Mujitsu and Tairaku's Shakuhachi BBQ

World Shakuhachi Discussion / Go to Live Shakuhachi Chat

You are not logged in.


Tube of delight!

#1 2005-10-19 07:23:09

Andre
Member
From: Bremen / Germany
Registered: 2005-10-12
Posts: 45

Materials

Hi Experts,

for my shakuhachi, which I´m actually re-tuning (compare topic fine tuning) I probably need some ji paste and for the re-laquering of the undershaped holes some red urushi laquer. I already asked in different shops dealing with laquers and paints but they cannot help me. In the internet I found mejiros online shop, but they claim not to ship laquer. May be because of the difficult laws for distributing flammable liquids via airmail. Can anybody of the flutemakers here in this forum tell me whether where to get this goodies, or what alternative materials can be used. Taking into account, that these alternatives have to be compatible to the urushi rest-layer which is already inside the bore and the finger holes.

Regards

Andre

Offline

 

#2 2005-10-19 09:34:06

edosan
Edomologist
From: Salt Lake City
Registered: 2005-10-09
Posts: 2185

Re: Materials

This note may elicit horror in the hearts of some, but I have seen no less a worthy than John Neptune use the wet paper method to determine and locate a bore flaw in a (fancy/expensive) ji-ari shakuhachi and then fix it by applying a small blob of five-minute epoxy (!) to the bore with a chopstick Bear in mind that these efforts were to tweak the performanc of an already acceptable flute, not to affect gross tuning problems. In this particular case, the Ri (4th) hole had already been moved (and filled with a small crescent of gold--as stated, it was fancy/expensive) to get the Ri in tune.

At any rate, the tweak was noticeable.

Regards,
eB


Zen is not easy.
It takes effort to attain nothingness.
And then what do you have?
Bupkes.

Offline

 

#3 2005-10-19 09:54:20

Tairaku 太楽
Administrator/Performer
From: Tasmania
Registered: 2005-10-07
Posts: 3225
Website

Re: Materials

edosan wrote:

This note may elicit horror in the hearts of some, but I have seen no less a worthy than John Neptune use the wet paper method to determine and locate a bore flaw in a (fancy/expensive) ji-ari shakuhachi and then fix it by applying a small blob of five-minute epoxy (!) to the bore with a chopstick Bear in mind that these efforts were to tweak the performanc of an already acceptable flute, not to affect gross tuning problems. In this particular case, the Ri (4th) hole had already been moved (and filled with a small crescent of gold--as stated, it was fancy/expensive) to get the Ri in tune.

At any rate, the tweak was noticeable.

Regards,
eB

Right on! John put a piece of tape inside my primary 1.8 (by Yamaguchi Shiro, no less) to stabilize Ro, and made it noticably better. I think this is a great way to fix problems of this sort because the flute is not being permanently altered.


'Progress means simplifying, not complicating' : Bruno Munari

http://www.myspace.com/tairakubrianritchie

Offline

 

#4 2005-10-19 10:14:30

Andre
Member
From: Bremen / Germany
Registered: 2005-10-12
Posts: 45

Re: Materials

Tairaku, edosan,

thanks for your tips. I have access to tape and epoxy as well. This might be useful for the tuning actions. But there still remains the "cosmetic issue" of a Ri hole which is modified and  now having a different color compared to the rest holes of the flute. Can I use any kind of red laquer which fits in the rgb value? Or does it chemically interact with urushi resulting in a formation of blisters or similar unwanted effects?

Andre

Last edited by Andre (2005-10-19 10:17:30)

Offline

 

#5 2005-10-19 12:12:04

Mujitsu
Administrator/Flutemaker
From: San Francisco
Registered: 2005-10-05
Posts: 885
Website

Re: Materials

Andre,

I was under the impression that Mejiro will ship urushi. Perhaps not to Europe? Does anyone know the situation?

In any event, here are some possible ji paste substitutes for major bore work:

- Bamboo dust and glue
-Two-part epoxy (automobile bondo, etc.)
-"Fix All" household plaster
- Newspaper soaked in glue

There are also many synthetic lacquers that can be used as a finish coat. All these substitutes have their advantages and disadvantages. Of course there are arguments for and against their use. (It wouldn't remain a mystery without that!) Many seem to adhere to ji and urushi relatively well. It's probably a good idea to test first though.

