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asnaro tub for a nice couple in CA

This tub will be delivered to the home of a mixed couple (Japanese and American).
I am wondering who first thought of installing a japanese bathtub at home: the husband or the wife?

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The order consists of a knotless asnaro tub with sizes:
L1360mm x W750mm x H730mm (ext. dim.) 645mm(deep)
and with a top frame “kamachi” border of 55xH120 cm
Details include a copper apron and wooden dowels for the corner joints.

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And one asnaro wood “Sunoko” floor grate panel 1400 x 1840 x H55mm It is split is 4 panels 460mm wide for an easy maintenance/cleaning of the floor underneath.

From now on, we will include with our bathtubs a complimentary hygrometer.
We recommend to keep it in the bathroom and be sure that the humidity is above 55-60%.
If the environment is very dry, and the tub is seldom used there is the chance that the wood may crack, so keep an eye on the hygrometer!

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pocket onsen with special offer

We are ready for shipping and have a special offer.
The price of the pocket onsen purchased outside of the crowd funding campaign is 7,000 JPY for N. america and Oceania, 7.300 JPY for Europe etc.

But, as a special Christmas present, I am slipping in the wooden box for free.

hinoki oil set

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The offer is valid until 12/31/2014 and is limited to 3 units per person.
You can order your Pocket Onsen with complimentary box here:
http://www.bartokdesign.com/japan/28-aroma_oil/pocket_onsen_with_special_rese.php

on schedule with the aroma oil!

We just completed the production of the “special reserve” hinoki aroma oil.
I limited the production compared to the first plan but the yield was very good and we have 300 10cc bottles ready for shipping to all of you who kindly participated to the “pocket onsen” campaign.

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Next week I should be able to complete the shipping. I am looking forward to hearing your comments!

Apollonian tub for Australia

Maybe it is difficult to guess from the pictures of the products below, the tub will be installed freestanding and visible on the four sides in the center of the room.
There will be “sunoko” floor grating all around and covering the floor of an adjoining terrace. There is a window behind the tub so it is possible to look out at the hillside while taking a bath!
At the same time, the light coming from behind the tub exalting the Apollonian beauty and proportion of the whole interior.

I hope the client will concede some pictures to be posted here!

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Here are some data about the tub:
* japanese Knotless hinoki wood bathtub
* thick planks (42mm) – without top border frame
* L1500mm x W750mm x H680mm (550 mm deep)
* T joint corners, wooden dowels, copper apron. Iron brand at front top-right

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accessories and options:
* Hinoki wood internal seat W400mm (removable)
* Hinoki wood floor mounted spout type E
* Sawara wood ladle with handle (180D 290H)
* Sawara large bucket(225D 120H)
* Hinoki wood – traditional design – stool (300x180x200H)
* Asnaro soap box (175x115x48H)
* Pocket onsen bath aroma set – “special reserve” type (green pouch)

In this case we were asked to supply a simple tap already mounted inside the spout box.

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For your reference, download the file below to see the main two methods used to install and feed a wooden spout. >>>141009-spout-plumbing.pdf

photo of internal seat: slide it out to remove

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material for the duckboards:
* Hinoki planks for deck (plank cut, high quality, knotless) w/ hydrorepellent treatment, planned finish, chamfer corner
a) L2700mm(2655) x W110mm x t18mm
b) L1100mm(1010) x W110mm x t18mm
to the right are the buckets, stool and other accessories (the “pocket onsen” is not in the photo)

complimentary hygrometer

A client reported a (superficial) crack to an asnaro tub we shipped earlier this year.
The ofuro was made with well dried ao-hiba and something like this does not happen unless the wood is really very dehydrated.
We asked the client to check the relative humidity in the room and report to us (3 readings at morning – noon – evening)
Before thinking of a way to repair the crack, we should quickly isolate and eliminate the problem otherwise the tub may suffer more damage.

  1. Is there a heater or radiant floor in the bathroom? If yes, it should be kept off while the tub is empty.
  2. Is there central air conditioning? Often these systems have dehumidifiers in line. Again, the AC should not be used in the bath area while the tub is empty.
  3. Is the ofuro seldom used? (should be used 2, 3 or more times a week!)
  4. Keeping some water inside may preserve the tub for periods when it is not used. Anyway, it is important to either fill the tub to the top, or keep few inches of water and a cover on the tub so that the humidity can reach also the area close to the edge.
  5. If the tub is left unused for extended periods and the AC/heating is very powerful, the option of keeping some water inside and a cover on top may not be sufficient as the dry environment would attack the outside of the tub. In this case I recommend to wrap the tub also on the outside (as much as possible) in a similarly to the way it was delivered.

