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Splitting - Pie Splitters


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Rule

I recently acquired a six way splitter. I downloaded the Glenn Brackett Winston video last night, and saw him splitting with a splitting tool. Anyone tried splitting like this?  I’m wondering if the tool will follow the "grain" like when splitting single strips with a knife? He also rubbed the finished milled strips in the palm of his hands, looked to be a crude way to treat the strips?  (Danny Twang)

    I use the 8 way from Hida Tool. It is slightly different in that it has handles. I think is works great although I wish I would have gotten the 12 way one. It cuts down on splitting quite a bit and does seems to follow the grain as well as hand splitting with a froe does. I split out a whole bale when I got it, and I think that is the way I will continue to do it. It eliminates the need for a check split and takes about 1 minute a culm including cutting it in half. Also, then the strips will dry out from both sides. Have you ever had a culm that seems to get crooked when it dries out because the check split did not split the entire length as quickly as the culm dried out? (Did that make sense?)

    As far as the rubbing of strips in hand goes, this will effectively remove the fuzzies from milled strips. Tom Morgan recommends it especially for quad strip cut on the Hand Mill. If you pull the frayed edges, they rip chunks out of you strip edges and result in glue lines. If you rub the edges off, your strips seem to have better edges. I must admit that I am weary about doing it most of the time, but usually risk it. Seems like a good way to snap a strip on a shop light or something.  (Bob Maulucci)

    The splitters are available from a web site called Hida Tool.  The splitters do indeed work.  (John Long)

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I have tried all methods of splitting, or sawing cane.

I purchased one of the Wandishin Star Splitter setups on the first group order and I am totally 100% happy with it.  I know that it is a significant investment, but isn't our lathes, Morgan Handmills, planes, planing forms, and everything else associated with rodmaking.

Even though I have the 12, 15 and 18 strip mandrels, I use the 18 mostly. Start the star splitter with a hammer, and slip a 1 inch schedule 40 steel pipe over the star splitter and in about 30-45 seconds later have my strips split.

I have also found with the star splitter that I have very little node straightening to do.  The key is to make the splits through the nodes equally.  (Joe Byrd)

    I have one question about these star splitters.  I've heard the argument that they cut through the power fibers which is the downfall of these things, but as I'm splitting my bamboo (which I'm getting a lot better at -- thanks everybody), I'm thinking that as the bamboo is walking and then I'm reversing the direction, that I had to have gone through a few power fibers.  So, what is the difference?  Or is it that after a while I'll be able to prevent the cane from walking at all and not have to worry about going through the power fibers?  (Kris Fox)

      I have a question to add about power fibers and cutting into them; Once you have split the culm and start final planing to taper, doesn't the plane cut the power fibers? Essentially you are making the strip narrower at one end, to get there aren't the fibers cut?  (Pete Van Schaack)

        Welcome to reality Peter.  Cutting power fibers is "another old wives tale" of rod building.  Every tapered rod has CUT power fibers.    Todd, maybe we need a section on your tips site on questionable practices.  weak nodes, - strong nodes.  Press -don't press, burn the sucker up- don't use any heat. Not Tonkin - no good,  etc.  (Ralph Moon)

          Yeah, Ralph.  Like Tony Spezio said, we all do things the way that works for us and share it.  It may or may not work for anyone else, but if it works for somebody, isn't the end result what we're looking for?

          Seems like I've heard someone say..."We're just making fishing poles here"...more than once on the list.

          Who can build a rod without a mica strip oven, right?   ;^)  (Todd Talsma)

            Here's another one! "Nodes too close to the tip top and ferrules"  (Marty DeSapio)

          Every time this comes up I fidget until I write this so I will now and save the fidgeting.

          The fibers in bamboo run more or less straight until the nodes where they can either continue or dog leg out a bit. When you straighten the strips the fibers that have dog legged are put more or less straight again but in doing so you have to deform the fibers which must weaken them in some way. Alternatively you cut the fibers that would dog leg at the nodes when you saw. In either case it doesn't seem to matter. It seems that the nodes are an area of confusion and basically create a point where you have a new beginning for the fibers.

          What I'm saying is as soon as you reach a node it doesn't seem to matter any more because the node wont fail and the fibers run straight to the next node anyhow.

