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 Post subject: Cedar Goban
Post #1 Posted: Fri Aug 23, 2013 1:48 am 
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Hey guys,

So, I don't know if any of you guys know of "theduddha2" on youtube, but I personally love his videos. This is his latest video in his "making your own Goban" series - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GAZ9Zqrr ... JgVg6IwwJw

Anyways, he's inspired me to want to make my own Goban. What do you guys think of making a floor Goban out of a cedar block? like this one - http://www.ebay.com/itm/Aromatic-Red-Ce ... 0882302699 but bigger?

Do you think it will look nice? Any faults you might think of? What is your opinion in general?

Thanks in advance for your time!

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 Post subject: Re: Cedar Goban
Post #2 Posted: Fri Aug 23, 2013 5:48 am 
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The traditional woods used for gobans would be the most suitable species available in those parts of the world where go was traditionally played. I would be very surprised if there were not some woods native to other parts of the world quite suited to this use.

They would not have been used by traditional goban makers because lack of availability until modern times. As long as the traditional woods are still available, even if in diminishing quantities, we can't expect any traditional goban maker to put in the huge investment in cost, time, and effort to evaluate dozens if not hundreds of remote tree species.

That's going to be up to amateur goban makers who live where these other woods are found. For example, White Lotus says he wants to try making one from "cedar". Which cedar, White Lotus?

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 Post subject: Re: Cedar Goban
Post #3 Posted: Fri Aug 23, 2013 6:11 am 
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Of course that piece of wood is not big enough, the very specific wood in the ebay link is mentioned in its text:
Quote:
About: Aromatic Red Cedar, Juniperus Virgiania, is a member of the juniper family and is native to the forests of the South Central United States.

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 Post subject: Re: Cedar Goban
Post #4 Posted: Fri Aug 23, 2013 6:36 am 
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One problem you may want to think about is that traditionally it takes years of laying away the wood to dry it properly before it is crafted into a floor goban.

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 Post subject: Re: Cedar Goban
Post #5 Posted: Fri Aug 23, 2013 7:14 am 
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I can't say anything about the color scheme or the aging of the wood or what have you, but that block is way too small. Consult this page: http://senseis.xmp.net/?EquipmentDimensions

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 Post subject: Re: Cedar Goban
Post #6 Posted: Fri Aug 23, 2013 7:24 am 
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msgreg wrote:
Of course that piece of wood is not big enough, the very specific wood in the ebay link is mentioned in its text:
Quote:
About: Aromatic Red Cedar, Juniperus Virgiania, is a member of the juniper family and is native to the forests of the South Central United States.


jts wrote:
I can't say anything about the color scheme or the aging of the wood or what have you, but that block is way too small. Consult this page: http://senseis.xmp.net/?EquipmentDimensions


The OP noted that he'd need a bigger piece of wood.


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 Post subject: Re: Cedar Goban
Post #7 Posted: Fri Aug 23, 2013 7:37 am 
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Cedar species are used in the orient for making go boards. Hiba is a type of cedar, for example. Hiba is mostly used for table-top boards, 2" to 2.5" thick. Hiba has a nice yellow color. The cedar the OP linked to is red-brown. Hiba is not often used for thick floor boards because it is prone to cracking. Another wood used for go boards in Japan is Hinoki (cypress). The kind of wood you use is a matter of its availability and your own preference. Technical issues to consider are whether the wood is dried sufficiently, how the wood reacts to changes in weather and humidity, how easy it is to work, how hard or soft the wood is, its susceptibility to cracking and chipping, etc.

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 Post subject: Re: Cedar Goban
Post #8 Posted: Fri Aug 23, 2013 10:11 am 
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I think the darker woods looks great with white lines for the grid.

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 Post subject: Re: Cedar Goban
Post #9 Posted: Fri Aug 23, 2013 10:15 am 
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judicata wrote:
msgreg wrote:
Of course that piece of wood is not big enough, the very specific wood in the ebay link is mentioned in its text:
Quote:
About: Aromatic Red Cedar, Juniperus Virgiania, is a member of the juniper family and is native to the forests of the South Central United States.


jts wrote:
I can't say anything about the color scheme or the aging of the wood or what have you, but that block is way too small. Consult this page: http://senseis.xmp.net/?EquipmentDimensions


The OP noted that he'd need a bigger piece of wood.

