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Installing Shou Sugi Ban (Charred Wood) Walls

(Sponsored) If you have kept up with this adventure into woodworking I have been on for the last while you will know that I started very very modestly. Like no shop and my first project was a weather proof workbench made for under $100 that I could set up in the back yard just to have a place to work on something, anything. I just wanted to try to make something I could be proud of and that would be fun to build.

So you can see the difficulty in that set up. Even slight weather and I could not get anything done. So I saved up and made a few sacrifices to get my first shop. A whopping 8ft by 12ft. The firs day I thought I had moved up in life I could now make stuff even if it was raining outside. At that time I had a cheap sliding miter saw, a very cheap drill, a small lathe a circular saw and a hand full of drill and driver bits. As time went on I started to amass more and more tools things that made each project easier to complete or come out with higher quality. Soon I also had a band saw and a vacuum cart. As you can imagine the giant space (said with maximum sarcasm) was starting to fill up and quickly. Not to mention the lack of storage space as well as not heating or air conditioning.

As the business grew and at a much faster rate that I thought would ever happen I need a larger space. So like before with some saving and sacrifice I was able to get into a larger shop this this time a 12×32 with a loft a full 4 times larger that the precious shop. While I have been working in this larger space for some time I started to run into some previous issues like unfinished walls and not enough heat or air. Witch brings us to the main topic for today.

I reached out to a company called Thermory . Thermory makes and supplies cladding and flooring for walls and decking. Like anyone who has and loves there shop and spending time in there shop working I wanted a specific look. I have always had a thing for darker colored walls in a shop or home. I love the way it gives a professional look. With this in mind I started scrolling through the Thermory website and found a color combination I thought would look killer. There dragon scales shou sugi ban hardwood cladding and there platinum drift spruce cladding for the walls. This would give the walls a clean look and black color and the ceiling will be a nice silver color.

The guys at Thermory were a big help as I knew how to figure up the square footage of my walls and ceiling but I know that there is always a percentage that needs to be added to ensure you have enough after off cuts and things such as that. Though I did not know how much that percentage was. They were great with helping me figure out exactly how much I would need and figuring up the total amount.

Once I got the cladding in the first thing I noticed while opening the packaging was how thick the boards are. I honestly was not sure if it was going to be the thin hardwood tongue and groove boards like you seem to see a lot at the big box building supply stores. This was something I was hoping would not be with the Thermory cladding. So it was a pleasant surprise when I opened up the packaging and saw that these were very thick boards right around ¾ of an inch thick. One of the reasons I was so worried about this aspect was that I feel that the super thin cladding and wall board is very week and does not hold up.

I was starting with the walls for the installation. This is the Dragon Scales shou sugi ban cladding. The next thing I noticed was there was no residue from the burning process. I have made a few projects using this style of colorization so I knew how the process works. If you have ever done this you know that this process leaves a layer of ash on the board where you have burned the wood. So I was extremely happy that the Thermory cladding as 100% clean to the touch. I do get how they get this color but I do not know how they seem to achieve a clean ash free board. This one one of the problems I was worried about when I chose this product. As some lower quality mass produced products with this finish do still have a bit of the ash residue on the boards. This can make cleaning and handling the boards a bit messy.

After looking the cladding over it was now time to get to the installation. The installation is pretty straight forward. Start at the bottom of the walls and work your way up. This made even easier with the tongue and grove style cladding. Another nice feature is that the end of each board interlock with the next and this makes cutting the boards to length as the boards do not have to be joined at the center of a stud.

To secure the cladding to the walls Thermory supplies you with all of the screws needed to hold the panels into place. To install the screws you place the screws at a 45 degree angle on the bottom corner of the tongue on the panel you just put into place. The screws are self tapping so you do not need to pre-drill each screws speeding up the installation by a lot. Keeping one bit in your drill is also one less pain to deal with.

I was also pleasantly surprised how quickly the wall panels come together. Another thing to keep in mind is that if it only takes 2 boards to span the length of the wall likely one will be longer than the other. This should alternated sides of the wall preventing the vertical seams from lining up.

On the first wall I also needed to make a couple of pockets for not only outlets ( that I will show later) but also the electrical breaker box. To do this I placed the board into place then marked the sides and the bottom around the box. Then used a slide ruler to mark the bottom line making it easier to follow with the jig saw.

