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thoughtful ofuro for australia

This client contacted us 2 years ago. He was concerned about wood imports to australia and he wanted to visit our warehouse on his next business trip to japan.
In the past he lived in japan so his japanese is very fluent and much more proper than mine, despite I have been here for 16 years now…
Anyway he come with his wife and saw the ofuros and the material live.
Than, as planned precisely 21 months after, as planned they mailed their order confirmation. What is more satisfactory than seeing every piece fitting in thoroughly conceived plan?

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material: Knotless Hinoki cypress wood
L1300mm x W800mm x H630mm (ext. dim.) 550mm(deep)
copper apron, wooden dowels. Iron brand at front top-right
option: over flow top cut

accessories include:
* Hinoki wood traditional cover 820x217x18 (6pcs)
* Asnaro wood stool (330x220x300H)
* Sawara wood small bucket (170D 300H)
* Sawara wood large bucket(230D 120H)
* Asnaro wood soap box (175x115x48H)

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A note for australians: yes, the customs are quite picky with the crate specs and required documentation about the wood used for the tub.
Anyway our forwarder knows their job and we provide the necessary paperwork so you do not have to worry about it.

hard water and ofuros

Hi,
I love your website and I can’t wait to order a bath of my own one day soon.
I do have one question: I live in the UK in an area with very hard water (high calcium content from the chalk in the ground) – will this affect the care or lifespan of the Hinoki bath?
Would you recommend installation of a water softening device along with the bath?
This uses salt to remove the calcium from the water supply.
Currently, we are constantly needing to clean limescale deposits off our existing bath etc. using an acidic cleaner, which I expect would be very bad for the Hinoki. On the other hand, the limescale deposits would spoil the beauty of the timber, and I expect would be an area for bacteria and mould to grow.
Have you any advice or experience with this topic?

Thank you for your interest in our japanese bathtubs.
With reference to your kind question, also in japan there are many places with hard water.
Considering that in the onsen (japanese hot-springs) with thermal water containing all sorts of minerals wooden baths are used, we can say that there is not too much to be worried about.

The scaling occurs if the water is left in the tub for long periods (es. using recirculation systems) so we would recommend to fill the tub only when in use (which works for most residential applications).
I am not a chemist, so forgive my lack of technical terms, but actually calcium tends to build up on metals or enamel, it does not stick to wood.

We are looking forward to working with you and remain at your disposal for any other question of problem.

kadomaru for israel

This is one of our staples, a “kadomaru” bathtub.

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material: Knotless Sawara cypress wood
sizes: L850mm x W630mm x 740mm (630mm deep)
stainless steel wire bands. Iron brand at front top-right

This type of tub ships by air in a cardboard box.
The cost changes from country to country but if you have a budget of 3200 to 3500 US$ (tub & shipping) this tub is perfect for you.
If you require it shallower we can adjust it without extra charges but if you need it longer or wider, than you will have to opt for a full order tub.

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> After one week the client sent us a kind line:
“I finally got around to opening the packaging of the Ofuro – it’s very beautiful. Thank you very much. Warm regards.”

glass coating

We completed the experimental phase of hinoki wood treated with a new glass based product.

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The sample in the picture above has been coated with 2 layers and let dry for 12 hours.This product is isopropyl alcohol based and its effect is semi-permanent.

Generally, any type of full penetration product silicon based or fluoride based deteriorates overtime and it becomes more permeable to water (and dirt).This product creates a matte glass coating thus it is virtually permanent and does not allow dirt or mold particles to stick to the wood.
If used outside, it can be labeled as self cleaning as when it rains also the dirt particles are swept away.

One downside is that it closes the pores of wood hence the aroma of hinoki is almost completely eliminated (unlike other silicon based products like Kihada ichiban).

We are going to use this glass based product on the bottom plank (top and bottom side) because it is the most vulnerable as it collects all the tensions coming from the sides.It is also the last surface to dry while the side planks are already contracting.The aroma releasing surface may be reduced by 1/9 but the tub becomes sturdier and more stable.

Please contact us for any question.
japan@bartokdesign.com

free oil samples for monitor program

As you may know, bartok design developed a line of hinoki aroma oils.
They are enhanced with hinokitiol active principle to boost the oil bactericidal and skin repair efficacy.We need your opinion.

HOW?
For this purpose we are now shipping 100 free samples (30 for end users and 70 for spa professionals and aromatherapists).
If you are interested, please contact us by email specifying your address.
Please return us your comments. We will not contact you for any other purpose nor disclose any personal information or redistribute it to third parties.

WHY?
The hinokitiol is quite expensive as it takes about 25Kg. of hiba wood to produce 1g of pure hinokitiol powder.
We are recommending 3 formulations. (5%,10%,15%).
For this concentration, hinokitiol is soluble in the oil without need of a solution medium like alcohol, so the hinoki oil is pure and without chemical additives..

WHAT?
We are in doubt if it is better to market the oil already mixed (oil + hinokitiol powder),
or provide them separately so the user can verify the amount of hinokitiol and mix them before use.
Mixing is achieved by simply shaking the bottle. For the 10% and 15% solutions we recommend to place the oil bottle in hot water for 30 seconds.

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few seconds after adding the hinokitiol
(you can see the powder particles in suspension)
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This is in case we were to ship the pure oil + the small tube with the pure hinokitiol powder (1.25g – 2.5g – 3.75g)

(NOTE: Until ond of may 2014 we will ask all clients which option they prefer.)

SUMMARIZING:
We need your opinion about the marketing format of our enhanced hinoki oil.
(ready-mixed or bi-component).

