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 Post subject: Las Vegas Kaya Goban Care
Post #1 Posted: Thu Apr 21, 2022 9:41 am 
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Hey all,

I live in Las Vegas and recently (a few months ago) bought a hyuga-kaya goban. It is very dry here. Any suggestions on care? Do I get a wax from Japan? I also read someone on this forum suggesting Renaissance wax. Also, any suggestions on how best to apply would be appreciated!

Thank you for the help!

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 Post subject: Re: Las Vegas Kaya Goban Care
Post #2 Posted: Thu Apr 21, 2022 10:44 am 
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Is it used? If new it should already be waxed. I don't know about dry climates but I assume the wax is protective in general.

Keeping it out of the sun and covered is recommended. I personally have my table board out in the room uncovered, though not in direct sunlight.

There is discussion over on Sensei's: https://senseis.xmp.net/?searchstring=c ... ype=either

Most the care information I've read has come from Kurokigoishiten: http://www.kurokigoishi.co.jp/english/m ... are-board/. They do sell wax and cloth but you can surely find something cheaper elsewhere with shipping etc.

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 Post subject: Re: Las Vegas Kaya Goban Care
Post #3 Posted: Thu Apr 21, 2022 3:11 pm 
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Woodworker here. Suggest you contact a woodworkers' club in the area. There must be at least one, probably associated with this Woodcraft Store: (WOODCRAFT OF LAS VEGAS
5220 West Charleston Blvd, Las Vegas,NV 89146
USA).

A high quality, ancient kaya tree, harvested in a wet maritime climate such as Japan's with 50-100% relative humidity, must be carefully and lovingly (and expensively) seasoned (dried and cured) for decades before being formed into go and shogi boards. But the woodcraft was performed in Japan. You have moved it to a desert with less than 30% avg RH. Wood is hygroscopic and will absorb or release moisture until it reaches equilibrium with its surrounding environment.

As much as we like to think a coat of wax will do something, the moisture that remains held deeply in the tree's cells cannot be stopped from migrating. It follows an inexorable osmotic pull toward dryness. This movement sets up pressure gradients that cannot be predicted nor can they be seen if internal. You can do nothing to stop a crack, warp, or check once it has started.

The wax will protect the outermost 1-2mm from dust, scratches, spills, and some dents. Wax can also provide a mostly ineffective barrier against moisture traveling either direction in those outer 1-2mm of cells. But that's all.

Consider the physics of the outer 2.0-3.0mm of your board shrinking a mere 0.25-0.75%; from roughly 450mmx450mmx150mm to, say, 445x446x148mm. That slow but huge compression force pushes on the interior cell structures. Any weakness is going to violently separate in order to relieve the tension.

https://www.wikihow.com/Stop-Wood-from-Splitting

https://www.delmhorst.com/blog/prevent- ... om-warping

https://www.carolinatimberworks.com/why ... and-crack/

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 Post subject: Re: Las Vegas Kaya Goban Care
Post #4 Posted: Thu Apr 21, 2022 10:10 pm 
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So bogiesan, are you saying to keep it in the cigar humidifier room. Bonus is that you will have a uniquely smelling goban.


This post by CDavis7M was liked by: ez4u
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 Post subject: Re: Las Vegas Kaya Goban Care
Post #5 Posted: Fri Apr 22, 2022 1:26 pm 
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High quality Japanese go boards made from real kaya (torreya nucifera), not shin kaya (spruce), are made from wood that has been air dried for many years before being made into a board. Consequently the wood has been stabilized to the humid Japanese climate. Moving the board from Japan to Las Vegas would likely put a strain on the wood due to the climate change. If it is acclimated to Las Vegas too rapidly there would be a risk of cracking and warping. Any wooden item would have the same risk. To protect against warping or cracking it would be advisable to try to slow down the acclimatization, perhaps by keeping the board in a climate controlled environment, such as a room or a cabinet with a humidifier and a humidistat to measure the humidity level. As for how long it would take for the board to stabilize for the Las Vegas climate you would have to consult some one who deals with this issue, perhaps a conservator at a museum. Another idea would to talk to a violin maker at a high level violin shop.