Well-spotted, well-spotted.

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 Post subject: Re: Cedar Goban
Post #10 Posted: Fri Aug 23, 2013 8:13 pm 
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Cedar is very soft, so the board will dent very easily. Just a note.

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 Post subject: Re: Cedar Goban
Post #11 Posted: Fri Aug 23, 2013 8:26 pm 
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In terms of hardness, there are charts you can find comparing different species. See this Wikipedia entry.

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 Post subject: Re: Cedar Goban
Post #12 Posted: Fri Aug 23, 2013 9:39 pm 
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csobod wrote:
Cedar is very soft, so the board will dent very easily. Just a note.

Kaya is also quite soft and the board will dent easily. It's probably preferable to see your go board denting rather than your go stones chipping or worse if you have a nice set.

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 Post subject: Re: Cedar Goban
Post #13 Posted: Sat Aug 24, 2013 5:45 am 
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judicata wrote:
In terms of hardness, there are charts you can find comparing different species. See this Wikipedia entry.


That chart isn't of much use for this purpose. Because the application being considered (flooring) calls for much more dent resistance than is desirable for go boards the overwhelming number of woods listed are on the hard end of what exists and the few softer species just examples to give an idea of what the numbers mean. And the chart doesn't include the traditional go board species.

What we would want would be a chart that included species of trees that were:

a) Of hardness comparable to the woods traditionally used for go boards.
b) Were available in large to very large size (diameter) trees.
c) Ideally, of a suitable color.

What I would do were I interested in making gobans form non-traditional woods would be to look at those satisfying "a" to see if any wee "b" or look at list "b" to see if any satisfied "a".

For example, where would the softish hardwood "tupip poplar" (Southern Appalachians) be on list "a" (right color, exists in very large diameter trees and possibly a "standing dead" one could be found which would reduce drying time)


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 Post subject: Re: Cedar Goban
Post #14 Posted: Sat Aug 24, 2013 8:27 am 
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From the rough picture below, my *guess* is that Janka hardness of the Shin-Kaya to Agathis range is 480-1350. Kaya is reportedly softer than Shin-Kaya, so perhaps the goban-suitable range should go even softer for suitable woods. Agathis is listed qualitatively on Kiseido as "much harder than katsura", "advisable to use only glass stones" so this seems to be a decent upper range (and for the Janka hardness of Agathis, I'm not sure I've got the species correct).

I was unable to find (in a few minutes searching) the Janka hardness of kaya or katsura, but a few other popular goban materials are below. It would help if we could positively clarify the scientific names of the interesting woods. Many woods with similar common names have very different Janka hardness. I am no expert, just a simpleton with a finite amount of google-fu. I do not know the other qualities of these woods, i.e. crack-resistance or grain patterns or size availability.

Species List (guessed from mostly wikipedia, not positive these are the species for gobans)

Torreya nucifera - kaya (榧?) or Japanese nutmeg-yew.
Picea glauca - Shin-kaya is usually Alaskan, Tibetan or Siberian white spruce
Fagaceae spp. - (Beechwood) Beech (Fagus) is a genus of eleven accepted species of deciduous trees
katsura 桂, - Cercidiphyllum is a genus containing two species of plants, both commonly called Katsura. They are the sole members of the monotypic family Cercidiphyllaceae
Cercidiphyllum japonicum - katsura
Cercidiphyllum magnificum? (10m tall) - katsura?
Poaceae, subfamily Bambusoideae, tribe Bambuseae - bamboo
Agathis spp. (20 species) ("much harder than katsura", "advisable to use only glass stones")


Various Janka hardness (with references)

http://ejmas.com/tin/2009tin/tinart_goldstein_0904.html
Kauri, Agathis : 1350lb

http://cdp-praha.eu/content/3-janka-hardness-scale
Kauri Ancient {Agathis australis} 660
Spruce White {Picea glauca} 480
Beech American {Fagus grandifolia} 1300
Beech European {Fagus slyvatica} 1300
Bamboo Natural {Bambusa bambos} 1375


