Taking care of board/stones?

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Markus Stenberg

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Aug 31, 2000, 3:00:00 AM8/31/00
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(I hope this isn't a FAQ - at least didn't find one anywhere that mentioned
this)

I bought (too expensive, for me :>) set of shell/slate stones and goban
when on working trip to Japan. Now I'm wondering..

- what should I NOT do to them?
- and what should I do to them, either periodically or always? (besides
play using them, obviously)

The set didn't come with owner's manual, and my old set was glass stones +
expendable board (which promptly decided to get twisted, but that's another
rant on another day).

f.ex one Go-playing friend of mine claimed that shell/slate stones do not
like overly dry weather (like CA/USA) - is that true?

-Markus

P.S. e-mail cc would be appreciated - I _try_ to follow the 'group but I
occassionally miss posts for some reason.

--
/\ /\
/()\ .. Something _is_ out there .. /()\
/____\ /____\
[Not neccessarily anything as friendly as the Illuminati, either ;)]

peter zandveld

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Aug 31, 2000, 7:44:37 AM8/31/00
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I took the following text from an email sent by Kiseido to a buyer of a
KAYA go
table with legs:

"Care of the board is important. It would be best to keep the board when
not in use in an enclosed case with a glass of water besides it. This is
especially important if the climate is dry or the room it is kept in has
airconditioning. Do not expose it to direct sunlight or leave it near
heaters or coolers. Keep it covered when not in use with the cloth
provided.
There will be a coating of wax on the board when you receive it. It may
appear whitish, but rubbing it with a soft cloth (also provided) will
eliminate the white color. Wipe the dust off the board every time you
finish
using it. DO NOT remove the wax or use furniture polish.. If the surface of
the board becomes dirty, use only a vegetable-based oil to clean it, but
don't use too much. You should reapply wax (provided) to the board about
once a year. Don't use too much. When you get the stones, the black ones
will most likely have a coating of oil on them. Wipe this oil off with a
soft rag, since it could stain the board. You should also put a soft cloth
in the bottom of the go bowls to provide a soft cushion for them against
the
wood of the bowls."

For the much cheaper katsura boards the above is perhaps a bit too much.
I think the most important is: keep the board away from heat sources

--
peter zandveld
schaak en go winkel het paard
pa...@xs4all.nl
http://www.xs4all.nl/~paard


MikeYankee

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Aug 31, 2000, 8:18:23 AM8/31/00
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Not particular to shell & slate (I use glass stones) but I maintain my go set
as follows:

a) Keep board covered when not in use. Wipe it clean occasionally with Pledge,
then wipe the excess Pledge off. I've read of using beeswax on gobans, but
haven't tried it.

b) Stones get a surprising amount of dirt and grease from hands in normal use;
you can see it more on the black stones than white. Roughly every 1-2 months,
wash stones in a bucket of warm water with some Dawn dishwashing detergent in
it. The reason for Dawn is that is dissolves grease more effectively than
other brands. Rinse thoroughly in hot water, several times, and spread stones
out on a towel to dry.

c) When washing stones, clean and wax the bowls with Pledge.

Milton N. Bradley

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Aug 31, 2000, 8:51:44 AM8/31/00
to Markus Stenberg
Markus Stenberg wrote:

Markus:

I have no scientific or professional data to back up what I say here, but I've
owned a slate and shell set of stones for 50 years with no discernible
problems, so just possibly my experience has some value.

I have no experience with an ultra-dry climate (I live on the US eastern
seaboard), but I've found that my stones need only an occasional washing in
mild detergent to keep them clean - and they're (so far as I can tell) exactly
the same today as the day I imported them a half century ago!! So relax and
enjoy!

Best

Milt
--
"Better to light one small candle than to curse the darkness."

