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about sloped sides ofuro

Hi, Great looking products! I live on Maui in Hawaii and have
had a hinoki O-Furo since 2004. It is located outside, open air, but
covered with a roof and about a 100 meters from the ocean. We have used
it every day, 5 months of the year and keep water in it, with occasional
draining and refills. We use an electronic water purifier with
occasional small doses of chlorine (which I want to stop) and the wood
has stayed in pretty good shape, although it does feather occasionally.
The outside bottom has just started to rot and will require replacement
in the near future. The current tub is 5 feet in diameter, 27 inches
deep, and has straight sides. My first question is: Is there any reason
for sloped sides other than aesthetics? I prefer the look of sloped
sides, but I am not sure it will be easy to retrofit.
Thank you for your interest in our japanese bathtubs!
We made barrel type ofuro (maru-buro) with almost straight edges even if some slant is needed to cling on the metal bands.
If you like it slanted, no problem: this is the normal shape.

ofuro for Cape Town -4- completed!

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This is the second ofuro we are shipping to South Africa in 2016!
In both cases we were in touch with the clients, architects and interior designers for over a year but it was worth it! Take a look also at the pictures of the manufacture phases:
part 1part 2part3

Here is the photo of the back side.
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We created a new type of overflow cut: it is tuck in the back towards the wall and is drawing the water to a gutter running along the wall.
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The spout cover is openable for controlling the built in tap. Not a high tech solution but very practical!
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Here is the layout of the whole composition including a duck-board and bench cut with an angle to match the corner of the bathroom. I am looking forward to seeing the completed space!
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Here are the specs of the project:
Material: Asnaro wood AB grade bathtub (quarter sawn) t42mm
Size: L1500mm x W750 x H670mm (ext. dim.) – depth 543mm
Details: copper apron, wood dowels. Iron brand at front side top-right
Option: overflow top cut
Accessories:
* Ledge and filler: W165 x L1500 x H670) assembly on site
* Bench: W 454/367 x D 515 x H 450mm
* Duckboard: W 521/454 x D 400 x H 55mm
* Asnaro wood ledge mounted spout D with faucet

ofuro for Cape Town -3- manufacture

This is sequel of the manufacture of the tub for South Africa.
for those who missed it check in a separate window part 1part 2

So, the planks have been laminated and the edges trimmed (you can see on the wall a plank before being rectified)

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The tongue and grove joint is hand made with a handsaw and chisel. To see the process and understand the way the japanese ofuro water-tightness is assured, refer to the second video from the top in our media section
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3 faces have been assembled together. Now is time to insert the bottom plank. Finally, the last wall will be hand-planed on both sides before being set in place and close the circle.
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You can see here the geometry of the traditional “Tjoint”
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To tighten up the faces, we use long stainless steel bolts. The head of the bolts is capped with round wooden dowels (for a natural look) or copper plates (the traditional detail of the Edo area, borrowed from the ship building practices).
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compact tub for Zurich

This ofuro in asnaro wood is going to be installed in place of a shower box in a renovation project in Switzerland.

The client carefully planned the layout so you can look out from the window while sitting in the tub.

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It is difficult to understand just by seeing the picture, but the “feet” of the tub are on the short side instead of the long side (as usual). Being the tub is a long and narrow niche, the short side will be the front so it makes sense to use this detail both aesthetically and maintenance wise.

This point deserves a clarification.

Basically, the feet (sleepers) also have a structural function in stiffening the bottom plank so usually we cannot place them on the short sides. There are 2 exceptions:

  • We use thicker wood for the planks so that the bottom does not need additional framing. Here is an example. This detail can add considerably to the cost, especially if combined with a 90 degrees corners detail. As opposed to the standard T shaped corner.
  • The tub is reasonably small. Which is the case in this Zurich example. In this case there is no extra cost involved.

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View of the mesmerizing interior of the ofuro!

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Here are the specs:

material: natural Japanese Asnaro AB grade bathtub (quarter sawn)

size: L900mm x W700 x H690mm (ext. dim.) – depth 600mm

details: copper apron,  wood dowels. Iron brand at front side top-left

ofuro for Cape Town -2- start work

Continues from a previous post. Open the blog about “choosing the lumber” in a separate window.

We have been contacted by a private client in South Africa about 3 years ago.
He was going to build a new house overlooking the sea and wanted a japanese bathtub.
Apparently it took more than expected for the permits and to start construction but he got back to us and placed the order. We have a comfortable time frame but since we will ship by ocean freight we started construction:
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First the planks are planed

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Then the material to compose the side walls is selected also considering the grain direction (both to avoid warping and for the aesthetic balance)

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Then thru-holes are opened in the sections of the planks

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and the different parts are composed together with the aid of wood dowels and waterproof glue (only on the matching sections)

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The laminated side walls are pressed and left to rest for few days to dry and stabilize

<will continue…>

shipping using DHL, FEDEX, USHIP

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We shipped the round tub to singapore using DHL.
Recently Fedex and DHL are becoming more and more competitive costwise.