Bonus woods (my selection)
Cedar Red Eastern {Juniperus virginiana} 900
Cedar Red Southern {Juniperus silicicola} 610
Poplar {Populus deltoids} 430
Cypress, Australian hard 1375
Cypress, Mexican 460

A few other references, including conversations in woodworking forums.

http://www.talkbass.com/forum/f8/agathis-wood-92273/
"Agathis is in the pine family. It's most often used in making furniture."

http://www.fpl.fs.fed.us/documnts/fplrp/fpl_rp643.pdf
"Estimating Janka Hardness from Specific Gravity for Tropical and Temperate Species"
Mentions katsura in the analysis, I couldn't see the Janka hardness from this paper. Have a look.

http://www.ibiblio.org/japanwood/phpBB2 ... a8e0d1bf85
(Great list of Japanese woods here)
"Kiri, called Paulownia or Princess Tree, is commonly used for interior parts of tansu, though often enough the whole chest is made of kiri as well. It is very light, both in color and density, and very stable in service. Sugi is a common enough substitute for kiri for interior furniture panels, drawer sides, and so forth. Keyaki is a common choice for tansu carcase pieces as well, often lacquered. It has a vivid flat grain appearance. Hinoki use is confined mostly to household shrine furnishings and the like, and is too soft for regular use as a furniture piece. "

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 Post subject: Hiba
Post #15 Posted: Sat Sep 07, 2013 8:48 am 
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Hiba (Arborvitae)

Wikipedia wrote:
Thujopsis (pronounced "Thuyopsis") is a conifer in the cypress family (Cupressaceae), the sole member of the genus being Thujopsis dolabrata. It is endemic to Japan, where it is named asunaro (あすなろ). It is similar to the closely related genus Thuja (Arborvitae), differing in the broader, thicker leaves and thick cones. It is also called Hiba, False aborvitae, or Hiba arborvitae.

A popular allegory for the meaning behind asunaro is Asu wa hinoki ni narou (明日はヒノキになろう, lit. Tomorrow it will become a hinoki cypress (i.e. the tree looks like a smaller version of the common hinoki cypress)).[citation needed] In Japan, other than being called asunaro, it also goes by the name hiba (ひば). There are also a few regional variations, with asunaro being called ate (貴, 阿天) in Ishikawa, and atebi on Sado island.


The Northern White Cedar () found in North America has a hardness of 320 lbs. I'm not sure this correlates at all with the "fake cedar" that is Hiba.

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 Post subject: Re: Cedar Goban
Post #16 Posted: Sat Sep 14, 2013 9:02 am 
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Another reference to goban wood, this is the comment on YMImports' Tibet Spruce boards currently on offer.

Tibet spruce wood from Yunnan Province in southern China. This type of wood is called ''picea asperata'' in Latin and is sometimes called ''dragon spruce'' or ''Tibet Spruce''.

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 Post subject: Re: Cedar Goban
Post #17 Posted: Sun Sep 15, 2013 5:31 am 
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From looking at the listing for some species and considering the specific application with which we are concerned I'm not sure that this is the right test.

It isn't really just a test of "hardness" but has a large component of "elasticity". Thus our "osage orange" has a high Janka score. No, osage orange isn't really that hard but it is very elastic (good recovery from severe deformation) which is why it was an excellent wood to make bows from. In other words, the Janka test ball can be pressed in quite hard making a temporary deformation in the wood but that "dent" rebounds when the pressure is released so by the Janka method "didn't leave a dent".

Woods that have a high Janka score for that reason are less likely to break a shell stone than other woods which have a somewhat lower Janka score but are brittle (little to no "give" to them).

I think that evaluating woods for go boards would require results from a test that measured both pressure to leave a dent and amount of temporary deformation for a given load. If the first is too small, the board will dent in use and if the latter is too small likely to shatter breakable stones.

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 Post subject: Re: Cedar Goban
Post #18 Posted: Sun Sep 15, 2013 6:43 am 
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Mike Novack wrote:
From looking at the listing for some species and considering the specific application with which we are concerned I'm not sure that this is the right test.

It isn't really just a test of "hardness" but has a large component of "elasticity". Thus our "osage orange" has a high Janka score. No, osage orange isn't really that hard but it is very elastic (good recovery from severe deformation) which is why it was an excellent wood to make bows from. In other words, the Janka test ball can be pressed in quite hard making a temporary deformation in the wood but that "dent" rebounds when the pressure is released so by the Janka method "didn't leave a dent".

