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Transportation damage!

lower side
It finally happened.
After 14 years of paying the transportation insurance without need to use it we had our first accident.
Of course I am deeply sorry with the client but I confirm that we were able to replace the tub with a pristine one.

Actually we had in the past 2 damage reports about bathroom accessories arriving in smashed cardboard boxes (both in the USA with air mail…) but never experienced a damage to a tub.
Yes, with this first shipping damage experience which brings the accident rate to 1:240 which is about the 0.4%.

The client promptly reported the damage (it must be done within one week) and since it was a kadomaru type we could make a new one in a week time. The tub will be shipped as “replacement item – free of charge” so there are no taxes involved and if any customs inspection is required we will take care of the cost.

But this story has a silver lining, actually 2!

#1 Sturdier box
no doubt the box was mistreated. It was dropped probably more than once and was pierced by a steel pipe. Anyway we could learn the weak-points of the box and changed the packaging method. The new box is much sturdier and prevents the tub from moving inside.

#2 Same cost
The packaging we will be using from now on is actually more expensive. But actually we also find a new service from our forwarder which will enable us to lower the shipping cost. They will use flexibly DHL or UPS according to the space available and provide a better fare which compensates the additional cost of the reinforced box.
Therefore we will be able to offer a safer transportation for the same price!

NOTE:
Cardboard boxes are used only for Kadomaru tubs. All custom tubs are shipped in a plywood completely closed crate.

new-packaging1

new-packaging2

new-packaging3

Everything you wanted to know about a japanese ofuro…

Please read the information here below before purchasing a japanese tub.
Also, we recommend to do a {search} within the FAQS for the keywords you are concerned about.

Do not forget to browse the “download area” in the “REFERENCE” section.
It is useful to check the “installation” section in the “DETAILS” menu.

Once you are ready to place your quotation request, go thru the “tub details” section for a thorough step-by step explanation.

You can do your final recap and fill the form in the “how to order” section.

Why are japanese ofuro tubs expensive?

Here are the main reasons:
1) The material is expensive.
2) The craftmanship is expensive.
3) The shipping cost is expensive.
Anyway, we ship directly from the maker to the end user so you can be sure that there is no overhead and you are getting value for every penny spent.

About US made tubs

What are the differences between Japanese ofuro and tubs made in the U.S.?
Here are the 3 main differences between US-made tubs and real japanese tubs which make the two products difficult to compare.
1a) almost all US made tubs are coated with urethane. The look is natural but may feel a little cold and hard (like plastic) and have no aroma.
1b) Japanese made tubs are un-coated. You can feel the warmth, aroma and soft touch of wood but if the environment is too humid they may develop mold stains.

2a) US made tubs are assembled as a cabinet (see the corner mitered joint) and often made of finger joint glue-laminated wood.
2b) Japanese tubs are and are built like a boat and are made of solid wide lumber laminated with dowels

3a) US made tubs are made in red cedar, hard woods (like teak) or Port Orford Cedar (most of the makers call it hinoki – but it is not.) Please note that hinoki usable as construction material grows in Japan and Taiwan only.
3b) Japanese tubs are made with japanese softwoods (hinoki, asnaro, sawara, koyamaki). For flooring or wainscoting we use man planted lumber while for making tubs we use exclusively 250-300 year old trees lumber from primary forests.
Well seasoned wood is very stable but in extreme conditions of dryness it may warp or crack.

Warranty: Is there a warranty against cracks/leaks?

We offer full warranty in case of damage during transportation. (replacement)

For any other problem (cracking etc.) we cannot offer a warranty because of the environmental conditions for which we cannot be responsible.

To avoid cracking we recommend to:
1) use the tub often (everyday is ideal)
2) do not use air conditioning or heaters in the bathroom (may be used while the tub is full). Beware also of centralized air conditioning.
3) in case of the above conditions cannot be met, we recommend to keep a bucket full of water inside the tub. This avoids the insurgence of cracks in most cases.

Until today we supplied over 250 tubs.
We had about 20 reports of cracks or leaks.
In 1 case we replaced the tub.
In 1 case we had the tub shipped back, repaired and have it reinstalled.
In some of the other cases we shipped a kit for repairing the tub (wood color epoxy putty). (Cost is about 3,000 JPY inclusive of shipping fee)
In most cases we supplied advice and the tub could be seamlessly repaired by the user.

With the assumption that all the customers who experienced a crack contacted us (but there may be some exceptions), about 10% of the tubs had crack problems (including tubs 10+ year old).
On the other hand, 90% of the tubs did not experience cracks.
I would say that in 90% of the cases the tubs are used as directed and the environmental conditions are met.

Can I contact your past clients to have their opinion?

I am afraid it is not possible.
As most of our clients are private users, it is our policy not to use them as a reference.
Arranging a meeting between an old customer and a perspective client may be time consuming, may be invasive of the privacy and we just have not the structure to be able to take responsibility for any trouble or miscommunication.
As we cannot be on site to manage the situation, we cannot refer past clients and we make no exception to this policy.
Thank you for your understanding.