          This whole cutting into power fibers thing seems to be based on a misconception anyhow and I think it's based incorrectly on how things work with timber which it shouldn't be. If you want the strongest wood especially if you want to turn it *should* be riven and not sawed so the wood cleaves along the grain. Very wasteful of valuable wood but it's how you get the strongest wood. As everybody knows wood grain runs all over the place when it hits a knot this grain unlike bamboo can run to the edge of the board or it could run straight after exiting the knot. It will even run out without a knot. Bamboo doesn't do that. The fibers run straight between nodes. If you saw wood with grain that runs out it's likely to break where the run out occurs if the wood is stressed too much. That's the reason scarfing wood is so common in places where strength is important or there are knots in an otherwise clear length of timber such as pine used for most projects. The pine is forced to grow fast which makes it twist and of course it's liable to knots anyhow. These twists are where grain run out occurs and most knots *but not all* are weak points in wood.

          Properly made scarfs in wood are 100% as strong as the wood assuming you're considering the wood as a whole. If you just test the scarf it's likely to be 105% of the strength of the rest of the wood which is a pointless exercise because it's the wood in use that matters. IMHO scarfs in bamboo are 75% as strong as the bamboo at best while a node is at least 100% of the strength of the rest of the bamboo (it could be like a scarf that is stronger than the rest of the wood too but pointless to worry about for the same reason) and you wont have the bamboo fail due to run out because run out doesn't occur as it does in wood whether the strip is spit and straightened or sawn so it's not an issue.

          It seems you can damage the node if you try working it too cool and also too hot so as long as you are working the nodes at the Goldy Locks temperature it'll work fine.

          The reason I split using the Bob Nunley method and popularized by the write up by Peter McKean is it's incredibly efficient. It's so easy to use any other method is making work for your self and is light years ahead of sawing.

          If anybody hasn't tried this method, stitch off your band saw or table saw, put down your knives and chisels and pie cutters and box of band aids and try it. You’ll be amazed.  (Tony Young)

        They are, but if you look closely at a tapered strip, given that all the fibers are straight the whole length of the strip, the fibers are continuous for their individual length.  As the strip tapers down, fibers that are planed off the sides will end, but at that point, the width of the strip narrows too.  So basically, if the strip tapers, the fiber terminates where it runs out of strip.  On the other hand, the "center" fibers, the ones that run the whole length of the strip, are not terminated until they reach the end of the strip.  Draw it out, using a truncated triangle, and draw lines perpendicular to the side opposite the apex towards the apex.  You'll see that the "fibers" run continuously until they are terminated by the sides of the triangle.  (Mark Wendt)

      It matters not. One way or the other, one may not state with certainty that the strips are absolutely split as to the alignment of the power fibers. It is inevitable that the splits will wander, ever how slightly. The Wandishin Splitter does a better, faster job of splitting than anything else I've ever seen. The downside is the initial cost, though, like any good tool, its quality justifies the price. John Channer of the List has one he'd like to sell, if you, or anyone else is interested.    I've  no  regrets  at  having  bought  one  myself.  (Martin-Darrell)

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I recently purchased one of Tom Wandashin's magnificent splitting tools, as seen in the Winston Waters video. Joe Byrd thankfully put together a group order  on these,  suggested some design changes, and we received a hefty discount off the usual price. The things are extraordinarily well made, each having been machined from tool steel, and despite the extreme price, are damn well worth it, in my opinion. There is a considerable amount of machine work involved in the making of these, and despite the cost, I doubt Tom will be getting rich from them. Well, today was the first day I was able to use the splitter, and I've got to tell you, it's just amazing. For those used to splitting by hand, or those using saw bevelers, the 18 strip splitter would make short work of it all. For those who might be interested in bandsawing the strips, either the 15 or 12, loaded with less blades, will split the strips quite straight and true. The real beauty of these,  aside from the ease of splitting, is that the splits are true -- no wandering about at the nodes. This alone is blessing enough -- to not have to side-press nodes.

I'm not sure what the continuing price will be for these, perhaps Joe could shed some light on it for us, but for those intent on making a number of rods per year, I highly recommend this fine tool.  (Martin-Darrell)

    I agree with you MD on the quality of the tool.  I ordered the 18 strip splitter and an extra 15 strip mandrel.  I can split 18 strips in a matter of a couple of minutes, and like MD said the nodes split evenly.

    The quality of the tool is fantastic, and in my humble opinion, well worth the investment.  When the blades get dull just take them off, sharpen with some sandpaper, and split some more.  (Joe Byrd)

      How does this tool work when the culm is "pre-split".  In our dry climate, a check split will open up by 1/2" to 1" in a few weeks, not to mention the "extra" splits that just appear.  It seems that this would throw off the angles on splits made using the tool.  (Jerry Madigan)

        I just got off the phone with Tom Wandashin and asked your question.  He recommends that you line up the check split with one of the blades in the center of it and split.  He says that is what they did when he worked at Winston.  As a matter of fact he did a lot of splitting the years he was there.

