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splitting - an alternate method (page 3)



Tools: the thinnest knife that can withstand being struck by a mallet and an even thinner knife for final splitting.

The taped end of a culm
The taped end of a culm

Here is where this method differs from the usual. Instead of splitting exactly in half and then into thirds as is so often done, make your first split between the two groups of four that comes nearest to halving the culm. Clean out the inside of the nodes. All splitting after the first is best done with the knife in the vise. This enables you to use the strong muscles of your legs, back and arms for maximum control.

Separate the groups of four. With the thin knife in the vise there will be no run-out in splitting off one group of four from two other groups. Split each group into two's and then into singles as marked on the tape. You will notice that when using the thinner knife, the split does not get far ahead of the knife and the likelihood of run-out or of the split laying over to one side or the other is reduced.

While the tip pieces are doubles, do the preliminary node filing and then separate into singles.

Assemble the strips into their natural order using the spiral lines. Number and bundle as desired. Include the rod length on the labels.

There are two very minor disadvantages to this method. First, compared to Mr. Garrison's method, there are off-cuts in the middle. For practical purposes, this can be ignored, but if felt to be a problem the taper of the rod can be adjusted to compensate. Second, the whole culm is committed to a rod of one length.

However, the advantages you'll enjoy of

1. easier splitting.

2. more strips from each culm.

3. easier planing to dimension.

4. easier node straightening.

5. fewer nodes.

6. absence of nodes in critical regions.

will far outweigh any disadvantages.

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