Ken

Offline

 

#6 2005-10-19 15:08:55

Andre
Member
From: Bremen / Germany
Registered: 2005-10-12
Posts: 45

Re: Materials

Ken,

you are right, Mejiro is shipping urushi. I re visited his webpage to confirm. In his catalogue he is listing a lot of items under the main topic urushi. Some of them are labelled: "Not to be shipped". The number of items is that hughe that I will firstly rely on your recommendations using Bamboo powder and glue to form a ji paste. I dont know exactly what items of Mejiros catalogue are really necessary for the final red coating. As already said, the list of items is quite hughe.

Andre

Last edited by Andre (2005-10-19 15:09:59)

Offline

 

#7 2005-10-19 19:16:14

Mujitsu
Administrator/Flutemaker
From: San Francisco
Registered: 2005-10-05
Posts: 885
Website

Re: Materials

Andre wrote:

....I will firstly rely on your recommendations using Bamboo powder and glue to form a ji paste. I dont know exactly what items of Mejiros catalogue are really necessary for the final red coating.

Andre,

I've had the best luck with bamboo powder (saw dust) and glue, wood putty and bondo for spot filling small areas. The consistency seems best suited for applying in small dabs. For larger areas, plaster mixtures (fix-all, etc.) spread nicely. These materials can all be applied with a long, thin bamboo spatula (stick). A little experimentation and you'll get the idea.

Red urushi, from Mejiro, is made by combining "Shuai Lacquer" (brown) with "Shu-no-Moto" (concentrated red paste). Another possibility is to combine Shuai Lacquer with "Shu-no-Ko" (red powder). Be careful handling wet urushi. It can cause skin rashes and other nasty things.

Ken

Offline

 

#8 2005-10-20 15:42:50

Andre
Member
From: Bremen / Germany
Registered: 2005-10-12
Posts: 45

Re: Materials

Ken,

you are the best! Thanks a lot. If we once meet somewhere, I pay for a round.

Andre

Offline

 

#9 2005-10-20 18:21:10

rpowers
Member
From: San Francisco
Registered: 2005-10-09
Posts: 285

Re: Materials

While we are horrifying the purists, I might as well admit that I recently tightened up a loose middle joint by adding a couple of thin coats of model airplane dope (fuel-proof butyrate). It has been a little over a week now, and shows no signs of separating.

The urushi on the joint was black, so matching was no problem. The colors available tend to be bright primaries, so you would have to mix them to match a red bore. I'd start with the bright red and then add a few drops of the black until I was satisfied with the match.

Rich


"Shut up 'n' play . . . " -- Frank Zappa
"Gonna blow some . . ." -- Junior Walker
"It's not the flute." -- Riley Lee

Offline

 

#10 2005-10-20 20:13:55

Mujitsu
Administrator/Flutemaker
From: San Francisco
Registered: 2005-10-05
Posts: 885
Website

Re: Materials

Andre wrote:

If we once meet somewhere, I pay for a round.

Danke Andre! Ich habe ein großes Kolsch bitte!

Gesundheit,

Ken

Offline

 

#11 2005-10-20 20:51:46

edosan
Edomologist
From: Salt Lake City
Registered: 2005-10-09
Posts: 2185

Re: Materials

Andre wrote:

Tairaku, edosan,

thanks for your tips. I have access to tape and epoxy as well. This might be useful for the tuning actions. But there still remains the "cosmetic issue" of a Ri hole which is modified and  now having a different color compared to the rest holes of the flute. Can I use any kind of red laquer which fits in the rgb value? Or does it chemically interact with urushi resulting in a formation of blisters or similar unwanted effects?

Andre

Andre,

Regarding the cosmetic issue of filling poorly placed tone holes prior to 'relocating' them: If you have some bamboo around, make a plug with the scrap bamboo to fill the offending hole. This method requires a bit more handiwork, but the result looks better than a gob of hardened and smoothed off material, PLUS the integrity of the fill is much better--very desireable when creating the new hole. You must be sure to match up the surface of the plug with the surface of the flute, then epoxy it in place.

