.” The company is featuring all three grades on their website and will showcase them at the Greenbuild trade show in Boston in November 2017.
Pioneer Millworks is the leader in the reclaimed wood industry. To date, they’ve rescued over 26 million board feet of old wood from rot and landfills, giving it new life as flooring, paneling, millwork, cabinetry, and more. All wood is manufactured in a way that’s healthy for customers, employees, and the environment. Pioneer Millworks is FSC-certified and Green America approved. All of their products are LEED point eligible. 

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Bill Esler | ConfSenior Editor

Bill wrote for, FDMC and Closets & Organized Storage magazines. 

Bill's background includes more than 10 years in print manufacturing management, followed by more than 30 years in business reporting on industrial manufacturing in the forest products industries, including printing and packaging at American Printer (Features Editor) and Graphic Arts Monthly (Editor in Chief) magazines; and in secondary wood manufacturing for

Bill was deeply involved with the launches of the Woodworking Network Leadership Forum, and the 40 Under 40 Awards programs. He currently reports on technology and business trends and develops conference programs.

In addition to his work as a journalist, Bill supports efforts to expand and improve educational opportunities in the manufacturing sectors, including 10 years on the Print & Graphics Scholarship Foundation; six years with the U.S. WoodLinks; and currently on the Woodwork Career Alliance Education Committee. He is also supports the Greater West Town Training Partnership Woodworking Program, which has trained more than 950 adults for industrial wood manufacturing careers. 

Bill volunteers for Foinse Research Station, a biological field station staddling the border of Ireland and Northern Ireland, one of more than 200 members of the Organization of Biological Field Stations.