Saturday, December 10, 2011

Carbonized Wood Colour Testing!

We have been using carbonized wood on our house with the help of Alberta Innovates Technology Futures. So, we are in full swing with the testing of workability, durability, and colour change over time. I made a couple of test-bed wood decking squares to see how certain finishes will take to the wood over the course of the year.  Robert from AITF has been extremely helpful in pulling all of this together and coming by to test the colours with a light spectrometer.  It only runs on Windows 95- and we only have a large, honkin' CPU and have to haul it all over the house where we are testing different locations for colour.  I think I sourced a laptop- which will hopefully make this a whole lot easier...

I used four different types of finish on the test bed.

From left to right: acrylic latex paint, Behr Super Spar clear varnish,
a board left natural, polyurethan, varathane finishes.

So far, I think I like the Behr finish.

Here's our testing set-up. It ain't fun haulin' this around the house.

Robert in action.

It's a tight squeeze on one of our stair landings.
We used carbonized wood for the landing since
construction and it hasvbeen in place for almost a year!

Robert in action, again!
Exterior wood decking - this one will see direct

This wood decking square will not see direct sunlight,
as it is shaded by the guardrail.

One of my new chores: brushing off the PV modules when the snow
sticks to it!


  1. Hi Shafraaz,

    I will be dating myself. In the mid 1980s, when I bought my first computer, it was as large and your CPU and was considered "Portable". Each disc drive held 400 K of memory. It was one step up from a chisel and stone tablet.
    How times have changed!!! -Jim

  2. Shafraaz - love that carbonized wood. It will be very interesting to see how it weathers.

    Jim - LOLOLOL - thanks for the giggle for the day! I can go back to manual typewriters and comptometers and huge disks that almost took two people to lift into a server bank that took up a whole room!!!! It is absolutely amazing what we have seen in our lifetimes!!!

  3. Shafraaz, Serena and Adar,

    Have a very Merry Christmas and a fabulous Year in 2012 as you enjoy your wonderful, warm and energy efficient home. -Jim Merrithew

  4. Thanks so much Jim! We hope your holidays are merry and full of joy and hope the new year brings all your desires to fruition ;)