cutting bamboo dry vs. green

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josh stout
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cutting bamboo dry vs. green

Post by josh stout » Tue Aug 07, 2007 10:09 am

I have cut a fair amount of bamboo with a golok (like a short machete) and I can say that it is not too difficult. I have even cut the thick walled variety used for building houses, but only the smaller stalks (<1 inch diameter). However, the dry stuff is impossible. The golok just bounced off. That was why I was impressed when I saw a video of Scott cutting. Most of the stuff was green, though relatively thick, however at the end he cut a segment and it split so badly it almost shattered. A friend asked why he would put such a bad cut on the video, and I realized the bamboo was almost dry. Cutting it was actually an amazing feat.

It seems as though bamboo can be selected at different stages of dryness for different hardness. I don't know how dry is possible, but anything other than fresh and green is quite difficult. It could also be dangerous with a double-edged sword that might bounce back.
Josh
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Scott M. Rodell
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Re: cutting bamboo dry vs. green

Post by Scott M. Rodell » Tue Aug 07, 2007 11:29 am

josh stout wrote:... was impressed when I saw a video of Scott cutting... I realized the bamboo was almost dry. Cutting it was actually an amazing feat.
Thanks for the compliment... I appreciate your being observant...
josh stout wrote:... It seems as though bamboo can be selected at different stages of dryness for different hardness. I don't know how dry is possible, but anything other than fresh and green is quite difficult. It could also be dangerous with a double-edged sword that might bounce back.
Blade bounce back is even a concern with green bamboo, it is all a matter of the keeping the proper edge angle & cutting the stalk at the right angle, no less than 35 degrees, 45 degrees being the best.

An experienced practitioner can cut completely dry bamboo. The technique isn't any different than cutting green bamboo, one simply needs more power & speed. One chooses to cut dry bamboo to test one's control when using greater power. I usually cut it when I find some bamboo that blew down in a winter storm & is dry in the spring, but I would stress than control & proper technique should be the core of one's test cutting training & so, in general, one should focus on training cutting on thicker green bamboo & green bamboo wrapped with rice straw.

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