Visit my web page at http://www.villagenet.com/~bradleym


Milton N. Bradley

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Sep 5, 2000, 2:20:49 PM9/5/00
to Fredrik
Fredrik wrote:

> A clarification please (in case I ever procure slate and shell stones
> myself!):


>
> "Milton N. Bradley" <brad...@villagenet.com> writes:
> > seaboard), but I've found that my stones need only an occasional
> > washing in mild detergent to keep them clean - and they're (so far
> > as I can tell) exactly the same today as the day I imported them a
> > half century ago!! So relax and enjoy!
>

> The Samarkand folks at <http://www.samarkand.net/equipment.html> say
> *not* to wash shell & slate. Are they being too cautious, or do you
> have some patented technique?
>
> /Fredrik
>
> ===================================================================
> | Symeon | Fredrik Noon, Senior Software Engineer |
> | fcn^noon.org | Hi/fn, Inc. |
> | www.noon.org | fnoon^apptitude.com +408/574-2206 (USA) |
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> | fingerprint: 5FB8 29B0 7F6D 24FA 6AD4 07E4 022E 0C58 7840 AC55 |
> ===================================================================

Fredrik:

As previously noted I have no expertise in this area! I merely related my
own 50 year experience for what it's worth, so you will just have to
reach your own conclusions!!

Best

Milt

P.S. If you don't wash them, the black stones appear dull and the White
ones become visibly dirty! So I can see no viable alternative. But as
noted, that 's only my own anecdotal experience.

Milton N. Bradley

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Sep 5, 2000, 4:06:06 PM9/5/00
to Milton N. Bradley
All:

My apologies! I can't imagine what I was thinking when I wrote my response
below, but here's the correct information:

Clean Black slate stones have a matte finish - dull, with absolutely no
shine. With use, the natural oil in our skin causes them to take on a shine
and, ultimately, almost a greasy appearance. Washing with a mild detergent
restores the (natural) dull matte finish.

Milt

--
"Better to light one small candle than to curse the darkness."

S Barthropp

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Sep 6, 2000, 12:48:30 AM9/6/00
to
On 05 Sep 2000 10:41:55 -0700, Fredrik <f...@noon.NOSPAM.org> wrote:

>A clarification please (in case I ever procure slate and shell stones
>myself!):
>
>"Milton N. Bradley" <brad...@villagenet.com> writes:

>> seaboard), but I've found that my stones need only an occasional
>> washing in mild detergent to keep them clean - and they're (so far
>> as I can tell) exactly the same today as the day I imported them a
>> half century ago!! So relax and enjoy!
>

>The Samarkand folks at <http://www.samarkand.net/equipment.html> say
>*not* to wash shell & slate. Are they being too cautious, or do you
>have some patented technique?
>

And another clarification/question: does a slate and shell set add
enormously to your enjoyment of Go?

Recently I've played more by computer than with traditional board &
stones, and I haven't noticed any decrease in enjoyment from not using
a traditional set. (Though I've never used - let alone owned - a slate
and shell set).

Also is the appreciation of high quality go equipment largely a
japanese influence? Is there the same interest in wood, slate and
shell in China and Korea?

Milton N. Bradley

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Sep 5, 2000, 5:22:21 PM9/5/00
to sbart...@easynet.co.uk
S Barthropp wrote:

> On 05 Sep 2000 10:41:55 -0700, Fredrik <f...@noon.NOSPAM.org> wrote:
>
> >A clarification please (in case I ever procure slate and shell stones
> >myself!):
> >
> >"Milton N. Bradley" <brad...@villagenet.com> writes:
> >> seaboard), but I've found that my stones need only an occasional
> >> washing in mild detergent to keep them clean - and they're (so far
> >> as I can tell) exactly the same today as the day I imported them a
> >> half century ago!! So relax and enjoy!
> >
> >The Samarkand folks at <http://www.samarkand.net/equipment.html> say
> >*not* to wash shell & slate. Are they being too cautious, or do you
> >have some patented technique?
> >
> And another clarification/question: does a slate and shell set add
> enormously to your enjoyment of Go?

Enormously? No. Appreciably? Perhaps. But add playing on my traditional
table board and there is an aesthetic element added that really can't be
described! Regrettably, though, it doesn't result in better play!!!

> Recently I've played more by computer than with traditional board &
> stones, and I haven't noticed any decrease in enjoyment from not using
> a traditional set. (Though I've never used - let alone owned - a slate
> and shell set).