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 Post subject: Re: Las Vegas Kaya Goban Care
Post #6 Posted: Sat Apr 23, 2022 1:36 pm 
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gowan wrote:
...slow down the acclimatization...


Repeat this for emphasis.

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 Post subject: Re: Las Vegas Kaya Goban Care
Post #7 Posted: Sat Apr 23, 2022 8:05 pm 
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Just cleaning up and found maintenance/care instructions from Kurokigoishiten for a hon-kaya board which had more information than I remember seeing online. It specifically mentions keeping the board 15-30* C and at a humidity of 50-60%. I haven't been careful at all but I guess where I live meets those specifications.

As for ways to increase humidity, a cigar humidor is the only storage device I know of.

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 Post subject: Re: Las Vegas Kaya Goban Care
Post #8 Posted: Sun Apr 24, 2022 2:20 pm 
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CDavis7M wrote:
So bogiesan, are you saying to keep it in the cigar humidifier room. Bonus is that you will have a uniquely smelling goban.


If you've got a $20-40,000 set from Japan's finest craftsmen, in Las Vegas, you've probably got the scratch to build a walk-in humidor cum tatami room. Maybe in the air raid shelter?

Should mention also that fine Japanese bowls can crack just as easily and more quickly in the desert.

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 Post subject: Re: Las Vegas Kaya Goban Care
Post #9 Posted: Mon Apr 25, 2022 7:29 am 
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bogiesan wrote:
CDavis7M wrote:

If you've got a $20-40,000 set from Japan's finest craftsmen, in Las Vegas, you've probably got the scratch to build a walk-in humidor cum tatami room. Maybe in the air raid shelter?


However, you do not need a "walk-in humidor" in which to store something that would fit in a couple cubic foot box. You are perhaps imagining the goban having to stay in the high humidity environment while being played on? The loss of water from wood isn't that fast. A water vapor proof box large enough for the goban plus a "water stone" (wrapped in padded fabric so not to hurt the goban in a collision) should be adequate. The goban would live in there between being played upon.

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 Post subject: Re: Las Vegas Kaya Goban Care
Post #10 Posted: Tue Apr 26, 2022 7:33 am 
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CDavis7M wrote:

You are perhaps imagining the goban having to stay in the high humidity environment while being played on?
[/quote][/quote]

Ah, humor is so difficult on the web.

Would it not be just totally cool as heck to have one's own climate controlled tatami room. reserved exclusively for formalized gaming? What is the room called? Seattle Go Center has one. Sounds like a character from Game of Thrones? The go equipment could be pushed to the corner and the room reset for high stakes poker. With cigars.

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 Post subject: Re: Las Vegas Kaya Goban Care
Post #11 Posted: Tue Apr 26, 2022 8:43 am 
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The quoted (who was quoted) in this thread have been off here and there. I wonder if it's an issue on our side or something with the server.

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 Post subject: Re: Las Vegas Kaya Goban Care
Post #12 Posted: Wed May 04, 2022 10:23 am 
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Thank you for the replies!

I bought the goban about six months ago and have kept it in its wooden box, wrapped in cloth, whenever I'm not using it.

I hope it's not been too long to start the acclimation now! I will contact a woodworker in Vegas and discuss.

Thanks again!


E

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 Post subject: Re: Las Vegas Kaya Goban Care
Post #13 Posted: Mon May 09, 2022 3:55 pm 
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I spoke to a couple of woodworkers here in Las Vegas, including one at the Woodcraft of Las Vegas store. To be honest, they didn't seem too concerned with acclimation due to the thickness of the board and the 10-15 years of curing it undergoes. The advice I got was to keep it indoors, out of the light, and in a room with a humidifier. So, that's what I'll do! (:

I believe there is a re-waxing process after a year or two of ownership, which I'll acquire a wax for. Other than that, just pray it stays nice.

Thanks again for all the feedback and discussion!

