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large truck for a compact tub

This tub is being taken to the packaging company.
We loaded it on the forklift and took it outside…
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But could not help it to smile when we saw the 10T truck that come to pick up the tub…
I am sure the ofuro felt like a prince ☆!

finally arrived

We shipped a tub in Canada and it was delayed for over one week because of port workers strike. We were worried and felt sorry for the client but he kindly sent us a picture with the pallet safely arrived.

We never received a claim until now for damage occurred during shipping and from what I can see of the outside of the crate, I hope also in this case the tub will be OK.
Pay attention when opening the crate and do not forger to remove all screws before opening the lid!

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I can enjoy the weekend now :)

Comments about the pocket onsen indiegogo campaign

Here below I will display some comments I received by people who received the pocket onsen. Feel free to add your in the comment field below or mail me if you want to be anonymous and/or add a picture.


Got my pocket onsen in the mail today. Packaging is superb! It will make a great Christmas gift.


I should have waited another day before writing! The oil was delivered
yesterday. I was finally able to open it this morning (I was doing home visits
yesterday) and it is luscious!
Thank you so much for contacting me about this project, and please let me know
if you have any other aromatherapy distillations of rare things. I’d love to
be involved.
I can’t wait to get this to my friends – fortunately, I ordered several so I
will have them for my “special stock”!
Best wishes for the holidays for you!


visit from Cape Town

We received a kind visit from South Africa.
The clients are remodeling their new house and are considering using a japanese bathtub and some other interior items such as tatami and shoji screens.

hinoki-visit

Actually this time the client was visiting the Kansai area (Osaka, Kyoto, Nara) as well, so I had a chance of meeting them at my office in Kobe first, that is where we discussed the technical details.
Then I reached them in Tokyo and escorted them to our workshop in Chiba prefecture.
We do not get the chance of clients visiting us very often, but it is of course very useful to explain the features, details and installation requirements of a japanese bathtub so we hope you will also come to Japan and visit us!

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server problems

On december 1 and 2, we had some problems to the server and both the home page and the mail service were not accessible for several hours.

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We apologize for the inconvenience. If you sent us an email and are not receiving answer, please send it again.
Also, if you doubt that we are not receiving your mails, please CC: to my personal mail
-> iax1213@gmail.com

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!

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.

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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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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

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