Finishing with Fire


sbarton22
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I watched some video a while back where a guy took a torch to a piece. Then he scraped and sanded the char off and he had a really great depth of color.

Does anyone know what the name of this type of fishing process might be called so I can learn more about it?

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I watched some video a while back where a guy took a torch to a piece. Then he scraped and sanded the char off and he had a really great depth of color.

Does anyone know what the name of this type of fishing process might be called so I can learn more about it?

Risky sounds a good one. But I seem to remember some time back a technique known as Carbonizing this may be the same thing but, to be honest I'm not sure.

There's bound to be some one here who does know for sure.

Pete

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Using a torch to scorch the wood is a form of pyrography. I seem to remember someone who made some plywood furniture for kids use this technique to produce a kind of zebra effect - though he didn't remove the scorch marks.

What you are describing seems to be a form of natural sculpting - something I have been pondering for a simple box top. I think (haven't tried it yet) that you could get a very interesting effect by taking a fairly thick piece of wood, possibly coating a small area of the top surface with a fuel, setting it on fire so that the wood itself actually burns, then dowse the fire, and wire brush out the burnt section. Probably closer to pyromania than pyrography however.

I haven't actually seen examples (photos or videos) of this 'technique' being used, unfortunately. There may be a good reason for that :blink:.

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I specialize in burnt finishes, especially those based upon Japanese techniques, e.g. Yaki-Sugi (Burnt Cedar) and Yaki-Matsu (Burnt Pine). During the Arts & Crafts Period, this technique was sometimes referred to as Jin-di-sugi.

I have developed several color schemes for these finishes, including:

* Natural

* Negoro Nuri style (Red on Black lacquer)

* Ochre on Black

* White on Black

* Black on Black

I use a resin modified shellac varnish with natural pigments to simulate urushi (Japanese lacquer).

I attached a picture of a Jin-di-sugi frame that I made.

Also, an example of Yaki-Matsu with Ochre Fuki Urushi (Wiped Lacquer).

post-1170-0-12802000-1301962555_thumb.jp

post-1170-0-81641300-1301963725_thumb.jp

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  • 2 months later...

There are a number of turners who regularly use fire on their work to create highlights and contrast. The general method to use is a blow torch / gas torch / propane torch to sear the wood and then a wire brush to remove the char and retain the scorched and tinted wood.

Gary Rance is one that springs to mind and the other now lives and works in Vagus by the name of Jimmy Clewes.

Ben

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  • 3 weeks later...

I've done this a few times in the past, and have been considering giving it a go again with some of my pieces destined for rustic enviroments - The only offical term I've heard to describe the flame process is Jin di sugi, as someone else mentioned already.

I've always done this with a small propane torch, with a fan tip - Helps if you don't do it near the laquer booth though ;)

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  • 4 years later...

Here's the draft of my novel on the subject:

Burning wood (a deep char, 1/4" thick) improves its durability for the simple reason that bugs, microbes and fungi aren't generally interested in charcoal. Burning the ends of fence posts before burying is an old farmer's trick.

More surprisingly, charred wood is more fire resistant than unburnt wood. Think about it, that's why you turn turn logs on a fire.

As a finishing technique I've seen it on conifer species, burning out the early wood and leaving the (more dense, harder to burn) latewood, and then brushing with a steel or brass brush. This relies on the significant change in density between the spring and summer growth, the spring growth, the lighter band, burns (and weathers) much faster. Douglas Fir and Pine seem to be the most common and best species, and end grain or contoured surfaces that pierce through the layers of early/late wood are the most striking. I don't think this technique would work on most hardwoods.

There's also "flaming" like a sunburst guitar. I think traditionally at least some of these finishes were done (partly) by scorching, but I haven't found anything about it on the interwebs. Lay something down (with undefined edges, so the color can bleed) on the part you don't want colored and scorch around the edges with a torch?

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I scorch outside and use a regular propane or MAPP gas torch (burns hotter& faster). Yellow pine works well. Practice on scraps to learn  technique .

Scorch lightly or full char , that's up to you. Keep wet rags and a garden hose handy. Wear heavy leather gloves. Wire brush helps clean up areas you scorch to  heavy to even things out. Shellac or rattle can lacquer seals up the char from getting everywhere in the house. I wait a day or 2 before sealing if the wet rag is used to put fires out.

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Wire wheels without twisted wires are getting hard to find, but I did find some online not long ago.  Ones with twisted wires are very aggressive, and leave extra scratches a lot of the time.  I use a supplied air hood, because the wheel throws a lot of little bits.

In my work, I do it to blend new wood in with old, weathered wood.  I use a regular propane torch outside.

Edited by Tom King
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  • 3 weeks later...

Sort of, but more as an accent than a feature.  I'm going with aluminum because of severe resource limitations (even solder is hard to find here) and because i converted a mud cookstove into a foundry a few weeks back on a whim...

20150912_123510.jpg

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