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Old 23rd December 2006, 01:27 AM   #1
Rick
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Default Repair

Only rarely do I let things slip from my hand .
Then they have to be fixed; this was a badly shattered wrongko.
Learn by doing ......
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Old 23rd December 2006, 03:00 AM   #2
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A shame Rick, but a very clean and professional job. What kind of glue did you use?
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Old 23rd December 2006, 03:10 PM   #3
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Hi David,

Carpenter's wood glue; it dried a bit darker than I thought it would.

That end of the wrongko is all end grain carved thin so when this area hit the floor the piece literally shattered; almost impossible to get the edges lined up perfectly and miniscule pieces were just plain missing. I had to reshape the wrongko a slight amount to get it anywhere near decent looking.

The repaired area was finished with 3 pound cut orange shellac; lots of coats, lots of sanding in between.


I hope to never do such a thing again in my lifetime.
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Old 23rd December 2006, 05:25 PM   #4
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Very impressive job for a depressive event!
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Old 23rd December 2006, 09:15 PM   #5
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Ladrang wrongkos are very easy to damage. In fact, any good quality Solo wrongko is very easy to damage, as even the gayams get the edges carved paper thin. These things are works of art, and need to be treated as such. If you trawl the markets in Jawa it is rare---very rare--- to find a second hand wrongko that does not have some damage.

Many of the keris that I have bought outside of Jawa have been badly damaged when I bought them, and honestly Rick, I would not call the damage to your wrongko at all serious. Yeah, it was a nasty thing to happen, and when it did I reckon all the blood rushed to your feet, but it was really a minor injury as far as ladrangs go. In Solo, a wrongko that has been badly damaged will often be given a sungging treatment---repaired, and then painted.

In Jawa the most usual adhesive and gap filler would be button shellac, which is fragile, but if supported provides pretty good adhesion, or in recent years some sort of super glue rubbish, which is good for maybe 12 months, when it lets go.

Ordinary wood working glue is not really very good for this sort of repair, five minute epoxy tinted with a suitable artist's colouring agent is the best approach. In a wrongko like your's, Rick, I would have tinted the epoxy with burnt umber, and the resultant dark brown viens would just have looked like original wood grain. I would then have sanded and polished the wrongko again
and finished with a commercial gunstock finish.

Wood working glue is not real good, because to achieve a good bond with wood working glue, you need to clamp the joint. It is almost impossible to clamp a joint in the top part of a wrongko. You can use a stocking wrapped around it sometimes, but for a joint like the ones in your job Rick, I doubt if this would be possible.

Did you apply the shellac with a brush, or a rubber?
If with a brush, did you kill it after your last coat, or can you still pick up brush marks if you put light across it?

Sometimes you can get big holes in a gandar, or dry rot in old atasan. The best thing to fill these holes is plastic putty---I've used some stuff called "Plastibond". Again, you tint it with artist's colour. Over-fill, polish back. With a gandar you need to fix some sort of support for the filler inside the hole ; a thin piece of bambu is good for this, just epoxy it in place on the inside, and then you can fill to your hearts content.

I've put up pics of this wrongko before, but its a good example of what you can do with epoxy and colour. I did this repair many years ago, but the when I got this wrongko, the top part was in pieces, and the gandar had big holes in it. The dark brown patches you see on the left hand side of the gandar are patches of Plastibond. Some of the brown graining in the top part of the wrongko is tinted five minute epoxy . The finish is Birchwood Casey Trueoil.

I reckon that it is possible to fix just about anything that might be damaged in a keris, or its wrongko.
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Old 23rd December 2006, 09:46 PM   #6
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Hi Alan,
The first picture is the completed project; the other two close ups are in-progress photos.
The first few coats of shellac were wiped on then the last coat or two was applied with a brush and wooled then hand rubbed.

Brushmarks?
Me?
Never!
I'm very picky about final finish.

I hope the glue holds up.
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Old 24th December 2006, 01:27 AM   #7
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Further to these comments I have restored a few old Japanese antiques and use the following methods.

When useing epoxy, I will add very fine sawdust from the wood I intend reparing, this will hide the plastic apearance of the epoxy, and depending on the type of wood this will often create a good match, if not as alan said a very fine artists brush and oil paints mixed to the correct hue will hide further.

In finishing I always use Urushi Lacquer, It is a natural lacquer that comes from a rare tree that is found in Asia and South-east asia. THis stuff is natures superglue and was once used to fix arrow heads onto the shaft. Having said that it is the ultimate in finishing wood, whether tinted or clear.

