Making a Torch-Burned, Pallet-Wood Pirate Flag

I came up with this outdoor decoration made from salvaged pallet wood and hand-held Bernzomatic torches.
To keep it from looking exactly like a pallet, I chopped the boards up and laid them out to look more like an old ship.
With the boards sanded, the whole panel glued up and screwed together with Kreg jig pocket holes and screws, I transferred the pattern to the face. I used an X-Acto blade to cut slightly into the wood and traced it darker with a pencil.
I used Sodium Polyacrylate to mask off the areas I didn't want burned and laid on the fire. For this closeup work, I used a Bernzomatic ST500-3-in-1 Micro Torch. It only took a few seconds to give the wood a nice, dark char.
I switched between the Sodium Polyacrylate method, using a drywall knife as a flame shield, and freehand to get the whole design blocked out.
For the heavy lifting, I blasted the large, open real estate with a Bernzomatic TS-8000 and propane. I took it outside later and upgraded to hotter burning MAP-Pro gas to burn the heck out of the right edge and a few other random areas, really giving it some battle damage.
A bunch of coats of high-quality Spar Urethane with UV protection will protect it from the elements, especially our fierce Arizona sun.
Hang it on the wall, stick in a couple tiki torches and we've got the makings of a Pirate's grotto.
It's going to be a nice addition for outdoor entertaining. I may even take it out to the front of the house for Halloween.
It's a fun project that's easier than it looks. Check out the blog story for a lot more detail on how I built it.
John @ AZ DIY Guy
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