Another sketch up model!

london-tub-cg1

Yes, we did it again! (this time thanks to the generosity of a client)
Here is another ofuro you can use in sketch-up.

This solution consists of the tub buried behind a ledge, so you can see only the inside and the beefed up kamachi border.

The sketch up model is not so detailed so if you explode the parts or check it in the hidden areas inside the ditch you will probably not find what you are looking for: anyway it is great for a presentation or just to rotate it in perspective view and get a feeling of the space.

Go ahead and download the :
japanese ofuro build in with wide kamachi border
london-tub-cg2
https://3dwarehouse.sketchup.com/social/model.html?id=66e018fb-85af-4e26-8484-dd18d0379600

testimonial from Sidney

japanese-ofuro-sidney
Hi Iacopo,
Bathtub cleared customs and quarantine last Thursday and we have been loving the bath ever since. It’s gorgeous 🙂
We just love it and the whole family uses it including my very tall partner !!
It’s beautifully made and makes our bathroom look fantastic.
Thankyou for your hardwork and craftsmanship it will be appreciated by our family for a VERY long time.
Of course you can publish my email in your testimonial corner 🙂
apologies for the photo we are still renovating our bathroom and are in the process of replacing the toilet and the sink ! but the bath still makes our bathroom look good…lol
thanks again,

L.

refinishing the tub

Just some general advice please – the tub is looking tired and I was considering sanding it to bring back some luster to the wood.
I was planning on using an orbital sander and wooden sanding block. I have not oiled the tub and is this something I should be doing at least on the outside?
If so, what oil do you recommend?
I recommend to let the tub dry and sand with medium and fine grit.
Then, we recommend the application of a water-repellent which is colorless, matte finish and will not block the wood aroma.
It is a non-coating treatment and penetrates in the wood fibers letting it breath (like “goretex” for fabric…).
We recommend to finish the Hinoki tub with water repellent
KIHADAICHIBAN (preservative agent for wood) :

a) 7,000. JPY / 1L + 4,500. JPY (Packaging + EMS) + Paypal fee = 12,000 JPY
Please let me know.
Best regards,
iacopo torrini

Information package

1)Production and shipping time:
All our tubs are made in Japan by a skilled 4th generation craftsman. The standard production queue is about 15days . For the shipping and delivery consider + 30 days (ocean freight) or + 10 days (airfreight) for most world locations.

2) Payment contitions:
Invoices and payments will be Japanese Yen. This is to avoid overcharges to our clients due to currency exchange fluctuation risk. A prepayment of 50% of the custom items will be needed before starting production. Once the products are ready, we will send pictures for verification/approval and will require the payment of the reminder before proceeding with shipment. A Bank wire transfer is the most common option. Credit cards are accepted (thru Paypal). Checks are not available. For larger orders a Letter of Credit can be taken into consideration.

3) Shipping cost:
we will need the exact shipping address to be able to obtain the quote from our forwarder (Naigai Forwarding Co.)
We use DDU (Delivered, Duties Unpaid) conditions unless the client requires a different arrangement. Cost varies greatly according to size, country, delivery location. You are welcome to use your local forwarder for the shipment.

4)Installation recommendation:
In case of humid climates, we recommend to leave enough room under the tub to allow air circulation (about 10cm).
For dry climates, avoid direct sunlight exposure and abrupt temperature changes – especially when the tub is empty.

5)Maintenance recommendation:
Please refer also to the FAQ on our homepage and the “Japanese ofuro maintenance tips” notes.
Provide a satisfactory ventilation for the bathroom (natural air circulation with cross ventilation is the best), anyway avoid use of air conditioning in the bathroom, especially when it is empty and not in use. A A/C can dry up the natural humidity of the wood in a matter of few days…!
As soap, detergents and dirt are responsible for the insurgence of mold and fungi, we recommend not to use soap inside the tub, and to wipe it after use with a soft sponge or towel.
Unless otherwise specified, we apply one layer of “Kihada Ichiban” which is an hydrorepellent treatment, based on the nanotechnology. It does not create a coat, it actually penetrates inside offering lasting protection whithout occluding the pores of wood.

6) Installation: the tub should sit on 4 concrete blocks or bricks placed at the perimeter (corners) of the tub. Supports are not needed in the center. This detail allows for air circulation under the tub while preserving the wood from prolonged direct exposure to water.

7) Recommended sanitary fixtures:
Water fixtures can be installed on the wall (directing the water into the tub), on the floor (long hook type), on the tub ledge or thru a spout. In the first two cases, you do not need any interaction with the tubs and can choose the taps freely (Philip Stark design taps for instance are a common choice). In the 3rd case (on tub ledge) the issue
is similar to the first two as you can open a hole where needed in top ledge as it is all solid wood. In case you consider using of a wooden spout, please let me know and I will explain you the options.

8) Certifications:
We can provide declarations stating the origin and quality of the wood.
If you need an official “certificate of origin” from the japanese chamber of commerce or a “phytosanitary certificate” from third party laboratory it may be available at a cost.

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