Japanese makers generally use this method on long flutes, very many of which have had at least one hole moved to accomodate the owners' hands. Nakamura Akikazu has had ALL the holes moved in this manner on a 2.8--he's got pretty small hands...

edosan


Zen is not easy.
It takes effort to attain nothingness.
And then what do you have?
Bupkes.

Offline

 

#12 2005-10-21 03:22:15

Andre
Member
From: Bremen / Germany
Registered: 2005-10-12
Posts: 45

Re: Materials

edosan,

thank you for the hint with the scrap bamboo to form a plug. Indeed I had to move the ri hole, since undershaping gave only about 40ct. The remaining 60ct up to the proper pitch I could only realize through grinding the whole hole towards the utaguchi. As a result I got a sort of ovalum which I plan to re construct into a hole by inserting a crescent at the lower part. As you said, John Kaizan Neptun did it using gold, I prefer bamboo, since there is no gold in my tool box. Maybe I experiment around with different materials e.g. pearl or ebony to place a highlight, because the bamboo crescent would be visible anyway, since I do not have bamboo of exactly the same color. Lets see.

Andre

Offline

 

#13 2005-10-21 03:32:54

billyboy
Member
From: Toyooka Mura, Nagano Ken, Jap.
Registered: 2005-10-15
Posts: 5

Re: Materials

Rich wrote
'The urushi on the joint was black, so matching was no problem. The colors available tend to be bright primaries, so you would have to mix them to match a red bore.'

People in Japan don't seem to worry about matching the colour of the urushi at the joint when applying urushi to tightening up the joint.
It's very, very common to see a flute with a red bore which has had black urushi used at the joint.  In any case the red urushi colour mellows with age so you aren't likely to get a good match whatever you do.

I could see people getting upset if the black urushi got into the red bore but otherwise you can't see it when the instrument is assembled anyway.

On the subject of ji, I was taught to use tonoko powder (a kind of soft powdered stone) and raw laquer cmbined with a little water added to help the cure.  Goes off pretty fast but takes a while to harden properly.
Sometimes dental plaster was added to the tonoko to give a harder faster setting ji.  Raw laquer is very useful stuff.  Raw laquer with just a little tonoko in makes a good primer for finish laquer too.

Cheers all
Bill.

Offline

 

#14 2005-10-21 15:04:46

Derek Van Choice
Member
From: Lake San Marcos, CA
Registered: 2005-10-21
Posts: 99
Website

Re: Materials

Hello!

Since this is my first post, I just want to thank Ken (and Brian?) for creating this great forum!  The availability of resources here is incredible, for all aspects of the instrument... what a beautiful thing.

Mejiro is a good source for many things.  For urushi and other neat little things, there is also:

http://www.namikawa-ltd.co.jp/cgi-bin/list_e.cgi  (excellent INTL service!)

http://www1.odn.ne.jp/j-lacquer/home_eng.html (have not tried them yet, but I believe they do ship INTL.

I have been extremely pleased with the quality of communication and service from Namikawa.

Relative to the joint, I had great luck with Nitrate Dope in the initial stages.  The Butyrate Dope did tend to be a bit brittle and not the best to sand, but will work if approached in very, very thin layers.  More recently, I am preferring the matte black urushi lacquer, as it seems to be a bit nicer for the hozo (center joint tenon); might just be me, but it seems to be harder than the gloss urushi, when sanded, and lasts a bit longer when repeatedly separating/joining the halves to work the bore.

Please forgive the off topic, but one thing I am in search of is a more affordable source for the gold bordering.  The 2nd link above shows "JUNKIN-PAKU" which is a 3 layer thick gold leafing.  Does anyone know how many mil the thickness of standard leafing is?

Still very excited about this forum!!

smile

Derek

Last edited by Derek Van Choice (2005-10-21 16:00:38)

Offline

 

#15 2005-10-21 20:43:09

edosan
Edomologist
From: Salt Lake City
Registered: 2005-10-09
Posts: 2185

Re: Materials

Andre wrote:

edosan,

As you said, John Kaizan Neptun did it using gold, I prefer bamboo, since there is no gold in my tool box.


