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Sep 22nd 17 8:17 pm
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Kyusu surgery: Hokujo 130mL anemic pour

by pedant » Sep 22nd 17 8:17 pm

some of you might cringe at this, so i apologize in advance...

i have a hokujo shibo that i really love, and i've heard nothing but great things about his side-handle pots as well, especially their pours.

he mostly makes larger pots. i've heard from a vendor that getting him to make small size kyusu takes repeated pestering, and i got the impression that hokujo doesn't really like doing it.
there have been a few batches of small pots lately however.

in december 2016, i jumped at the opportunity to get a small one (130mL):
Image

i like the feel of it. very thin material and surprisingly lightweight.
for reference, this 130mL kyusu is 75g.
comparing it to some other pots in similar size range:
shimizu ken side-handle kyusu 140mL: 112g
shimizu ken side-handle kyusu 85mL: 97g
white-label hongni F1 yixing 80mL: 85g

disappointingly, however, the pour from this kyusu was pretty weak!
i talked to others with small hokujo pots, and they had similar feedback surprisingly.
pure speculation, but i wonder if it's inexperience with making small pots or if there's just less attention to detail because his heart's not in it or something.

i took a good look at the pot and found that the spout canal is not properly aligned with the direct filter punched in the body.
green circle shows actual spout canal position. the rest of the holes contribute little or no flow:
Image

this has a happy ending though. new holes added with a right-angle high-speed dental drill:
Image

it pours somewhat better now, and i enjoy using the pot from time to time although it's not one of my most-used pots.

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Sep 22nd 17 8:32 pm
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Re: Kyusu surgery: Hokujo 130mL anemic pour

by victoria3 » Sep 22nd 17 8:32 pm

Wow, interesting and surprising to see this. My 180ml kaolin bits Hokujo has a ball filter and the other two 250mls have sasame filters. All pour perfectly. Was it difficult to drill into stoneware body?

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Sep 22nd 17 11:05 pm
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Re: Kyusu surgery: Hokujo 130mL anemic pour

by pedant » Sep 22nd 17 11:05 pm

most tools would not fit in that tight of a space, but it was not difficult with the proper tool. high RPM, very light pressure (letting the tool do the work), and a steady hand.

Sep 23rd 17 5:31 am
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Re: Kyusu surgery: Hokujo 130mL anemic pour

by jpo1933 » Sep 23rd 17 5:31 am

Kind of noticed the same thing on my Hokujo too(though mines around 210ml)
Mines not nearly obstructed as yours though... kinda surprising :?
Since I basically just make sencha in mine, the slower pour doesn't really bother me too much. If it were something like a Wuyi though... then I may want to drill holes in mine too so it doesnt end up too bitter :mrgreen:
Direct hole is generally slower to pour than sesame and debeso filters, but I do think the pour is somewhat slower than you would expect with a direct hole filter
hopefully you can use it now sometimes successfully at least :?

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Sep 23rd 17 9:11 pm
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Re: Kyusu surgery: Hokujo 130mL anemic pour

by kyarazen » Sep 23rd 17 9:11 pm

i ground all the holes of mine! used a dremel round ball grind stone bit which ground all the holes in a jiffy.

its due to material shrinkage after firing, the small holes he made became smaller and had some of the "clay film". prior to the strange request from chinese tea drinkers, he never made such small pots before

this year's batch came with a sesame filter and it was perfect :P

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Sep 23rd 17 9:36 pm
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Re: Kyusu surgery: Hokujo 130mL anemic pour

by kyarazen » Sep 23rd 17 9:36 pm

Image

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Sep 23rd 17 9:58 pm
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Re: Kyusu surgery: Hokujo 130mL anemic pour

by pedant » Sep 23rd 17 9:58 pm

nice, i'll try that and see if i get even more improvement

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Sep 23rd 17 11:19 pm
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Re: Kyusu surgery: Hokujo 130mL anemic pour

by pedant » Sep 23rd 17 11:19 pm

instead of using a dremel, i just snapped the shrinkage artifacts off by poking with the tip of a knife. i'm not sure it made a noticeable difference in my case.

still, i realized that i had taken a video clip when i first got the pot (before any modifications), so i decided to shoot a new clip just now.

then i composed a synchronized side-by-side video clip:

left: unmodified | right: modified (click to view)
Image


i think the pour is noticeably better. more forceful