What natural material has the tensile strength of steel and can grow 12″ in a single day? Bamboo! On today's show, I'm chatting with my friend Palo Coleman about alternative and old-school building methods and materials that are better than what we do today. We'll also go in depth on Shou Sugi Ban, which is the (now popular again) technique for preserving wood by burning it.


In This Episode:

  • Shou Sugi Ban: How, why, and which wood to use
  • What other materials do you need?
  • Lifespan and proper maintenance of Shou Sugi Ban
  • How to set you Mac to Do Not Disturb (yep, you read that right)
  • The don’ts of Shou Sugi Ban
  • Let’s talk bamboo: is it only an invasive plant?
  • How does Palo use bamboo?
  • Do you need special tools to use bamboo?
  • Did Palo really haul wood on top of his Honda Civic?
  • More old techniques that Palo likes

Links and Resources:


Guest Bio:


Palo Coleman

Palo Coleman

Palo Coleman grew up unfettered in Northern California where he spent a lot of time in the woods taught himself building skills and developed an interest in small-scale living. Now living on the East Coast, in Cambridge, Massachusetts, he continues to experiment in myriad woodworking techniques and is a tiny-house builder. Recent projects include a living playground in Waitsfield, Vermont’s elementary school; making a vertical garden system; constructing medieval games for the Fuller Craft Museum; and developing a portable studio with Japanese-wood siding.


This week's Sponsor:

Tiny House Forum sponsor photo

Tiny House Forum

Are you frustrated by how fragmented tiny house information is online? Tiny House Forum is an online community for exchanging information, ideas, and resources related to the tiny house movement, all in one central location. At Tiny House Forum you can have conversations with others that are interested in the tiny house lifestyle, those currently living the tiny house lifestyle, and tiny house businesses and organizations that can provide guidance along the way.

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If that didn’t already sound great, right now you can be entered to win $500 cash by joining Tiny House Forum and making your first few posts.

Thank you to Tiny House Forum for sponsoring today’s show!

More Photos:

Borgund Stave Church By Ximonic (Simo Räsänen)

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