Woods that have a high Janka score for that reason are less likely to break a shell stone than other woods which have a somewhat lower Janka score but are brittle (little to no "give" to them).

I think that evaluating woods for go boards would require results from a test that measured both pressure to leave a dent and amount of temporary deformation for a given load. If the first is too small, the board will dent in use and if the latter is too small likely to shatter breakable stones.


Wikipedia wrote:
The Janka hardness test measures the resistance of a sample of wood to denting and wear. It measures the force required to embed an 11.28mm (.444 in) steel ball into wood to half the ball's diameter. This method leaves an indentation.


Are you really saying that an 11mm ball pushed halfway into a piece of wood would not leave a dent? That'd be amazing wood! [*prepares to be amazed*]

You're probably right that the Janka Hardness Test might not be the absolute best test for evaluating potential goban woods. However, it does appear to be one of the most common tests done on all wood types. And it is a test that we have a large amount of data on for a large variety of woods.

Is there a common test for wood that tests elasticity? Are there any available charts with that information for a variety of wood types, including those used in gobans?

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 Post subject: Re: Cedar Goban
Post #19 Posted: Sun Sep 15, 2013 2:39 pm 
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"Are you really saying that an 11mm ball pushed halfway into a piece of wood would not leave a dent? That'd be amazing wood! [*prepares to be amazed*]"

Hee-hee -- no, of course not. But I think you are misunderstanding how this test would behave in practice. Picture this. Somewhat less force is applied, the wood surface dimples in under that load, but recovers when the force is removed. Now what percentage of the Janka score was that?

What I am saying is that for a relatively inelastic wood, once we pass the amount of force that leaves any permanent dent (to say nothing of imbedding the ball halfway) we have exceeded the elastic limit for that wood, catastrophic material failure, and just a little more force will drive the ball well in.

And yes I realize that perhaps we don't have the desired statistic for a large number of woods for exactly what we want of a go playing surface. We want .....

a) A surface that will deflect significantly under a large load but still elastic. The larger the deflection as the go stone hits the surface the slower it is being decelerated (and so less force on the stone). We don't want a fragile stone to break.

b) A surface where the load of a rounded object hitting it can be significant before the elastic limit is exceeded. We don't want a dent left behind.

It actually shouldn't be all that hard to devise a test that would give the results we would want for this purpose. We'd want a device that would measure:
1) What is the maximum impact (of the rounded* hitting object) that leaves no dent? (impact was completely elastic)
2) What was the deflection of the surface for that impact?
For the most suitable woods we want both of those to be high though might need to compromise.

Might be a very good "science fair" project for a go playing high school student. The impact for no dent part easy but measuring the very small deflection not so easy.

* The radius for our purpose should be much larger than the Janka test ball, inches, not a fraction of an inch.

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 Post subject: Re: Cedar Goban
Post #20 Posted: Sun Sep 15, 2013 5:47 pm 
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Thanks for the links, fun stuff to watch later.

You'd need 9 of those 8"x8" cedar blocks, carefully planed and laminated, to make a full-size go board and apparently the seller only had one.

Ignore all the rantings about appropriate wood stocks for serious go boards. You can make a board out of anything you want to including slabs of concrete or granite or silicone. Go for it, try to have fun, and buy enough stock to build two units; the first one might not work out correctly.

Laying up wood for several years dosnt' really "dry it out." It's a process formally known as seasoning or stabilizing, converting wood taken recently from a tree to stock that can be used to build somehting. Depending on the wood species and several other factors, it can can decades before a huge solid block of wood is less likely to split.


WhlteLotus wrote:
Hey guys,
So, I don't know if any of you guys know of "theduddha2" on youtube, but I personally love his videos. This is his latest video in his "making your own Goban" series - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GAZ9Zqrr ... JgVg6IwwJw
Anyways, he's inspired me to want to make my own Goban. What do you guys think of making a floor Goban out of a cedar block? like this one - http://www.ebay.com/itm/Aromatic-Red-Ce ... 0882302699 but bigger?
Do you think it will look nice? Any faults you might think of? What is your opinion in general?
Thanks in advance for your time!

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