Before screwing the board into place make sure to test fit the board. Make any adjustments or cuts that need to be done before fastening the board to the wall.

When installing the screws make sure to line each one up with the center of each stud. This will ensure that the screws do not brake through the edge of the stud and give the most strength.

I started with the first long side of the wall then moved on to the ends of the building. Another thing you might ask is why I covered the windows for a couple of reasons first is insulation of the building the windows were not a great insulation glass so allowed for a lot of heat transference. The next if for filming I love to film in natural light but the light shifting through the windows can cause problems with interior lighting and shadows while filming. The finial is that it was just simpler to cover them as to have to frame them out and trim them.

I would also need to cut out pockets for the outlets as mentioned before. I had on the previous wall done this using tape with the board in place but I found it was easier to make a jig using a scrap cutoff of the cladding and this would help to give a tighter fit around the outlet. The board simply needed to be held into place above the outlet but inline with the other boards on the wall. I could then use the jig to mark a square where the outlet would sit.

I then used a jig saw to cut out the pocket. Making sure to sick to the guide lines made using the jig. Keep in mind though that if cutting multiple outlets into one board the top of the board will have less material supporting it and could possible break if picked up or stressed to much. So be easy with the board after the pockets are cut.

Once the pockets are cut put the board into position and check that the outlets have plenty of room. If there needs to be any adjustments or more material needs to be cut away now is the time to do so. Once you are satisfied with the fit around the sockets the board can now be fixed into position and screwed down.

Under the loft the cladding would be the Drift series. This series does install pretty much the same as the Ignite series but it does not have a gap between the boards. The tongue and groove of the Drift series I used presses smoothly together. Showing only a small seam where the two boards touch. Installing the cladding in the roof of what will eventually be the office was straight forward. As it was a flat surface with only 2 angled pieces needed for the sides.

The building I have is a barn style build witch makes covering the ceiling of the build a bit trickier. It Doesn’t have much for straight surfaces. None of the boards would sit in line with the one below to align the tongue and groove. I came up with the idea to position each board with the inside edge of the groove against the outside lip of the tongue. This worked perfectly. But it also had an unexpected result in that this gave the ceiling the look of being layered. I was not sure at first if it would be a look that I would like but honestly I love the results.

While doing both the ceiling of the loft and the main ceiling I had to remove then reinstall the American Green Lights LEDs If you are interested in any of there lights let them know I sent you I also have a video on the installation of the lights and how they are wired and installed. For the ceiling cladding the lights would have to be taken down then put back up again once the appropriate board was in place. While you are doing this make sure that the breaker for that set of lights is turned off. Even if only removing the small wires to the main leds. This is the safest way to remove and reinstall the lights. Lucky the American Green Lights LEDs are extremely easy to remove and reinstall. Once the final boards in the peak of the ceiling are in place simply reinstall the lights and turn the breaker back on.

I could not believe how well the two colors of the different boards went together. It was a color combination that I was not sure about when first starting. If you have ever made anything you know you have a vision in your head but sometimes you do not realize exactly how good it will look until you are looking at the finished product.

While the cladding was finished the work was not. I had to re-install the Wall Control Pegboards. As well as moving in the rest of my tools as well as a few other shop projects. I could not belive how awesome the shop remodel turned out. Not only that but with the installation of a new heater the shop is now much much better to work in as the wall retain the heat in the shop much much better.

I hope you guys have learned something and enjoyed the project. It was a new type of project for me and was honestly a ton of work. I am extremely happy with outcome and proud of the remodel.

I would also like to thank my Grandfather. He was into wood working a long while ago and if you have seen any of my other videos you have seem him before. Though tools and technoligies have changed a lot since he was doing woodworking some things are the same. I really enjoy getting to work with him and enjoy the time in the shop with him. Also having the extra hands is a great advantage.

If you guys are working on a deck, shop, home office or anything at all that you need add both interior or exterior wall check out Thermory let them know I sent you and that you have seen this video or article.

Make sure you subscribe on Youtube and check out Instagram at @jpaynewoodworking. Thank you guys and see you on the next one.

About Jeremy Payne

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