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"splitting" Knife

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#1 Mungo Park

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Posted 16 July 2006 - 02:22 PM

What sort of knife do you use to split you culms with? And what sort of knife would be the ideal tool for splitting culms and on down?
Cheers Ron.
In my limited experience, never pet a burning dog.

#2 Gary Madore

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Posted 16 July 2006 - 05:26 PM

A knife for splitting stuff like bamboo is called a "froe"

A Google search for "bamboo froe" ought to return around 1000 hits thumbsup.gif



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#3 Canebrake

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Posted 16 July 2006 - 06:26 PM

I bought a froe. I tried an oyster knife. Putting either one in the vise didn't work for me.

The gentleman that finally showed me how to split cane and control the split used an old kitchen knife with the tip cut off. Thank you Mark Wendt.

Once you get the hang of it, it doesn't seem to matter what you use.

I got my froe from the Japanese Woodworker. The oyster knife I got in Crisfield, MD.

Good Luck.

#4 KRC

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Posted 16 July 2006 - 08:46 PM

I use an old semi-dull machete. Sounds scary ohmy.gif but the I like the wider blade. I do use the 'knife in vise' method and it seems to work for me dunno.gif

#5 Mark Shamburg

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Posted 16 July 2006 - 10:29 PM

I used an old butter knife that I put a sharp edge on. Works great! You can use just about anything as long as it's got a fairly thick blade. A short paring knife works well too.


#6 Fly1


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Posted 17 July 2006 - 08:43 AM

You can use just about anything. Some use thin blades others thick, some even use a nail and some like me just start the split with a chisel or some other knife and do the rest by hand. It's whatever you find easiest. You can also check out the pinned post: Me And Mr. Froe

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#7 FlyDoctor

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Posted 17 July 2006 - 09:06 AM

I use a pair of "rail-nippers" to cut a starting split in the end then push the culm against a nail driven into a board to do the splits. This follows germanbrown's video tutorial. Not sure if it is on this website or on his website--Larry

#8 germanbrown

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Posted 17 July 2006 - 11:47 AM

here's how i do it -

i cut the 12 foot culm at a node, roughly in half. the top half will be used for tip strips and the bottom half will be used for butt strips. the culm is then split in half with the bamboo froe -

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then, the halves are split into thirds. then each third is split into half, then in half again. this yields 24 strips approx. 1/4" in size per culm.

user posted image

here's a few vids of me splitting the culm.

user posted imageuser posted imageuser posted image
"A three or four ounce split bamboo rod, with a well balanced reel, a tapered casting line, a leader of the proper fineness, and a well tied fly, or flies, is one of the most perfectly designed and executed triumphs of human artisanship."

-Bliss Perry

user posted image

#9 Mungo Park

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Posted 18 July 2006 - 01:11 PM

Wow great stuff, thank you all! That nail in the table makes it look so easy, you must have done that a few times before.
Cheers Ron.
In my limited experience, never pet a burning dog.

#10 Mungo Park

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Posted 20 July 2006 - 09:06 PM

The post by Germanbrown should be saved as a sticky, the video is some good stuff
Cheers Ron
In my limited experience, never pet a burning dog.

#11 wvangler

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Posted 21 July 2006 - 09:57 AM

I went to the dollar store and bought an el cheapo steak knife. Then I took it and ground it on my concrete driveway until the edge was completely destroyed. Makes a dandy splitter.

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