There is no modern finish that can compare and it actually improves with age rather than deteriorates, It is impervious to water and most solvents. Very scratch and chip resistent. Recently a red hair comb was discovered on Japan that was found to be around 8000 years old. there was a crack in the comb and the wood core had completely disintegrated leaving a red shell.

So anyway, I have a couple of places that I purchase from in Japan and I will set you back about $30 for a tube that will last a very long time.

It is an art in itself using this stuff and it drys by adding high huimidity to a drying box, it cures in moisture.

If anyone is interested I can give you a link on where to purchase, you wont find much on method on the net, but I have made so many stuff ups over the years that I now know the best ways to use it.

If you love timber and grain as much as I do then this really is the ducks nuts.

Cheers

Jason

PS Nice repair job you have done there!
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Old 24th December 2006, 01:28 AM   #8
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Nice job Alan. Just to cross the U.S./Oz cultural divide, when you say plastic putty would that be similar to the product over here called Plastic Wood and what exactly do you mean by artist's colour (always liked the spelling with the "u" better )? Is this a liquid or a powdered substance?
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Old 24th December 2006, 09:08 AM   #9
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Hi Rick,

Even with flash and at such close distance, the damage is not very obvious. I think you did a great job!
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Old 24th December 2006, 09:46 AM   #10
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Rick, excellent work. Nice finishing touch, hardly noticeable.
Wood pattern does help.

Last edited by Alam Shah : 24th December 2006 at 01:05 PM. Reason: grammar
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Old 24th December 2006, 11:46 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by David
Nice job Alan. Just to cross the U.S./Oz cultural divide, when you say plastic putty would that be similar to the product over here called Plastic Wood and what exactly do you mean by artist's colour (always liked the spelling with the "u" better )? Is this a liquid or a powdered substance?


Plastibond is a thick paste I think it is made by Selleys its often used as Automotive bog, erm filler. Most wood fillers here are water based and tend to shrink so if Plastic Wood has the same properties you need to build up the layers and over fill to compensate for this.

Keepin the U in colour

Jason

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Old 24th December 2006, 03:56 PM   #12
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Thank you Gentlemen for your comments and compliments deserved or not .
Accidents do happen; still I felt like a total bonehead for breaking it in the first place.

Repairing this piece was a rewarding experience in a few ways; I learned a bit by doing; I picked up some very helpful advice for future projects; and in a way repairing the wrongko was also a way of repairing the heartbreak that I felt when it broke.

You are all too kind.

Rick
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Old 25th December 2006, 05:05 AM   #13
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Yeah Rick, the final job looks like its come up OK, and with the finish you describe, the original break is probably not obvious in the hand.

When you say "ordinary woodworking glue", exactly what is that in your part of the world?

Jason, I've never heard of urushi lacquer, and it does sound like great stuff, but I doubt that it would be suitable for use on keris parts. The better wrongkos are finished with a french polish, or in the case of some woods, no sealant at all, just a burnished finish. This lacquer would not give a finish that would look correct.

When I mentioned "artist's colour", I was talking about the dry powdered pigment, not oil paints. You can mix these pigments with epoxies and do some wonderful fake-up work.

Here is link that will tell you what Plastibond is:-

http://trade.selleys.com.au/ItemDisplay.aspx?ItemID=68

its a while since I bought any, and it used to come in one form only, but now it looks like they produce two types. Its great stuff. I've used it for all sorts of things, including the bedding of rifle actions.

It is most definitely not anything like plastic wood, which I reckon should be taken off the market. Its horrible stuff.

As Jason says, you can mix sawdust with epoxy resins, and often get a pretty fair finish,if I use sawdust, I prefer to mix a trial batch, see how it dries, and then adjust for final variance by using pigment mixed with the sawdust.

You can also mix iron filings with epoxy to hide holes in metal. This is one of the great traps with old keris in the Javanese markets---they'll fill holes in blades in places where there should not be holes, and after acid treatment and warangan, you won't find where that fill is, unless you expect it, and go over the blade with a loupe.