        You will probably lose a little cane, but in my opinion not a significant amount.  (Joe Byrd)

      Does the splitter work OK when you have a check split that has opened pretty wide?  (Steve Weiss)

        I have used the splitter on culms that have short splits, and had check splits too.  Just line up one blade with the split and have at it.  I didn't have any problems.  (Joe Byrd)

    Most of you may already know about this, but for those that don’t the Hida splitter is something to consider also.  The 6 way splitter is about $34 at Hida Tool.

    You can split the 6ths twice by hand to get 24ths from a 2 inch culm.  Its just a good tool to quickly break up the initial culm in to manageable strips.  They also have 8 way and 12 way splitters.  The tool is cast iron, and can't compare to the precision and quality of the Wandishin splitter, but my guess is that you probably don’t lose much performance.  The splits do tend to wander a little, but I can live with that if I don’t have to spend an additional $500.  (Kyle Druey)

      I have the 8 way Hida splitter, but I really wonder about Tom's because I can easily split for a hex rod down to 32, and I have to straighten quite a bit. How does Tom's do it without any significant wander? I would be happy with the 18 splitter. It would be plenty for quads or hexes for that matter.  (Bob Maulucci)

    For those of you who have seen both splitters what is the difference between the two.  It seems to me that both tools are simple in design yet people tell us that one is near perfect in it's splits and the other not. The price of $750 for a splitting tool is outrageous. I know that for those who build a lot of rods its worth it, but the price is still way high.  (Mark Dyba)

      I agree the price is outrageous, but considering how much machine work goes into one of these, I doubt that Tom is getting rich here. I'm guessing each one has somewhere around 12 hr. of time in it, if not more, plus the cost of materials, which isn't cheap, either. Also, considering that it took a room full of machine equipment, and someone highly skilled to use it all, the price isn't out of line -- no more so than paying a similarly outrageous sum of money for pieces of laminated grass with which to catch fish, or a tapered piece of wood with which to knock numbered balls, on a table, into pockets. Right, Nunley? ;o)

      One more thing: The Wandishin splitter does a great job of splitting the culm into strips, but does not always make perfect strips. I haven't figured out if this is me, the culm, a combination of both, or just what the deal is. Most of the time I get really good strips. I've yet to have any strips, whatsoever, that had doglegs at the nodes. The internodal sweeps are still present, and there may be sweep as the split passes through the node, but it is more of a gentle curve -- the grain being followed. Primarily, for the production-grade rods, I use the Wandishin to split into only 4 or 5 pieces per culm, then bandsaw those pieces into strips. This is so that I can insure that all of my strips are straight, even at the nodes.  This is necessary when using a milling machine to rough/straight/final taper, and when using the Morgan Hand Mill. And, no, there is no grain runout, as I am following the grain of the culm.  (Martin-Darrell)

      Well, I haven't seen both, but what made my decision easy was the reports from rodmakers stating that the Hida's would break after a while.  Question 1 is:  Can the Hida be resharpened when dull?  Question 2:  Can the Hida be reconfigured to make different splits?

      Those were the questions I asked myself when considering the Wandashin Splitter.  (Joe Byrd)

    I finally put my Wandishin splitter to use yesterday and am now a convert, no more hand splitting, no more chiseling out the inter nodal dams, no more sanding the inter nodal dams flat, no more run outs.  In about an hour (and I went slow since this was the first time I used the splitter) I belt sanded the nodes, split the strips and belt sanded off the inter nodal dams of the strips.  Nearly every node came out straight, I noticed just a few that were a little crooked but those should be okay once I use my JW beveler to square up the sides and bevel to triangles.  The sweeps between the nodes are not all straight but should be fine after I heat treat the strips using the M-D heat treating aluminum extrusions.  All in all I think the process I followed, in addition to saving me a whole lot of time, should definitely help me produce straighter strips.

    No financial interest in the Wandashin splitter, the JW beveler, or the M-D heat treating extrusions but thanks guys for the creativity and the willingness to offer such great equipment to the rest of us.

    Thanks to Joe Byrd for getting us group pricing on the Wandashin splitter.