Andre

Andre,

Actually, Neptune didn't move the hole, some fairly fancy Japanese shakuhachi player did, since it was such an expensive flute.
John just did the bore tweak, while we (including the owner) all sat around and watched, slack-jawed smile

eB

Last edited by edosan (2005-10-21 20:43:40)


Zen is not easy.
It takes effort to attain nothingness.
And then what do you have?
Bupkes.

Offline

 

#16 2005-10-22 14:43:35

Andre
Member
From: Bremen / Germany
Registered: 2005-10-12
Posts: 45

Re: Materials

http://www.namikawa-ltd.co.jp/cgi-bin/list_e.cgi  (excellent INTL service!)

http://www1.odn.ne.jp/j-lacquer/home_eng.html (have not tried them yet, but I believe they do ship INTL.



Still very excited about this forum!!

smile

Derek

Hi Derek,

quite nice and useful links, thanks for that.

This forum sort of abused me too...

Andre

PS.: Do you sell some of your beautiful shakus shown on your web page?

Offline

 

#17 2005-10-23 10:56:39

Derek Van Choice
Member
From: Lake San Marcos, CA
Registered: 2005-10-21
Posts: 99
Website

Re: Materials

Hi, Andre,

Thank you for the kind words.

So far, I have just been finding good homes for them, as gifts.  Perhaps, one day, I will have learned enough to be able to make a handfull per year that I would feel good about taking money for, but I am really just enjoying the process... the very, very slow process, of learning to make them. Holding and playing a quality instrument that you have dedicated countless hours (days, weeks, months, years) of your life to, is a pride beyond description, and I am so grateful to have it in my life, and those that teach; I am sure everyone in this forum feels the same way, or it would not exist.

Being a little sensitive to urushi, I spent quite a while experimenting with my own non-allergenic ji mixtures, mandrils, etc., with some great success.  Ironically, after all of that time (and $!), I have gone back to the standard, hand applied tonoko/urushi ji. It is a very uninvasive process that I really enjoy. I just wear rubber gloves now and be very careful.  It is the final lacquer coats that are the most risky, since, it is just seems to be everywhere my skin is, including right up against the lips.  I do really like the cashew lacquer, as well.  It takes a bit of time for it to off-gas, but it does, ultimately, and is fine lacquer.

smile

Derek

Offline

 

#18 2005-10-23 11:19:13

Tairaku 太楽
Administrator/Performer
From: Tasmania
Registered: 2005-10-07
Posts: 3225
Website

Re: Materials

Derek Van Choice wrote:

I do really like the cashew lacquer, as well.  It takes a bit of time for it to off-gas, but it does, ultimately, and is fine lacquer.

Hi Derek,

I have heard that cashew starts to deteriorate after 15-20 years, which as we know is only the beginning of a shakuhachi life. Any of our brilliant moderator/makers care to comment on this? I had some flutes of that vintage with cashew and they seemed to be OK.

Anyway, your flutes look very nice and I hope to try them someday.


'Progress means simplifying, not complicating' : Bruno Munari

http://www.myspace.com/tairakubrianritchie

Offline

 

#19 2005-10-23 11:33:19

Derek Van Choice
Member
From: Lake San Marcos, CA
Registered: 2005-10-21
Posts: 99
Website

Re: Materials

Thank you, Brian!

I had not heard that about cashew... I eagerly await, and will search for, more info.  I believe Ken has worked with it quite a bit, so maybe he can provide some thoughts.

I wonder if there are two versions of it, modern synthetic, and organic.  I ran cross this statement on a website:  "Poison-ivy and poison-oak are neither ivy nor oak species. These plants, as well as poison-sumac, belong to the cashew family".

News to me!  I did not know there was a "cashew family".  Urushiol, I think, is present in both of those plants.

Maybe "Cashew Lacquer" is a general term, and the organics are just as allergenic as urushi?  Oh, so much to learn.