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 Post subject: Re: Las Vegas Kaya Goban Care
Post #14 Posted: Tue May 10, 2022 3:58 pm 
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Quote:
To be honest, they didn't seem too concerned with acclimation due to the thickness of the board and the 10-15 years of curing it undergoes. The advice I got was to keep it indoors, out of the light, and in a room with a humidifier. So, that's what I'll do! (:
I believe there is a re-waxing process after a year or two of ownership, which I'll acquire a wax for. Other than that, just pray it stays nice.


The humidifier is the single critical feature, probably. Put a plastic straightedge on each surface every year or two to check for flatness and other indications of movement. "Re-waxing" is an interesting topic all on its own. The decision to over-wax or remove the previous coat can get exciting because of the possibly fragile nature of the lines. You can get Monkey Wax from baduk.club

Wishing you many happy games with your go friends.

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 Post subject: Re: Las Vegas Kaya Goban Care
Post #15 Posted: Sun Sep 24, 2023 3:05 pm 
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Hey Neighbor -
I think my recent events (e.g., two days ago) might be of interest and maybe some help. I bought a new manufactured 13/9 hyuga-kaya itame-grain one piece board and received it Friday. Smelled great. Seemed to come with maybe a carnauba/hard vegetable wax rubbed in? Maybe? Could have been absolutely bare wood. I'm mainly a woodworker hobbyist with a recurring interest in Go.. and that's important as wood is wood and youre dealing with a problem that all wood can have

Within hours of taking it out of the wrapping it starting cracking pretty badly. What was happening is the outer surfaces were drying and shrinking faster than the inside: like a balloon stretching tightly over a bowling ball. Unlike rubber, the wood isn't going to stretch: it's finding imperfections and natural weaknesses and splitting to relieve the tension. Finishes like wax, poly, shellac, drying oils, end-grain sealant (watered down elmers glue) all can help to slow down how fast the humidity affects that outer layer and are frequently used for that purpose. I first tried a crystal clear paste wax (carnauba w/ mineral spirits) to seal the end grain, then again for the surfaces of the board after testing to see if the lines would be affected. It kept cracking and I gave up on 'going easy'.

I spent next 5 hours chasing cracks with rubber jawed clamps and starbond CM-02 wicking cyanoacrylate glues and applying thinned out linseed oil (an extra slow drying oil) to the end grain. The board absorbed an astonishing amount of the linseed oil on that endgrain. The combination has stabilized the cracks and they actually started to close up as the wood layers' humidity stabilized.

I think if I were to do it again I would try more patience: I would put the whole box I got from Japan-air post in a trash bag with a wringed-out wet hand towel, loosely fold the trash bag over over at the end (to slow the evaporative losses), and store it in a cool spot on the shelf for a week or three. Then unbox it, immediately paste wax it, wrap it in dry cotton cloth and put it back into the trash bag (again loosely folded-over at the open end) without the wet rag for a few more weeks. That could work well to stabilize the humidity without stressing the wood... and that would avoid the need to apply a penetrating finish (such as oil, shellac) as those tend to change the color of the wood.

In the end, a wicking super-glue, heavy application of slow-drying oil, linseed-beeswax-paste, and with time in a plastic bag is is probably the 'nuclear option' for those already experiencing cracks (or for those that want the extra assurance). Some variations on that combination would have less-assurance but have less impact on the wood's appearance. This would be an expensive hobby to do trial and error with unfortunately.

Hopefully this rambling / venting makes sense and can help the next guy that's shipping a goban from Japan to Vegas, Phoenix, Colorado/Wyoming/Montana, or anywhere else with 10-15% humidity.

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 Post subject: Re: Las Vegas Kaya Goban Care
Post #16 Posted: Sun Nov 12, 2023 5:53 pm 
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Sheesh, that’s intense. Thanks for the post.

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 Post subject: Re: Las Vegas Kaya Goban Care
Post #17 Posted: Thu Nov 16, 2023 1:18 pm 
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Issues of warping and cracking also depend on the grain of the wood. Quarter sawn or rift sawn (masame board) cups, twists, or cracks less than plain sawn (itame board). SInce the original poster says he has an itame board that would indicate a greater need to take care with adapting to change of xlimate.

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