Wishing that this would never happen again, from now on, we will include with our bathtubs a complimentary hygrometer.
We recommend to keep it in the bathroom and be sure that the humidity is above 55-60%. If the environment is very dry, and the tub is seldom used there is the chance that the wood may crack.

bartok-hygrometer.jpg

twin tubs for malaysia

Here are two squarish hinoki bathtubs ordered thru an architecture office in Malaysia.
They will be installed is similar condo units, behind a large glass partition separating the toilet/lavatory area from the large shower/bath area.

The thin kamachi border we used in this case has the advantage that it can be grabbed easily when entering and especially egressing the tub

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Here are the specs for the tubs;
* japanese Knotless hinoki wood bathtub
* sizes: L1100mm x W1000mm x H750mm (ext. dim.) 640mm(deep)
* details: copper apron, wooden dowels. Iron brand at front top-right
* option: overflow socket with flexible pipe, internal seat W350mm
* accessories: Hinoki wood wall mounted spout A
The side behind the bench is slightly slanted.

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to the left: the back of the tub with western type overflow socket.
to the right: overflow with flexible pipe installed. It should be faced towards a wall or enclosed in a ledge. (Often, clients provide their one metal pipe and leave it exposed)

lamination of planks

There is often a misunderstanding about what japanese call “hagi-zai” (laminated material)

The english term “laminated wood” includes rotary cut veneer lamination (plywood) and square rods finger joined (glulam).
We have the image of the laminated wood as an engineered material, sturdy but unequivocally man-made and thus not natural.

On the other hand hagi-zai involves joining wide planks side by side with the aid of full penetration dowels. We try to match the vein and if the situation allows it, the joint is almost invisible. (in case of a tub we have to give priority to balancing the warping and thus it is almost inpossible to make an invisible joint in this case)

The lumber is equalized with rotary saw and electric planer

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Here is the solid lumber with thru holes ready for joining.

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Glue is applied inside the holes

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Long dowels are hammered inside to connect all the planks together

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Here is the finished “hagi-zai”. At this point it is straightened and prepared for the “shiguchi” = wood joints. (To create a box we use mostly dove tail joints.) Finally the panel are assembled to create the tub and hand planed.

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asnaro tub for a Singapore terrace house

The client is renovating a two-story terrace house in Singapore and choose a japanese wooden bathtub for himself and his family.
We hope they can enjoy it everyday!
The tub has copper plates joints both at the front and back (option.)
Here are the main specs:
material: knotless asnaro wood (AB grade)
sizes: L1180mm x W750mm x H690mm (ext. dim.) 580mm(deep)
details: copper apron, copper plate joints. Iron brand at front top-right.
options: removable internal seat (W350mm)
accessories: Asnaro wood wall mounted spout A
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The drain fitting is not installed and we supplied it separately.
(standard-long type socket / rubber plug)
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The spout can be opened easily for maintenance and cleaning.
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the cheap yen may bring an ofuro to your home…

The autumn brought a weak yen both against the dollar and the euro.
This means it is a good timing to purchase japanese goods, especially when they are priced in yen.
This post is not to push the back of our readers and convince them to buy an ofuro.
In particular now, it is a very busy period and we have a 45-60 days lead time for the production.

The reason for this post is that I know that japanese hinoki tubs are expensive, and remain a dream for many. Well, this may be an opportunity to bring home a japanese product with 15% discount compared to 2 months ago: so if you are considering buying and ofuro, I friendly recommend you to do it now.

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I am not a financial analyst, but considering that countries like China and Russia are dumping federal bonds, and the saudis do not seem so clung to the petrodollar anymore, I feel that the strength of the dollar may be a flash in the pan…

I welcome all your questions and comments.

All the Best//

iacopo torrini

fashionable hinoki in London

We made this beautiful hinoki tub for a famous fashion designer.

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The shape is very minimal, with L shaped corners. The wood is natural look knotty hinoki.
And here comes the stroke of genius of the architect: they supplied a polished brass drain plug. As you can see, the result is refined and bold, transgressive and classical at the same time.

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For an easier installation, we recessed the socket nut on the back of the tub to leave the threaded section as long as possible.

We also supplied a coupling ring to connect it to the drain pipe on site.

Here are the tub main information:
material: japanese Knotty (plank cut) Kiso Hinoki wood bathtub
size: L1400mm x W750mm x H680mm (ext. dim.) 580mm(deep)
details: 42mm thick boards, wooden dowels, apron w/ natural oil finish.
The ofuro is equipped with custom step stool in knotless hinoki wood, 450 x 220 x 400H

socket-nut

The architect also asked us to apply the iron brand on the bottom. He wanted to keep the look as minimal as possible, but the brand is important, even if it is not visible.
We also supplied a custom stool, with a cut on top for an easier grab and to drain the left over water.

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