    Thanks also to Chris Bogart for his demonstration at the Catskills gathering and for convincing me to try these steps and yes Chris, instead of scraping I do plan on removing the enamel using my JW beveler.  (Bob Williams)

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I have split out my first culm and have a few questions. I split out one 6' section into 16 strips. I'll only be using 12 so I have a few practice strips and backup strips. I'm guessing it was about a 2-2 1/2" culm.

First question, Would a pie splitter help me get more strips, or is 16 about right for this size culm. I didn't count two that were too messed up to use for anything other than "play" strips [:-)]

Second, when after pressing the nodes and getting as many of the sweeps out that I could, I have one strip that has a bad "sweep" (I guess you could say) just after a node. I have heated it again and bent and held it in place but can't get it out. Will I be able to plane it out later? Should I start the angle on it and then try the heat set again, with less boo there would it make it easier for the bend to come out?  (Robert Hicks)

    If you got 18 strips split out of your first culm I think you are doing fine.  There are usually one or two that are scrap anyway - worm holes, leaf nodes, run-outs on the strip.

    On the sweep, did you soak the strips before straightening?  If not, you might try a 24-48 hour soak before straightening.  Otherwise, your idea of getting the strip narrowed down a bit might also work.  Keep up the good work and you'll be fishing the rod by May!  (Kurt Clement)

    What I do when there is a bad dip beside a node, is take a small piece of cane about the size of a toothpick and repress the node with the toothpick size piece of cane in the vise opposite the dip, on the pith side. Kind of like a reverse displacement. I think the most important lesson I learned on my first rod was to get the nodes flat whatever it takes, don't start planing until they are as flat as you can get them.  (Shane Pinkston)

      My nodes are flat, I just have one strip that  has a kink in it just past the node. I have cleaned it up some with light planing and got a lot of the kink out. it sits good in my rough form so think I'll be able to plane it out or reheat it with a little more boo off. After looking at my other strips I found that all the strips had a kink in it at this node, but for some reason they came out rather easy. This strip is a little thicker than they were but  I didn't think it would matter that much. Thanks for all the info guys, and I'll be soaking my strips for the next rod. Maybe that will help some.  (Robert Hicks)

    Soaking the strips for five days will solve a lot of problems. A lot if the sweeps can be taken out without heating. Do the rough beveling while the strips are wet.

    You will be in for a big surprise at how easy they plane.  To dry them I would recommend a set of MD's fixtures.  (Tony Spezio)

Rule

I recall someone asking this question recently, but don't remember any answers.  If you have a culm with an open drying split, say 3/8" - 1/2", how do you split it with a Hida splitter?  Or would one just go back to the froe?  Maybe split it in half with the froe and then use the splitter to finish off the halves?  All my current stock has gaping splits, and I imagine trying to force them shut (and the end of the culm back into a circular shape) might crack the other side.  (Bill Benham)

    Not exactly your question, but I suppose splitters are similar in what they do.  I have a Wandashin and line one of the blades with the edge of the check split and see where it makes the other blades fall. then I adjust to where I get the most usable pieces from it.  (Dewey Hildebrand)

    When you get your culms, you can split them all at once down to the 6 or 8. When I use culms with a sizable check split, I just line one blade of the 8 way Hida up with the split and hope for the best, and it works out fine. Of course now as you read, I am sawing. I split with a 3 or 4 way Hida then saw from there.  (Bob Maulucci)

    You can do it either way you have already mentioned.  However, with the Wandishin splitter I just line it up and whack away.  I might lose one or two strips but as long as I get enough strips from one culm to make one rod I am happy. 

    Next bundle I buy will be split upon arrival.  (Joe Byrd)

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All of you who are using the Hida splitters, how do you like them?  Are you using 6, 8 or even 12 section units?  I would imagine with the 6 or 8's you would just split nearly all the way through then swap ends and whack after staggering the splits?  (Jeff Ragan)

    I have an 8. I split straight through, and then I split each of the larger pieces in 2. Tony Spezio has a technique for using the splitter to do two splits. He starts a split and then tapes the culm up and readjusts.   I like the Hida. The 8 way splitter is nice, but sometimes I wish I had the 6 as well. Then I could go to 6-12-24 instead of 8-16-32. In my mind, it is easiest to keep the splitting to making halves. Every time I try thirds it goes poorly.