We will ship a free sample (value 6$) to the first 100 people who contact us.
Of course shipping is prepaid so you will only have to test it and let us know.
This is also a chance for you to try our hinoki oil for free!
Please contact us by email to japan@bartokdesign.com

UPDATE: The program is completed. Thank you for your interest and precious feed back. This gave us the leads to develop a “legendary hinoki oil”. Please find more on our indiegogo page: http://www.igg.me/at/pocket-onsen

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ofuro with ledges for a japan-lover

This tub was attentively designed by the owner. He has been in Japan several times and supplied us with pictures and videos to explain the image he wanted to achieve.
We were also glad to help him finding some door hardware he is planning to import from japan.
For japanese interiors fans, let me also recommend you to visit the site of Sugatsune USA, (http://www.sugatsune.com) the american branch of the largest japanese construction hardware maker.

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The tub is in attentively selected straight grain hinoki. It will be installed raised on blocks to allow cleaning under the tub with a slim type mop. The gap will be hidden by the sunoko grating in front, which will also act as a low step to facilitate entering the tub.

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The tub will have built in ledges on the sides. We supplied the material, slightly longer than the room dimension so it can be cut to size on site.

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The tub was ordered with a spherical type drain plug (which confirms the clients` passion for details!)

Here are the specs:
material: japanese Knotless (quartersawn) Hinoki wood bathtub
sizes: L1370mm x W750mm x H690mm (ext. dim.) 580mm(deep)
design: copper apron, wooden dowels. Iron brand at front top-right

accessories:
Hinoki wood “Sunoko” floor grate panel,
laminated panels in hinoki wood for ledges
Kouya-maki stool (300x170x200H)
Sawara wood  large bucket(230D 120H)

wainscoting planks for NY

A client who ordered a wooden tub and accessories from us decided to use our hinoki wainscoting for finishing the walls of his workplace.

The quality required was knotless in 19mm thickness.
The standard is 15mm, so we custom made the order
65 planks L3700mm x W100mm x t19mm

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Plank cut. 1 face is AB grade (without noticeable knots.) Origin: Mie Pref.
I am looking forward to seeing the pictures of the completed job!

Best day spa worldwide!

ikeda-spa-award

Well, we are excited!
A spa in Singapore for which we supplied 4 tubs last year just won the “2014 Day Luxury Spa Award!”
Therefore Ikeda spa is not only the best in Singapore (as everybody already knew…) but the BEST IN THE WORLD!
My partner mr. Ikeda is twice as proud as (this is by chance…) the awarded establishment has his name…

ikeda-spa-petals

Here are 2 shots (credits: www.ikedaspa.com )
If you go to Singapore don`t miss this chance of trying out the Bartok design tubs!
(Can we also say they are the best in the world?)

ikeda-spa-fuji

hinoki heaven in california

This order was coordinated by the owners` architects.
We discussed several options, sizes and details.
In a couple of occasions the owner asked some more time to consider the details but the project went on smoothly.
The architect was also very cooperative in taking care of the ISF filing.
Recently, a new regulation has been implemented for ocean freight imports. The importer (the client) has to fill a Importer Security Filing and submit it before the merchandise is boarded in Tokyo port.

The procedure is quite simple but of course it is a headache for every first-timer. Our forwarder`s clumsy english complicated things in the beginning but the client always positive attitude allowed us to literally jump over all the obstacles!

As you can see our tub this time is a minimalist box, L1500mm x W800mm x H640mm (ext. dim.) 530mm(deep) with a L-shape corner (no top frame) This detail required 47mm thick planks @ walls. The material of course is japanese Knotless (quartersawn) Hinoki wood.
and the tub has a copper apron, and wooden dowels details for the corner joint.

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We also shipped accessories such as our 100ml Asnaro-Hiba Oil, a Sawara wood large bucket(230D 120H)and Asnaro wood stool (330x220x300H)

This time the local carpenter is going to build a duckboard on site so we send matching material.
The floor planks are readied with anti-warping slits on the back and a full penetration hydro repellent treatment. Planks are knotless L2000mm x W100mm x t15mm while the sleepers are in B grade, L2000mm x 45mm x45mm

If I close my eyes, I can already see the tub surrounded by the floor grating and filled with steamy water!

hinokitiol powder

Hinokitiol is used as a component for soaps, scalp treatments, skin acne treatments.
Chemically, it is tropolone and is extracted from hiba oil with a laborious ultrasonication process which takes about 6 months.

Hiba oil has a yield of about 2% (it takes 50 Kg of wood to obtain 100g of oil)
Hinokitiol content inside the oil is about 1% so it takes 5000Kg of wood to obtain 100g of pure crystallized hinokitiol)
We sell hinokitiol powder in 1g bottles:

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In the picture below is 1g of hinokitiol powder.

Hinokitiol has a natural bactericidal action and can prevent skin scaling, dandruff, acne or atopic dermatitis (eczema).
It can be used as a treatment for skin diseases.

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(Asnaro)-Hiba tree has a high concentration of hinokitiol (also known as Thujopsene) which has very powerful antiseptic properties. J. Antimicrob. Chemother.-2003-Arima-113-22.pdf

Hiba oil has a very strong forest scent, reminescent of cedarwood, maybe too intense for many people, especially ladies.
Also, even though allergic reactions are very rare, concentrate application of hiba oil directly on skin may cause a temporary rush and itching.

On the other hand, the hiba oil has a natural content of hinokitiol (about 2%) which makes it an asset when used against skin infections or for food preservation.

For this reason, we extracted pure hinokitiol (powder) and add it to hinoki oil which has a more gentle and widely appreciated aroma.
Please refer to our page about enriched hinoki oil

Please contact us for more details and bulk purchase options.


We are now testing this product with about 100 dermatologists and aromatherapists around the globe and will be glad to provide a sample upon request.
(Sorry, the program was completed as of August 2014)

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