Splitting bamboo: good method for narrow strips

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Bobby Marlene
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Splitting bamboo: good method for narrow strips

Post by Bobby Marlene » Fri Jun 01, 2018 8:38 pm

Somewhere on www I discovered a good method to produce narrow strips with consistent width. For me it is a real revelation as I I had often problems with „walking“ meaning that one dtrip is much wider at one end then at the other. With this method I can consistently split with very good results. Here it is:
Take the strip you want to split
1. remove the humps at the pith side of the node. I use my Stanley bench plane for this task
2. file the enamel side of the node
3. take your splitting knife and put where you want to split, in this case in the middle. Be careful to place it perpendicular to the strip so not to create a back cut
4. take your mallet or nylon hammer and give a light tap to start the split
5. take the strip and put it in a vice enamel side up with the first node just outside the vice
6. split further with your fingers, carefully watching the split. If it wanders to one side pull stronger at the broader strip. Then it moves back to the middle
7. you can now move the strip further in the vice and go on until it is fully split

Here some pictures to illustrate:
ImageImageImageImage

I hope this may help someone to overcome the splitting problems. Thanks for looking
Bobby
Last edited by Bobby Marlene on Fri Jun 01, 2018 10:09 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Shed_Monkey
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Re: Splitting bamboo: good method for narrow strips

Post by Shed_Monkey » Fri Jun 01, 2018 9:39 pm

Hi Chris - funny you should post this just now as yesterday I used the exact same method for the first time... and was absolutely amazed at how much control it gave me. Previously I had given up with splitting as I was wasting too much material and making too many "spears" and so have been sawing out strips for a while, but something made me re-read the article here http://www.bamboorodmaking.com/Tips-fil ... tting.html - it is the last post by Jeff which describes the method.

What amazed me the most was how straight and uniform the strips I produced were - certainly good enough to convince me to give up sawing and go back to splitting using this method. Although sawing does give straight strips the "grain" of the fibres doesn't look so nice as it does when using split strips.

I've literally just finished baking both roughed out sections ready for setting the forms up for planing - the smell of cooking bamboo has wafted into the house with me.

Cheers
Steve

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Bobby Marlene
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Re: Splitting bamboo: good method for narrow strips

Post by Bobby Marlene » Fri Jun 01, 2018 10:12 pm

Hi Steve, that´s very funny indeed. Good to hear that you have success with the method. I was also very frustrated with splitting but now it is just so easy.
I found it here:
http://classicflyrodforum.com/forum/vie ... =splitting
See the post of Jeff Schaeffer
Do you use a beveler for rough planing?
Best, Bobby

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Northern_Nomad
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Re: Splitting bamboo: good method for narrow strips

Post by Northern_Nomad » Fri Jun 01, 2018 10:36 pm

I used to use the free splitting routine, using a knife held in the vice and lowering or raising the split bamboo to steer it left or right. This method of yours seems similar but easier.

At the moment my method of choice is to use two chisels. The bamboo is laid flat on the bench, a sharp chisel placed on the node, one node in at the required thickness, and then given a good whack with a mallet. It will split in a straight line to the next node. Next you simply insert the second chisel and give a slight twist and the second node will split straight. Using the two chisels to twist your way up the culm or strip through each node is now easy and a dead straight strip will be obtained. Using this method you can get a lot more strips out of a culm.

:Thumb:
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Shed_Monkey
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Re: Splitting bamboo: good method for narrow strips

Post by Shed_Monkey » Fri Jun 01, 2018 10:38 pm

Yes, the same guy posted it in both places.

Yes, i use a Baginski style beveller. I like the design because it self centres and removes material evenly from both sides of the strip. I recently made a new set of wheels and finished a new anvil to go with them - i am very pleased with the results. Lovely angles and uniform strips. Although you can pass curved strips through you get the best result by feeding it straight strips with properly flattened nodes. It makes final planing a cinch.

