A little carpentry

Since the Winter term ended, I’ve been helping our neighbours Bill and Frances put siding on their new garage. It’s been a labour-intensive but very gratifying project.

Most people don’t think much about the architectural complexities of building garages, but Bill did. He elected to side the garage with burnt cedar, using an old Japanese technique that creates a surprisingly beautiful and textured finish while protecting the cedar against insects and weather. Apparently there’s two ways  the Japanese traditionally do this: if you burn the boards before erecting them, it’s called yakisugi or shou-sugi-ban.


On the other hand, if you burn the boards after construction, it’s known as “arson.” (grin)

We now have only one wall left to complete the project, but I think it looks quite striking so far.

garage frontBurning the wood using a propane torch is tedious, but easy.  The real work  begins when putting up the boards. My carpentry skills are quite limited, so we take a long time to solve problems. And it’s unavoidably dirty work. There’s no way to dodge  the charcoal. Nonetheless, a very nice change of pace from intellectual labours!



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