One of our members has a wrongko that is the most brilliant repair job I have ever seen. This wrongko was total, total trash before it was repaired, but for several reasons we decided to see if a satisfactory repair could be achieved. It was done by the man whom I consider to be the best tukang wrongko currently working in Solo, and the job he did was wonderful. Possibly our member may feel inclined to show a photo or two of this wrongko, if he reads this.
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Old 25th December 2006, 10:21 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by A. G. Maisey
Jason, I've never heard of urushi lacquer, and it does sound like great stuff, but I doubt that it would be suitable for use on keris parts. The better wrongkos are finished with a french polish, or in the case of some woods, no sealant at all, just a burnished finish. This lacquer would not give a finish that would look correct.

.


French polish is probably the closest equivalent to Urushi, and can have a flat finish or the highly prized gloss that takes around 80 micro fine coates and is then polished so I am pretty sure that you would achieve exactly the finish required by using different methods.

Urushi is also used as a filler my mixing with various substance ranging from clay and charcoal to gold filings.

There is also a reed that is used for burnishing called Tokusa and is used with Deer horn powder to get a good burnished finish.

To get even more traditional Pine Resin heated and mixed with natane oil will make a glue.

In my opinion it is always good to use the tradition methods for such repairs so the Urushi may not be appropriate although I am pretty sure that it was or still is used in crafts from SE Asia but would go by another name, what that is I don't know.

Merry Christmas to you all

Jason
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Old 25th December 2006, 03:49 PM   #15
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Hi Alan,
I used Elmer's Carpenter's Wood Glue.
We used a fair amount of this stuff when I worked in the trades.
Usually the wood surrounding the repair will break before the glue fails.
Cleans up with water.

Rick
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Old 25th December 2006, 08:33 PM   #16
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Thanks Rick.

We don't have Elmers here. I googleized it, but I cannot see what category of glue it is. Probably our most popular all-purpose wood glue is Selleys Aquadhere, which is a PVA glue; a rather thick, white, waterproof liquid.Will adhere without clamping, but must be clamped to achieve a strong bond.Dries clear.I don't know---maybe Elmers will give a strong bond without clamping. Anyway, where you've used it, it is unlikely to be subjected to any great stress, so it might hang on satisfactorily.

Yes Jason, it is possible to get a finish that looks similar to french polish with other methods, and even with shellac, there are ways to get a finish that looks like a french polish, but that has not used as much time. I have a family background in fine art cabinet work, and have a small understanding of some of the tricks of the trade.

With Javanese finishes there are a number of different methods and materials used to achieve the desired finishes, including polishing with various leaves, burnt bone---which also used to be used in western finishes- and individual people can all have their own little tricks.I cannot be certain that urushi lacquer was never used in years past in Jawa, but I have never heard of it.It may well have been used in SE Asian crafts, but as far as Jawa goes,the only thing that I can think of that might be urushi lac is the original kemalo, which is a coloured lacquer used on some pendoks and mendaks. The original stuff has not been used since probably pre-WWII

The pine resin you mention could possibly be like our damar, which is a resin, and when you boil it up to prepare it, it does have a very strong pine smell. Damar mixed with various substances had a number of adhesive and filling uses in Jawa, however, I doubt that there are many people left in Central Jawa who understand how to use damar as it used to be used.

The problem that many people with an interest in keris face is to try to bring back a keris of no great value, from the edge of destruction, with available materials. Nobody is going to spend too much money , or perhaps time , on trying to traditionally restore a very ordinary keris with top value of maybe $100, and that they may have bought at a garage sale for $20.

To address this problem of economically viable, but traditionally appearing repairs we need to get a good understanding of what is available in our local hardware or artist supply store. Rick has used varnish to refinish his wrongko, and as he describes his finishing method, I'm sure it looks pretty good, close up. But Rick has a background in the application of finishes. He has the skills and experience to produce a professional job.

On the other hand, I do not. I can french polish, but to get a satisfactory french polish finish on a ladrang wrongko would take me much more time than I would be prepared to put into the job. So, if I wanted a decent finish, I would opt for a commercial gunstock finish, that can just be wiped on --- three or four coats over 3 or 4 days, total working time of maybe an hour.

When I was a kid I spent untold hours restoring keris. It was my ongoing hobby over a number of years. I would buy any old keris at all that I came across, and then bring it back to something that looked pretty good. At age 30 I owned more than 3000 keris, and the majority of these keris had had restoration work of some kind done on them by me.Believe me, there are a lot of ways you can get something to look as if it came straight out of SE Asia, without spending too much time, or too much money on it.
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Old 26th December 2006, 03:47 AM   #17
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for those interested here are a couple examples of Urushi to better describe what i am talking about.