Also, we learned from a client a new way to find a competitive shipping company.
See the link below.
http://www.uship.com/ca/shipment/wooden-bathtub-httpbartokdesigncomproduc/657797908/

Basically, if I understand, you put tentatively your infomration and some shippers or other users (a kind of group-on?) contact you if there a good option of the possibility of consolidating the shipping.

Best luck!

koyamaki tubs for singapore

We produced 3 tubs for a spa in Singapore.

As we did not have stock of hinoki (it takes at least 2 months to natural dry the lumber) we proposed to use koyamaki wood.
Koyamaki is the most prized of the “5 trees of the kiso valley” (koyamaki, hinoki, asnaro, sawara, nezuko) and is even more rot-resistant (and more expensive) than hinoki.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sciadopitys

In this case, we used Koyamaki-B grade, with small knots on both sides. Koyamaki is more knotty than hinoki, thus a knotless koyamaki tub really becomes a premium item.

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I did not have time to take the photos in advance since time is tight and the tubs are being packaged.

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We are placing the accessories inside to contain the shipping volume as much as possible.

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The tubs will be equipped with ledge mounted spouts.

I am looking forward to see the tubs installed and of course … to rush to Singapore for a relaxing and aromatic plunge!

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Here are the specs for the tubs:

Material: Japanese Koyamaki B grade (quartersawn, small knots)

sizes: L1800mm x W1200 x H640mm (ext. dim.) 560mm(deep)

details: wooden dowels, copper apron, iron brand at top-right cornerHinoki

accessories: wood wall/ledge mounted spout D type

Sawara wood ladle with handle (180D 290H)

Hinoki wood traditional stool (300x180x200H)

Update!

Our clients, the Elements Wellness Spa in Centrepoint, Singapore have created a fun video showing the spa experience. It’s gorgeous!

“princely” ofuro for hong kong

A Japanese living in Hong Kong kindly coordinated on behalf of the owner the order or a large hinoki tub for a residence.

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The installation will be in a ledge so the also supplied the external panels to be mounted on site.

Yoshiyaki is now holding the front panel to show how to position it. I am skipping the photos of the other sides…

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Here are the pictures of how it looks before inatallation, with a double shell construction,

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the other side will be recessed in a tiled ledge.

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since the tub top frame is recessed on one side to direct the overflow in this direction, we added a base on one side to the cover planks.

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Finally, here are the specs:

Material: Hinoki wood AB grade tub
Size: L2000mm x W1000 x H1050mm (ext. dim.) 930mm(depth)
Details: wooden dowel, copper under apron, iron brand at front top-right over flow top cut,
Options: Apron boards panels (supplied separately)
1) Short side: 960 x 508 x 25t
2) foront side: 2000 x 508 x 20t
3) back side: 150 x 508 x 20t
Hinoki wood a removable internal seat W400mm

Accessories:
Hinoki wood traditional cover 1020*x200x21 (10pcs)
Hinoki wood traditional stool (300x180x200H):
Sawara wood ladle with handle (180D 290H)
Sawara wood large bucket(230D 120H)

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Replacement tub for Dallas

The client is going to replace his previous american made wooden tub which is leaking.
The tub is recessed in the ground so this tub matches the size exactly.
(Of course wood swells and contracts according to the seasons and air humidity so the dimensions allow for some clearance.)
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I think we exchanged 3 mails with the client: he had some questions about the thickness of the planks and the corner joint construction to compare with his present tub.
It was very pleasant to deal with him as his words were precise (even without using specialized terms) and his purpose was clear. I imagine he is very busy businessman but very efficient with his time.
This inspires me to be more focused and calm when taking decisions!

1)About the issue of the thickness of the planks, I added a FAQ which I hope may be of reference to those of you with the same doubt. -> http://bartokdesign.com/9-faqcomment/about-the-thickness-of-planks.php

2)For the latter, I addressed him to our videos corner in the “reference” section: https://youtu.be/ZDesC_Bk4iA
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And here are the specs for this project:

material: natural Japanese Hinoki AB grade bathtub (quarter sawn)
sizes: L1219mm x W660 x H710mm (ext. dim.) – depth 620mm
details: nat. oil apron, wood dowels. Iron brand on both sides
options: Hinoki wood traditional cover 680x203x18 (6pcs)
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Let me post here again a technical note about our mail server: we had some mail problems: for some reason, some emails I send to hotmail or gmail accounts are rejected without error messages. (I wonder if it is a keyword-based spam filter: some mails get thru, some don`t…). I am working on it. Meanwhile, if you are having problems in reaching us: please use my alternative mail address: iax1213 at gmail com.

About the thickness of planks

My current ofuro is constructed with is 41.39 mm and you propose 33 mm that is 8.39 mm thinner.
From your experience is 33 mm sufficient?
The next size we use for planks after the 33mm thickness is 42mm.
In case of a L=1200mm tub, unless for design reasons (beefy look) the
client asks for thicker planks, 33mm is more than enough.
Thinner planks will result in a lighter tub (which is easier to handle
at the time of assembly and maintenance/cleaning under the tub.)
Also thinner planks are less prone to cracking due to dryness.

We use a top frame construction for tubs longer than 1400mm and 42mm
planks for tubs over 1500mm.

Anyway, for your reference I prepared a quote in case of 42mm thick planks.
(…)

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