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Alexander Hinman




Location: washington, dc
Joined: 08 Oct 2005
Reading list: 50 books

Posts: 180

PostPosted: Mon 20 Feb, 2006 9:47 am    Post subject: Cutting Bamboo         Reply with quote

This is a rather unusual question, but I was wondering about the use of bamboo as a cutting medium, specifically which type to use, whether I should take any extra safety precautions, and what thickness of stalk I should use. I've got a good deal of bamboo in my back yard, but have been rather worried about what it might do to the edge of my sword.

I realise most of us here probably aren't biologists of any sort, but general thoughts on bamboo as a medium would also be helpful.

Thanks, Alex
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Joachim Nilsson





Joined: 29 Sep 2003

Posts: 510

PostPosted: Mon 20 Feb, 2006 11:22 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

What are you going to cut it with?
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Jay Davis




Location: Carrollton, GA
Joined: 17 Nov 2003

Posts: 13

PostPosted: Mon 20 Feb, 2006 11:45 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I've cut some bamboo before. It needs to be green and living, forget trying to cut any that's dried up. If you are not going to cut it where it's growing, you can cut it down and cut it on a stand, but you need to cut it within a couple of hours of harvesting it. That being said, the big stuff is still a challenging cut, and one that needs experience and a little caution.
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Eric Allen




Location: Texas
Joined: 04 Feb 2006

Posts: 207

PostPosted: Mon 20 Feb, 2006 12:23 pm    Post subject: Re: Cutting Bamboo         Reply with quote

Alexander Hinman wrote:

I realise most of us here probably aren't biologists of any sort, but general thoughts on bamboo as a medium would also be helpful.

Thanks, Alex


I am a biologist of sort. (more specifically, i'm a paleontologist, but I have experience with extant stuff as well like all good paleontologists). What you need is not a biologist (or botnast) but an experienced swordsman.

That said, I would echo Jay's comments, and add that you might want to try and find a stalk more than 1-inch but less than about 6 in diameter to start. If the bamboo is still moist (i.e. fresh) it shouldn't provide too bad of a target (I've seen bamboo used as a cutting target before). It WILL present more of an opportunity to damage your blade than say, a pool noodle.
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Alexander Hinman




Location: washington, dc
Joined: 08 Oct 2005
Reading list: 50 books

Posts: 180

PostPosted: Mon 20 Feb, 2006 1:31 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Joachim Nilsson wrote:
What are you going to cut it with?


My Albion Hospitaller. Though I'm going to cut it down to bring it into the 'cutting area' with a large, ugly knife that I made a year or so ago.

And the bamboo is good and fresh (still growing), though the stalks don't reach anywhere near 6" in diameter. The largest, I've seen, I think, is 3"-3.5".

Of course, cold weather isn't very nice to steel (or my hands, for that matter), so I'm going to wait till spring to do this, but it's good to know in advance.
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Joachim Nilsson





Joined: 29 Sep 2003

Posts: 510

PostPosted: Mon 20 Feb, 2006 1:40 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Alexander Hinman wrote:


My Albion Hospitaller. Though I'm going to cut it down to bring it into the 'cutting area' with a large, ugly knife that I made a year or so ago.



Then why cut bamboo? (And in NO way is this asked with discontent or any other type of negative tone of voice -I'm just curious.)
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Alexander Hinman




Location: washington, dc
Joined: 08 Oct 2005
Reading list: 50 books

Posts: 180

PostPosted: Mon 20 Feb, 2006 5:19 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

The main reasons I'm cutting bamboo are
a) It's abundant
b) There is relatively little preparation involved in comparison with other cutting mediums (leaving newspapers to soak, drinking milk, etc... I just have to intersperse it with the other mediums so I can make it last)
c) Most importantly, I haven't done much with cutting mediums harder than very tightly rolled and soaked newspaper wrapped in duct tape. I figure bamboo would be a nice harder cutting medium that would do relatively minor damage to the edge compared to, say, 1/2 inch plywood or a helm.
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