Cheers
Steve

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Bobby Marlene
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Re: Splitting bamboo: good method for narrow strips

Post by Bobby Marlene » Fri Jun 01, 2018 10:51 pm

Northern_Nomad wrote:
Fri Jun 01, 2018 10:36 pm
I used to use the free splitting routine, using a knife held in the vice and lowering or raising the split bamboo to steer it left or right. This method of yours seems similar but easier.

At the moment my method of choice is to use two chisels. The bamboo is laid flat on the bench, a sharp chisel placed on the node, one node in at the required thickness, and then given a good whack with a mallet. It will split in a straight line to the next node. Next you simply insert the second chisel and give a slight twist and the second node will split straight. Using the two chisels to twist your way up the culm or strip through each node is now easy and a dead straight strip will be obtained. Using this method you can get a lot more strips out of a culm.

:Thumb:
interesting, I have to try that, thanks for posting. Bobby :Hat:

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Bobby Marlene
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Re: Splitting bamboo: good method for narrow strips

Post by Bobby Marlene » Fri Jun 01, 2018 10:55 pm

Steve, I was thinking to build a Baginski style beveler. Just have to learn using a lathe to make the wheel :surrender:
Currently I use a Stanley bench plane for rough planing it is reasonably fast. The result is ok. But would love to have a beveler.
Thanks, Bobby

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Re: Splitting bamboo: good method for narrow strips

Post by Chavender » Mon Jun 04, 2018 12:26 am

Have you tried using a nail to split the strips ,you stick a average sized (3") round nail into something 1/3 way in ,start the split with the froe/knife ,then push the split end onto the nail and push the cane against the nail continues the split and you should be able to keep it strait . the nodes are the problem area ,if it looks like veering off true you can put a bit of bend on it to keep the split strait

the original way was too use a sharpe bevel edged knife ,you lay the strip (veneer up) tap the pointed blade through it into the bench or bit of wood and then push the cane against its edge ,the bevelled edge helps to force the split ,taking care at the nodes to keep it strait (bit of side pressure to keep it true or twist of the blade) .wearing gloves incase your pushing hand slips (or you can tape the blade above the cutting area.

the nail is just safer as your less likely too splip and cut your hand.

I've been doing my homework ,i'm hoping to get some PPI money back soon that i'm going to use too get a set of planning forms ,to get started on making my own blanks ,got some tools already a couple block planes ,a froe /kindling knife for initial splitting ,got plans for binder etc a bevller would be nice (eventually) got plans for oven ,got my hollowing sorted too .then i'll need to find some cheap bamboo to practice with ,to learn the techniques before I go near the good stuff.
I try to be funny... but sometimes I merely look it! Steve

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Shed_Monkey
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Re: Splitting bamboo: good method for narrow strips

Post by Shed_Monkey » Mon Jun 04, 2018 7:46 am

Hi Steve, the splitting methods you describe are okay with a lot of practise but do not give anything like as much control as the vice method. The reason is the vice acts like a 3rd hand making it a lot easier to bend the fat side and walk the split back to the middle as well as preventing the split jumping too far ahead at a node. it is astonishing just how uniform you can get the strips with the vice method.

A putty knife makes a serviceable froe and is cheap.

I have a couple of 4 ft pieces of culm you can have to practise with for the price of postage when you are ready if you would like them.

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Re: Splitting bamboo: good method for narrow strips

Post by Chavender » Mon Jun 04, 2018 1:16 pm

i'll defiantly will be trying the vice method ,still checking out various techniques to find the best methods etc ,got plenty too learn ,I have a putty knife someware ,the froe I have is a old strait blade one ,normally use it for collecting reeds and elder stalks or splitting sticks into kindling for my Kelly kettle ,i'll probably need a couple in different sizes so the putty knife will get pressed into action ,the culms will come in handy thanks ,i'll remember later as i'll no doubt have some questions etc to ask when the time comes to get my set up right.
I try to be funny... but sometimes I merely look it! Steve

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