Derek

Offline

 

#20 2005-10-23 11:37:37

Tairaku 太楽
Administrator/Performer
From: Tasmania
Registered: 2005-10-07
Posts: 3225
Website

Re: Materials

Derek Van Choice wrote:

Maybe "Cashew Lacquer" is a general term, and the organics are just as allergenic as urushi?  Oh, so much to learn.

Derek

I know that Oshima (a very fine maker) used cashew because he was strongly allergic to urushi. As far as the composition I thought it was synthetic, or that the kind used for shakuhachi is synthetic.

This is one of the charms of true hottchiku, no lacquer.


'Progress means simplifying, not complicating' : Bruno Munari

http://www.myspace.com/tairakubrianritchie

Offline

 

#21 2005-10-23 13:13:17

Yungflutes
Flutemaker/Performer
From: New York City
Registered: 2005-10-08
Posts: 1061
Website

Re: Materials

Hi All,

I tried cashew when I was in Japan and bought this huge can of it thinking I would use it back in the States. But then I found the smell not to my liking. To me, it's smells like burnt car oil and seems lasts a long time.  I like the smell of urushi. It's sort of sweet (cured urushi, that is!). I have a flute I made in Kyushu while visiting my sister-in-law when she was teaching in the Jet Program. I cashewed the bore and it stills smells like cashew today.

Have you played a new wooden shakuhachi? Most of them are made with cashew bores and that is the smell I am refering to. I am curious to why wooden shakuhachi have joints lined with cork. Is it because the cashew will not hold up?

I can't say that I've experimented with everything but so far, nothing I've used comes close to the hardness of urushi at such a thin layer. I've refurbished a lot of joints in the past year and the ones with only urushi are usually just worn down smoothly. With those flutes, I just have to apply a new coat or two of urushi to tighten the joint. The ones that have previous refurbishing done with who knows what have chips and cracks and requires sanding. You can see some of the repairs here - http://www.yungflutes.com/log

Here is a link to a site called the Urushi Project. The artist, Wendy Maruyama recieved the same grant I did for Japan years ealier. http://art.sdsu.edu/geninfo/homepages/f … /index.htm
There's some great stuff here in tems of urushi origins.

Namaste, Perry

Last edited by Yungflutes (2005-10-23 13:14:18)


"A hot dog is not an animal." - Jet Yung

My Blog/Website on the art of shakuhachi...and parenting.
How to make an Urban Shakuhachi (PVC)

Offline

 

#22 2005-10-23 13:42:59

Mujitsu
Administrator/Flutemaker
From: San Francisco
Registered: 2005-10-05
Posts: 885
Website

Re: Materials

Derek wrote:

Being a little sensitive to urushi, I spent quite a while experimenting with my own non-allergenic ji mixtures, mandrils, etc., with some great success.  Ironically, after all of that time (and $!), I have gone back to the standard, hand applied tonoko/urushi ji. It is a very uninvasive process that I really enjoy.

Hi Derek. Thanks for contributing to the forum.

I can appreciate your "full circle" experience with materials. It's fun to experiment with different materials and see what happens. It's also nice to come back to good ole urushi. I enjoy the scent, the texture and the danger! Maybe battle scar rashes are not so subtle reminders that we are not the boss!

You mentioned the use of cashew... I've used only one type of cashew briefly. I   didn't like the scent or the texture so I stopped using it. Since I didn't experiment with it much I can't give a fair assessment. I'm sure there are others who have put the time in to have better luck with it.

Take care,

Ken

Offline

 

#23 2005-11-21 14:10:33

kyoreiflutes
Member
From: Seattle, WA
Registered: 2005-10-27
Posts: 364
Website

Re: Materials

Now if only Mejiro would ship Bamboo. wink

-E


"The Universe does not play favorites, and is not fair by its very Nature; Humans, however, are uniquely capable of making the world they live in fair to all."    - D.E. Lloyd

"Any man's death diminishes me, because I am involved in mankind, and therefore never send to know for whom the bells tolls; it tolls for thee."    -John Donne

Offline

 

Board footer

Powered by PunBB
© Copyright 2002–2005 Rickard Andersson

Google