I finally decided to buy myself a "nicer" baren and invested in a "Japanese Disk Baren" from Daniel Smith. It arrived while I was in Utah (of course), so was a happy present to myself when I came home.
It is also something of a mystery. There's no denying the authenticity of its origin when the instructions are all in Japanese. But what the heck is the purpose of little red-capped plastic vial of oily liquid? (You know, the one that half leaked out in the package, anyway.) If the instructions refer to it, they do so without a little diagram, so I'm clueless.