    I have heard good things of the Wandishin splitter, but I know it is very expensive. You could buy a 14" band saw and have $300 left over! How do I know?  Just did that yesterday.  (Bob Maulucci)

    I like the 6 way splitter... a typical culm is 2" in diameter, 6 one inch wide strips are made with the splitter, from there you halve, and halve again, which gives you approximately 24 strips that are 1/4" or so wide.  (Kyle Druey)

    I love the 6 way splitter also. It is also cheaper than the other sizes with more blades. I find that it easier to match up with existing spilt in the culm also.  (Gordon Koppin)

Rule

For those who have a Wandashin splitter and have had trouble with the bamboo fading out of the blades before they are split all the way, try putting a radiator hose clamp around it just below the cutting edge, it will trap the bamboo so it has to split, it can't get away from the blades. I just tried this today and it made a huge difference.  (John Channer)

    Also, similar way to attack problem is to use large gauge rubber bands, 1 or 2, placed just above splitter and pushing or rolling them down the splitting culm as you advance the splitter; works just fine.  (David Haidak)

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Any reason not to use a 12-segment pie splitter if one can afford one ($200)?  I can understand how a 4 or 6 segment one might not be useful, but I would guess that getting 24 strips out of a culm ain't too bad.  (Joe West)

    I was a cane splitter until I visited Bob Nunley last fall. He uses a band saw and his strips are a perfect 1/4" or 3/8" in size.  A consistent size makes a big difference when you start planing. I now saw my strips.  (Mark Dyba)

    I use a 12 segment pie splitter myself, however, I wish I had one of those nice star splitters.  The only disadvantage of the pie splitter is if you happen to have a culm that is smaller than 2 1/4 inches in diameter it may be hard to get the meaty middle of the splitter into the culm enough for the blades to grab.  Maybe mine just happens to have a bigger than normal blob of metal in the center?  (Chris Lucker)

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Now that fall is fast approaching I'm lining up a couple of weekends to do some heavy duty splitting and roughing. Since I've pretty much blown my rodbuilding budget for now, was wondering if anybody has a 3-bladed half-round splitter or a 6 blade full-round would be OK, for the initial splitting on a culm, that I could borrow for a short-time  (promise to return the way I got it). Would be willing to put a deposit down for collateral, if needed and to pay shipping, both ways.  (Bill Walters)

    Garrison's/Carmichael's instructions for splitting are all you need. I don't think you can do a more accurate or faster job than with the generic tools described in "A Master's Guide to Building a Bamboo Fly Rod."

    1.  I "halved" my culms before heat treating at long duration at what many of you would consider a low temperature. With a grinder, I cut a cheap, flat-backed machete down to about 10 inches of blade length, and dressed the cut. With a flat back, you can drive it with a large wooden mallet. Sharpness is not an issue. Extend an existing crack in the culm, or pick your spots to halve the culm. Then knock out the damns flush to the interior with a large, sharp gouge. Heat treat.

    2.  After heat treating, I dressed the outer face of the nodes clear across the halves with a fine rasp and file. Then sand them to contour.

    3.  The trick to splitting is to split existing sectors into relative halves. I took a pair of quality screw drivers (although you usually only need one), and sharpened both the tip and edges, rounding the leading edge of the tip so that it drives through the culm always on only a *point*. Mark out your split marks, and drive the splitter into and through the culm, and then, to walk the split to true, simply use sideways pressure against the driver as you slide the sector against the edge of the splitter, to move the split ahead. Split your sectors into adjacent pairs, and the final split is readily conducted down the middle of the strip. Start at the butts, and, because you can easily hold to less than 0.025 of center, as you get to the outer end of the strip, even a poorer job than you are apt to accomplish is completely adequate, because the taper of the sector requires so much less wood.

    4.  After splitting, I used my hand scraper, and took a gentle pass down the center of the ultimate flat of the strip, just removing the outer rind. Then a sanding block finished the outer flat for further processing of the bevels.

    This is very fast and accurate, and the tools cost next to nothing.  (Mike Montagne)

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I was making my usual pigs ear of splitting a culm last night and it set me wondering about whether one of these would reduce wastage. I've just been out and counted and I see that I have obtained 22 very rough strips from a medium sized culm. It split as well or badly as they all do. This will be unlikely to produce three rod sections when processed. Whatever I try I don't seem to have much influence on the direction of the split. Are there any other sources of pie cutters than Golden Witch? Their $20 minimum postage to the UK is a bit inhibiting.  (Robin Haywood)

    Have you tried putting the knife in a vice and pushing the bamboo though the knife. When it starts to run off push hard on the widest side to split it back to center.  (Gary Nicholson)

      No, but can easily try it, many thanks.  (Robin Haywood)

