Japanese Shou Sugi Ban -charred cedar finish

handcrafted guitars

​Our unique Japanese Shou Sugi Ban -charred cedar finish.

This technique became popular in Japan about 300 years ago.
It was used to preserve wood and make it weatherproof.
The technique — which involves charring a wood surface to render it a deep charcoal-black, clean it and apply an oil finish. 
There are two main reasons we apply this beautiful technique on our Thunder Child custom guitar.
The first one is to make our guitars super lightweight.
There are no extra coats and added weight. On top of that, we keep our thin hollow body guitar tops super responsive.
2 Responses
  1. Simon Henderson

    Hi, this looks very cool!
    Is there a risk of cracking the top of a semi-hollow body guitar? Does the wood warp at all?
    I would be concerned about damaging the guitar… Do you have many failed attempts?
    Thanks 🙂

  2. David Weizmann

    Hi Simon;
    These are heirloom quality instruments. The top is charred only on a very thin surface of the top (something like 0.5 mm deep) if you’ll scratch it you’ll expose the red cedar. We’ve made 14 of these so far with special problems. It’s a very delicate work, and unlike many videos that you can find where people are using huge blowtorches that are used for rooftops tar, which will actually opens the seem on the guitar’s body, I’m using a delicate jewelry blowtorch with a very small flame.
    The top itself has reinforcements beneath it.