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 Post subject: Proper oil for a Kuroki kaya goban?
Post #1 Posted: Fri Apr 07, 2017 1:54 pm 
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Hey everybody!

I've been playing Go off and on for about twelve years now, and I recently got very into it again because some people around me started practicing seriously, and I spent most of my bonus on some blue label stones and a kaya goban. I'm delighted to have it. The texture of the stones, the sound feedback from placing them, it's all like a dream come true. If I didn't feel inadequate in my skills before, I sure do now!

My greatest concern is making sure I spend the first decade or two with this board maintaining the correct habits to settle the wood and ensure it becomes a flawless antique someday. I live in Florida, so there's humidity to think about. I keep the board inside and covered. Right now, I'm using some parts of the box it came in as a rudimentary paulownia box. I have a cotton cover, tatami mat, and a correctly-sized paulownia box on the way from Kuroki also, after having the board a week or so and realizing I really want the protection.

I've heard that oiling it once a year should be good, given the humidity of where I am. And that I shouldn't need to worry about re-waxing it until maybe five or ten?

But also, I've heard that it's best to use the same oil that your manufacturer set up your board with. I notice that Mr. Kuroki only sells wax, and it seems to me that maybe I'm intended to pick up some of that stuff, and give my board a decent rub-down with a small amount of it on a soft cotton cloth once a year?

Thanks for any advice!

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 Post subject: Re: Proper oil for a Kuroki kaya goban?
Post #2 Posted: Sat Apr 08, 2017 5:05 am 
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I was told by a Japanese go equipment expert not to oil a kaya go board. The board should have been waxed by the maker and, unless that wax has been completely removed, the oil will not reach the wood. The wax used by go board makers is very hard and has to be melted to be applied to the board, a rather difficult thing to do well. The proper was to take care of a genuine Japanese kaya board is simply to wipe the surface, gently, with a soft cotton cloth before and after playing.


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Post #3 Posted: Sat Apr 08, 2017 6:48 pm 
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There's at least one Youtube video of said Kuroki craftsman applying wax on a board. :)

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 Post subject: Re: Proper oil for a Kuroki kaya goban?
Post #4 Posted: Sun Apr 09, 2017 5:33 am 
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Hi,
if you look back in this forum you can find other experiences with oil on goban here:
http://lifein19x19.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=19&t=12660&p=198607&hilit=oiling+goban#p198607
Kuroki shop recommends waxing again the board within 2 years from buying to betters stabilize the wood:
http://www.kurokigoishi.co.jp/english/maintenance/how-to-care-board/
I agree with Gowan that maintenance is mainly about keeping it clean and dry.
I used a microcristalline wax (Renaissance) for the border of my kaya goban, since I didn't want to use a natural wax (e.g. bees or carnauba) because they will darken with time.

Good life and good Go,
Galation
:tmbup:

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 Post subject: Re: Proper oil for a Kuroki kaya goban?
Post #5 Posted: Tue Apr 11, 2017 8:44 am 
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Thanks everybody for your great advice!

I had been having a little trouble making sense of what I saw on various care guides, and I hadn't found anything explicit in the literature with my board to indicate that the wax was a substitute for oiling. That makes a lot of sense, and it answers some other questions I had too.

Second question, then.

For a couple of weeks after I purchased it, the goban rested bare on a glass surface. It's on three of those "jar lid gripper" anti-slip things now, until my tatami mat arrives in a little while.

When I moved the goban off the glass, I noticed in two spots, the wax had rubbed off fairly significantly. They're only about the size of a US quarter, but it's possible there's basically bare wood there. Should I consider getting some wax just to touch up the underside so everything is all sealed up?

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 Post subject: Re: Proper oil for a Kuroki kaya goban?
Post #6 Posted: Sat Apr 15, 2017 11:50 am 
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I wouldn't worry.

The wood will have been properly seasoned in Japan, and the most significant stress will have been on the plane and in your house for the first week or two while it adjusts to the new level of humidity.

Ultimately it's a natural product and it's going to change over time, in both texture and colour and smell.

My board arrived with a tiny hole on the top, from a missing intergrown knot smaller than a pinhead. I used the back of my fingernail to "scrape" some wax from the back of the board to use as filler.

When this didn't work as well as expected, I bought some wax online, matching the colour of the board. I then used this to fill in the hole.

Then I realised THIS WAS ALL NUTS, and a block of wood shouldn't be treated like a precious Delft teacup. So I appreciate its dings and scratches and dents (not that it has many). When I finished fussing over it, I was happier for it.

Don't put it next to a radiator or an air con unit, or in direct sun, and use it every day. Appreciate that it's yours. The wax will naturally rub off or disintegrate over time. If the end grain feels dry after a year or 2, put a little mineral oil on it. Or some wax.

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 Post subject: Re: Proper oil for a Kuroki kaya goban?
Post #7 Posted: Sun Apr 23, 2017 4:02 pm 
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An easy-to-apply wax that won't spoil the board or interact with what's already there is microcrystaline wax. An easy to find brand is Renaissance Wax. It is widely used by museum art conservators.


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