        I have had excellent luck with the Garrison method, I ground an old screwdriver with a plastic handle so it can take the stress of beating it with a hammer. If you are looking at the edge of the screwdriver from the tip it should look like this  (|)  I then use a block of wood (cut off 2x4x6) in a vise or clamped/screwed to the bench to do my splitting on. I split the culm in half, file the nodes with a vixen file, then split that half into thirds, then the three pieces in half - then half again. The thing that helps me the most is making sure to keep the node areas on the pith side flat, as the strips keep getting smaller, i will hit these areas with my plane to make sure I don't have any bad lumps there. I drive the tool into a node near one edge and into the block of wood then push the strip into the tool with the other hand while holding the handle of the tool. Hope this helps, I can really split a 1/4 strip into 2 1/8 in strips this way if I want. (Joe Arguello)

    I've been looking at pie cutters myself, but the $150 price tag for a 12x is a bit steep.  Take a look at cast iron wheels or casters.  I've seen 6x with a 6" diameter that might just work.  I'm still looking for a 12 x or maybe gang two 6x.  (Ron Larsen)

      I was sitting here thinking about my last post (oh, oh) and thought that I left some parts out! When I first split the culm in half it is already cut in half for length (close to half, I cut through the node closest to half to eliminate that node). Then I take a piece of paper and wrap it around the half culm at the small end to use as a ruler if you will, I start on one edge and crease it on the other end. Now I cut this piece of paper off at the crease and lay it flat on my bench, I measure it with my calipers and use my calculator to divide it into three and mark the paper, then transfer the marks to the cane. This is where I can split it into three using a knife and a mallet. This makes sense to me but everyone else is probably saying what the H*** is he talking about. :>)  (Joe Arguello)

      When I first started thinking about building bamboo rods I would go over to Joe Arguello’s shop and watch him split cane. At the same time I was reading everything I could get my hands on about rod building and also had the Winston video where Glenn Bracket uses a pie splitter. My past life included a job where everything was about production efficiency and my mind would look at how Joe did it and say “the pie splitter looks faster”. Now a year later and on my 12th rod I get really good splits using Joe’s method. I guess I don’t see a need to use a pie splitter because I build one rod at a time and don’t split out more then one culm at a time. Give Joe’s method a try. He really can split ¼” pieces into 1/8ths. I’m still working on that one.

      Must do: Get the back of the nodes flat after each split.  (Frank Drummond)

    I welded my own pie cutter and it works great.  However I have not used it for the last 7 or so culms and if you lived across the street I'd give it to you on permanent loan!

    There was a video on line, which I do not have access to, showing how to split culms with a pocket knife.  So...

    I start with hand filing all outside nodes to get that black ring off and then flame my culm with a garden torch (optional).  We're ready to split.

    Note:  All Culm cuts are started with a knife so the cut is as close to perpendicular to the outside wall as possible.  Hit the knife with your hammer to get it started.  Hopefully you have about a 12" split.  Twist the knife to remove it, Grab both sides of culm and pull apart with EVEN pressure in each hand.

    Holding your culm vertically cut it in half and then halve again so now we have 4 pieces.

    I use a round gouge with hammer and chisel all inside nodes out.  Larger pieces tend to split right down the middle.

    Take your quartered pieces and split them in half again using even pressure as you pull them apart.  Sometimes you might have to apply more hand pressure in the direction you want the split to go.  We now have 8 pieces.  Take the 8 pieces and split them in thirds, (or sometimes in half and half again depending on width).  The Trick here is as you pull them apart, sometimes you will have to pull the wider piece against the smaller to keep the split heading where you want it.  It's remarkably easy.

    I'm telling you that I have virtually no waste in splitting the culms and the strips are as straight as I have ever realized.  Of course they are following the culms grain and will have to be heat straightened.  So far I have about 24 - 27 strips coming out of each 2 1/2" culm.   I want wider Butt strips so usually I get about 16 or out of that culm ... so I'm good for two 2/2 rods.  (Doug Alexander)

Rule

Do the pie splitters actually work? Will they split the whole length, or are the just for starting the split?  (Larry Lohkamp)

    I have been using a six section splitter for quite a while to split the whole length and like the way it splits the cane into six sections ala Garrison.  (Mark Heskett)

    I use a six way pie splitter and split the half culms into six sections, use a gouge to take out the inner nodal dams and store my sections like that vs. putting in a drying split.  I do this to an entire bale of cane when I get one.  I label the sections tip or butt and wrap with large plastic film to hold them together.

    It's been working great for me  and I see less waste.  (Scott Bahn)

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