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Jul 24th, '17, 18:28
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Location: Europe

Tetsubin Repair in Central Europe?

by miig » Jul 24th, '17, 18:28

Hi Guys,

my trusty Tetsubin has developed a leaky spot. The kettle is in good shape, very little and only superficial rust, but the kettle is compromised in the bottom, right in the middle, where the big whole has been closed due to the production process.

So, what to do now? I haven't been able to find someone in Germany who can do this, I'd rather not play around with the kettle and make things worse. Do you know anyone in Central Europe who can fix that kind of thing? I'd be very happy about that. Thanks for reading!

Jul 24th, '17, 21:24
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Joined: Dec 22nd, '12

Re: Tetsubin Repair in Central Europe?

by .m. » Jul 24th, '17, 21:24

maybe the hole could be fixed by welding?

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Jul 25th, '17, 06:51
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Re: Tetsubin Repair in Central Europe?

by miig » Jul 25th, '17, 06:51

Hi, yeah it would be easy to find someone to do that. The problem is that the hole is not in the massive cast iron body, but in the center of the bottom.

There's of course a Japanese term for it which I don't know. Bottomline: It is the hole that has to be left in the production process to pour the molten iron. This is later sealed, traditionally with a mix of urushi (Japanese laquer) and iron powder. I'm quite sure that this can't handle high temperatures and that the whole thing would melt or burn away if one were to be melded, creating a much bigger hole.
It isn't even a real hole, more like a loose part that can be moved forward and back, so it's quite flexible. I'm almost certain that this is not just cast iron, but something else. So I don't believe melding would work...

So, I'm hoping to locate someone who knows about these things and who can see what is the best course of action here. Here you can see:

Image

Jul 25th, '17, 11:02
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Re: Tetsubin Repair in Central Europe?

by .m. » Jul 25th, '17, 11:02

There's somebody in Berlin who does kintsugi (http://tsugi.de/), perhaps would know how to redo the urushi filling.
Tsubo (http://the-et-ceramique.blogspot.com), active at the French teaforum (http://forumdesamateursdethe.fr), is quite knowledgeable about all things tea ware, tetsubins included, maybe he could navigate you to somebody.
Good luck.

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Jul 25th, '17, 12:40
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Re: Tetsubin Repair in Central Europe?

by miig » Jul 25th, '17, 12:40

Thank you!
I did contact tsugi.de before, she helped me out with some awesome kintsugi work. I'll get in touch with Tsubo now :)

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Jul 27th, '17, 16:39
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Re: Tetsubin Repair in Central Europe?

by Tsubo » Jul 27th, '17, 16:39

kintsugi / urushi-tsugi is for ceramic or lacquerware .. not really for metal (or rather not for metal intended to be heated)

The bottom hole of is sealed with urushi + iron / pig iron powder ... during the sealing process, urushi is burned and the pig iron / iron powder is melted, closing the hole(s) ... for technical details, see P.L.W. Arts 's book : Testubin. A japanese waterkettle, 1987.

On illustration N°141, Arts show a repair with copper-alloy ... but you can also make a repair with silver (which is better) or tin ... or rather if you found a good welder, he can use moderns electric "low temperature" cast iron welding rods !

But my first advice is to ask first a tinsmith ("étameur" in french... for exemple : http://www.chrysalia-orfevre.com/etamage-casserole or http://www.etameurcasserole.com/the_breads) who should be more efficient on this kind of repair work ... there are such craftsmen "all over" Europe so there should be one close to you with a bit of luck !

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