I think I previously talked about our plans on putting an ofuro, or Japanese soaking tub in our bathroom. For those of you who don't know about ofuro's, let me break it down for you real quick. The traditional Japanese bathing experience differs from the American bathing experience in two basic ways. First, an american bath tub is long and shallow, whereas a Japanese tub, in order to economize square footage is short and deep. The other big difference is that traditionally in Japan, you would sit on a stool outside the tub and use a low spigot to fill a bucket and use it to scrub off before getting into the bath. That way the water stays clean and the whole family can share it throughout the day.
Long story short. We wanted one. A real ofuro is usually made of hinoki, which is a high grade cedar. Unfortunately this is not only high maintenance but also high dollar. We considered just tiling it in, more like a roman bath, but I was worried about leaking. Ultimately we decided to do it out of stainless. My father in-law knows how to weld, and was kind enough to take on the project. The picture above is the design I sent him. It was lots of fun getting to do some industrial design since I wanted to go into that field in the past. I'll go into some of the design features when I show the finished tub later. If you are looking to do some reading, "The Japanese Bath", is a great book, as well as the more light hearted "How to take a Japanese bath".