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I'm also building some large raised beds and went with shousugiban 4x4 posts & 2x4 L posts, treated with teak oil (the posts will all be outside the growing area). The charred surface absolutely *drinks* the finish. Time will have to tell if the posts will survive burial for long enough to justify going cheap on the wood vs. getting cedar posts (at roughly 2-2.5x the base cost). I think it looks great, regardless of the rest.
Thanks for the question. I think you are asking about the piece once it is finished, not the smell when actually burning the wood, yes? If so then you don't really need to worry about it. Most often you will scrape away the charring with a wire brush once the wood cools which helps alleviate the smell if any (there isn't always that much to start with), and the rest will be taken care of by whatever top coat you use to protect the wood, always a good idea with shosugiban and especially if using it indoors!
Typically a danish or linseed oil is used, and I am playing with a few other options as well. Will let you know what I find in another blog perhaps, and any other questions just let us know.
Most people use a wire brush. The deeper you burn obviously the stronger the brush the better, but any brush should do. Also, try different things and play with it a bit! Different ways of taking off different amounts of char. Please share anything you discover that works well here!
I got lost down a rabbit hole of your blogs for about an hour just now. Your work is stunning and the breadth and width of your knowledge and skills is envy inspiring! I especially love how you seem to do so much work with your kids. Great stuff and thanks for sharing. Your shousugiban is especially beautiful (especially the stools). I recommend folks here take a look at the blog link listed above in Jeremy's comment.
In re to glue, I am new enough to shousugiban that I hadn't thought of it beforehand when working on the bench, and like your idea of prefinishing. Will try it on my next project!
The bench is 34” long by 14” tall, about 10” wide or so. Can measure and get the exact width but we used standard square posts I believe from a big box store. I’m planning on making a few more of there with different dimensions and woods! Shoot us a picture if you try your hand as well. The bench is a low one, I’m in New York City so it’s currently being used indoors as a place to put planters on. Had it for a while as a low bench in the hallway too.