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My baren is losing its power 
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Joined: Wed Sep 02, 2009 2:05 pm
Posts: 33
Post My baren is losing its power
So it seems that my baren has begun to lose a bit of its power, and I have this technical question. The coils are held with a little light thread, and it is the same bumps that do the work. Are they not losing a bit of their 'punch' over time? Do you take the coil apart ever and rearrange it?


Mon Oct 05, 2009 9:09 am
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Joined: Mon Aug 31, 2009 2:30 pm
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Location: Tokyo, Japan
Post Re: My baren is losing its power
Quote:
Do you take the coil apart ever and rearrange it?

Yes, absolutely. Although it does seem a bit early for yours to need it. How long have you been using it?

The procedure is pretty straightforward, just clip the threads, gently straighten out the coil, and then roll it up again in a different 'orientation'. The ideal is to have the thing turned 1/4 of a rotation, not randomly. That way you can do it again and again and again, each time getting a completely new surface. Gosho-san has a little 'jig' consisting of two pieces of card with slots cut in them that he uses for winding it up and resewing it. And he tells me that even once this has been done a number of times, there are still other techniques for refreshing the coil, although I haven't yet got that far ...

Note though, that after you re-coil it, you're starting out with basically a new baren, and you will almost certainly have a number of 'high spots', which will leave striations in the prints if they aren't 'banged down' with the tip of a nail (filed flat) gently tapped onto them.

I'll call him up a bit later and see if he has any other advice to offer on this ...


Mon Oct 05, 2009 9:14 am
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Post Re: My baren is losing its power
Just got off the phone to Gosho-san, and relayed your inquiry.

He was absolutely shocked that you are asking this question already. He figures that you should be good for about five years before this is necessary.

As for rewinding, he suggested that when opening up the coil you hold it over some steam to let it soften up just a bit. This is to avoid 'cracking' the small fibres. Don't let it get soaked or saturated. Wear gloves or something, and after clipping the threads holding it all together, just wave it in and out of the steam while slowly opening it out and laying it flat.

But to repeat, he most emphatically doesn't recommend that you do this yet. He figures your baren should be just about broken in by now, and to do this would disturb the whole thing, and put you right back to the beginning ...


Mon Oct 05, 2009 9:16 am
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Joined: Wed Sep 02, 2009 2:05 pm
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Post Re: My baren is losing its power
Thanks for getting back to me about this!

I am happy to assume from these comments that my worries of prematurely wearing a few bumps are groundless. Seems most likely I was feeling a bit 'pallid' the other day, and blaming my baren!

Am wondering how you can see wear from the scan I sent you. You probably can tell a few of the bumps are darkened a bit; no doubt this would be considered just barely 'broken in'? I printed out your photos of the re-coiling techniques and one day will use them no doubt (. . five years . . . ?).


Mon Oct 05, 2009 9:17 am
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Post Re: My baren is losing its power
Quote:
I am happy to assume from these comments that my worries of prematurely wearing a few bumps are groundless.

It seems so. The surface of this baren seems pristine - completely brand new ...

Is it possible that your feeling of 'loss of power' has come from not rotating the coil after every couple of impressions? If you don't do this very frequently, the bumps of the coil dig themselves into little depressions into the bamboo skin, and a great deal of the power is sapped away ...


Mon Oct 05, 2009 9:18 am
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