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Re: bamboo folders

I use bamboo to make knives to split mat board, etc. and to lift large
sheets of wet Japanese paper for linings when I am restoring Asian
screens/scrolls.  Large diameter bamboo can often be found at carpet stores
(it is used as a core to roll some carpets on) and at some garden supply
stores.  I have some bamboo which is 6-8 inches in diameter.  Not cheap
($10 a linear foot in 10 ft. lengths).

It is a tricky material to work with.  On the one hand, it splits easily;
on the other hand, the split edges are very sharp and it very easy to cut
yourself (deeply) when working with this material. No need to ask how I
know this.

When I make bamboo folders/knives I use a belt sander and wear a filter
mask; the dust is not simply wood dust, it contains silica (sand).  When
the edge is set, I press it against the belt to "burn" the edge in,
hardening the edge to make it last longer.


>Date:    Wed, 11 Jun 1997 17:21:51 -0400
>From:    Sam Lanham <slanham@xxxxxxxx>
>Subject: Re: Bone folders
>        The traditional Asian folder/creaser is made from bamboo. I've had
>finding bamboo of sufficiently large diameter. My best strategy so far is
>to find an Asian grocery store and buy a kitchen utensil with a broad
>bamboo handle, cut off the handle and make the folder. They're very
>comfortable to the hand, though they do require sharpening now and then.
>Sam Lanham
>Sam Lanham (slanham@xxxxxxxx)

Jack C. Thompson
Thompson Conservation Lab
7549 N. Fenwick
Portland, OR  97217


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