This one is in mid coates on Malley root for a valve amp that I am building. I am using clear urushi which is actually a dark brown colour, but application are so fine that is doesnt stain the wood.

[IMG][/IMG]

THe next picture shows a finished shakuhachi made a bamboo.



with these methods the urushi is applied by using a small square of silk or other lint free cloth, put a couple of cotton balls in the middle and fold up the corners of the silk, twist and tap to form a small pad. Apply a small amount of urushi in small circles with a small amount of pressure, similar to french polishing, you then wipe very lightly in direction if the grain.

There a numerous procedures to go through but this will give you a general idea.

Cheers
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Old 26th December 2006, 04:43 AM   #18
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Thanks Jason. Do you play the shakuhachi. Not the easiest of wind instruments to play.
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Old 26th December 2006, 04:50 AM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by David
Thanks Jason. Do you play the shakuhachi. Not the easiest of wind instruments to play.


... mate, I have tried, and tried and tried, I can get a few notes out but thats about it. I had romantic notions of sitting in my garden doing the Zen thing, but found it easier to sit in the garden with a beer instead


One day I would like to take some lessons but, so many interests, so little time.

Cheers

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Old 26th December 2006, 06:09 AM   #20
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Shakuhachi seem to be like the open ended Andean flute, the quena. Sort of a fipple flute but you have to blow directly onto the fipple instead of through an airway, like with a recorder. Never tried a shakuhachi, but I played around with a quena a bit some years back. Not easy, but playable, with a lot of patience. Those pan pipe things are hard to play too, and although everybody reckons ocarinas are easy, I reckon they're damn difficult.
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Old 26th December 2006, 10:22 AM   #21
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... it is a bit different from a recorder, you need to breath rather than blow. You need to relax and breath from the bottom of your stomach. Blow as hard as you can and you will get no sound. Relax and breath into it and you get the notes. It is reputed as being one is not the hardest woodwind instrument to master. Suffice it to say I am crap at it
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Old 26th December 2006, 01:03 PM   #22
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I have played the Andean flutes (well, let's just say i have gotten clear and consistant notes out of them ) I find shakuhachi much MUCH more difficult. Now beer meditation on the other hand...
Happy Boxing Day guys!

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Old 26th December 2006, 01:13 PM   #23
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Happy boxing day fellas,


Yep, Beer Zen is much easier!

Cheers

Jason
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Old 26th December 2006, 09:31 PM   #24
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Yes, a lot different to a recorder, or any other fipple flute, but similar to a quena. Quenas are easy enough to get a note out of , but to actually play a melody on one , I find a bit difficult. I reckon the added difficulty with the shakahuchi is because of the volume of the bore;- quenas ---even the bigger ones---are tiny compared with a shakahuchi.

Actually, one of the Indonesian flutes is a bit like these flutes too, but on these there is a band of rotan placed over the top of the fipple and that assists in keeping the column of air consistent.
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Old 3rd January 2007, 11:10 PM   #25
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Thumbs up Severely damaged wrongko repair

First let me complement Rick on the repair he did, it did come out just fine.

What I wanted to show other forum members, is a wrongko severely damaged that were restored by the best of the best.

I must admit that I had given up on doing anything with it, and was prepared to commision a new one, when I was told that wood of that quality is hard if not impossible to find, and that it indeed were restorable as is, to my big surprise.

I will be posting the "before" photos in this post and the "after" in a post following this one.

I also invite your comments!

The before pictures:
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Old 3rd January 2007, 11:14 PM   #26
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The after pictures:
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Old 3rd January 2007, 11:41 PM   #27
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Simply ! EXCELLENT!!!!!
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Old 4th January 2007, 12:21 AM   #28
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I have seen and handled this piece first hand and the work is most impressive.
Thank you Naga Sasra for the compliments on my poor attempt.

Rick
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Old 4th January 2007, 01:06 AM   #29
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Wow!!!

Boy would I love to read about some of the techniques employed in that repair.

Did you have all of the original broken pieces?

Thanks for posting those wonderful pics.
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Old 4th January 2007, 02:13 AM   #30
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jason Anstey
... Did you have all of the original broken pieces?
I think there are missing chunks. The good think about timoho or pelet is that, repairs can be camouflaged to a certain extent.

Lovely before and after photos. Thanks for sharing.
Naga Sasra, what was used to fill the missing chunks?

Last edited by Alam Shah : 4th January 2007 at 02:25 AM.
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