Playing on my computer is necessarily my major Go activity these days.
After all one has many suitable opponents available 24/7 there as opposed
to perhaps a few hours/week for a select few in person. But is the
experience the same, or even equivalent? At least for me the answer is
clearly not. There is also at least one serious detriment to playing a
remote opponent on line as opposed to in person. In time trouble, in the
in person experience you can see where your opponent is about to place his
stone, and therefore can begin thinking appropriately before his move is
even made and thus save at least one or two seconds in responding. On
line, an opponent can take advantage of your shortage of time by playing a
dangerous but non obvious tenuki, causing you to lose time in locating the
move before you can even begin to think about answering it correctly.
That's a detail of course and some may even consider it trivial, but in my
mind it exemplifies the difference between the two experiences

.Also is the appreciation of high quality go equipment largely a

> japanese influence? Is there the same interest in wood, slate and
> shell in China and Korea?

I have no basis on which to answer this question, so I'll leave it to
those who are qualified.

David Goodger

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Sep 5, 2000, 11:55:36 PM9/5/00
to f...@noon.org
on 2000-09-05 13:41, Fredrik (f...@noon.NOSPAM.org) wrote:
> A clarification please (in case I ever procure slate and shell stones
> myself!):
>
> The Samarkand folks at <http://www.samarkand.net/equipment.html> say
> *not* to wash shell & slate. Are they being too cautious, or do you
> have some patented technique?

According to "The Go Player's Almanac", chapter 9, part 2, under "Care of
Stones":

Slate stones should be kept lightly oiled with a mineral oil.
Shell stones, being weak to acids and alkalis, should be coated
with Chinese tree wax (ibota-ro). The coating should be renewed
every 5 years. If they get dirty they should be placed on a vinyl
mat and rubbed with a moist cloth. Never rinse them in water. They
should be kept inside a soft cloth in their containers.

--
David Goodger davidg on NNGS (4k*), IGS (6k*), GoClub.org (1k)
The Go Tools Project (open-source): http://gotools.sourceforge.net

Milton N. Bradley

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Sep 6, 2000, 9:21:33 AM9/6/00
to David Goodger
David Goodger wrote:

> on 2000-09-05 13:41, Fredrik (f...@noon.NOSPAM.org) wrote:
> > A clarification please (in case I ever procure slate and shell stones
> > myself!):
> >
> > The Samarkand folks at <http://www.samarkand.net/equipment.html> say
> > *not* to wash shell & slate. Are they being too cautious, or do you
> > have some patented technique?
>
> According to "The Go Player's Almanac", chapter 9, part 2, under "Care of
> Stones":
>
> Slate stones should be kept lightly oiled with a mineral oil.
> Shell stones, being weak to acids and alkalis, should be coated
> with Chinese tree wax (ibota-ro). The coating should be renewed
> every 5 years. If they get dirty they should be placed on a vinyl
> mat and rubbed with a moist cloth. Never rinse them in water. They
> should be kept inside a soft cloth in their containers.

All:

As earlier noted I profess no expertise in this area, but the above seems to
make no sense (at least to me). The Black stones are slate, which was
deposited at sea bottom over many millennia, and the White stones are cut
from the shells of giant clams which live at sea bottom, so the natural
environment of both is underwater!! From how they are made (viewing the Nihon
Kiin's film on the life of Takagawa which shows the process clearly and in
detail) water is an integral element in both cutting and polishing. So the
admonition "Never rinse them in water." makes absolutely no sense to my mind.
And finally, as previously noted, I've washed my set repeatedly over the past
50 years with absolutely no discernible ill effects!

But who am I to argue with experts???

mullens

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Sep 7, 2000, 8:54:19 PM9/7/00
to
S Barthropp wrote:
<snip>

> And another clarification/question: does a slate and shell set add
> enormously to your enjoyment of Go?

Well, I can't answer that because I don't have such a set, but I have a chess
set where the knights have good facial features and there is green felt
underneath each piece - and I much prefer to play with that. In addition,
because of their added weight they are excellent for the occasional game of
flick chess :-)

On the other hand, I am quite happy to play with lightweight plastic stones -
they don't chip like glass can - though I'll grant that one can buy some quite
nasty plastic stones if one is not careful. The Japanese ones I have though are
ok.

Looking through the clubs list on the AGA web site, I was struck by the number
of clubs that play at Barnes & Noble or Borders bookshops. Whenever I have been
in Borders in London, the cafe area has been packed - but maybe there is a time
when Go could be played there.

<snip>

Richard

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