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Blades from Bamboo

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posted on Dec, 2 2014 @ 08:49 AM
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So, you get stranded somewhere after a disaster, all of your best intentions and planning are somehow stymied. You are separated from your equipment and modern resources and need tools and weapons.

So you need to rely on some skills and improvise....

You could look for rocks that you could make what you need from, and if you are skilled and experienced - or lucky, that will possibly save your skin.

But say you cant find the right rocks - plenty of places are many days walk from Flint or Obsidian for example. So no sharp edges there.



Well of you are lucky enough to come across some bamboo, you've solved your problem.

Bamboo can be made into excellent blades that are simple to make, surprisingly durable and extremely effective. Indeed, i believe that much of China never developed a complex knapped stone tool technology in prehistory as the presence of Bamboo meant that they actually didn't need to.

Here are some Bamboo knives that i made a few years back (and posted elsewhere too), from a strip of dry bamboo that i found in a skip/dumpster - yes i rummage through rubbish looking for interesting stuff that i can use to make things


Firstly a group pic - Cthulhu is for scale. He's not full sized.




This one i designed for slicing meat. The sharp, curved edge works raw flesh very easily:




An ergonomic modern design:




A slim dagger:




And a much broader, longer dagger:



You could simply use a rock to break through the base a large individual shoot (i estimate these came from a piece of at least 4 inches in diameter), and then split lengthways into strips, again using a rock.

Then just smooth/scrape away on the inner wall to establish the grind/bevel/knife edge - there should be no need to work the outer surface, the curve of the piece will work to provide the bevel/grind etc on this side.

It's really that simple.

Now i made mine with steel knives and files in a matter of minutes, but i have seen it done with sharp flakes of rock and it doesn't take a whole lot longer.

The edges are sharp enough to slash fairly unpleasantly, and they cut joints of meat cleanly, but it's the pointy end that is most impressive.

This took no effort:




The blood of my Foe! I think i shall call this blade "Bean's Bane"





Of course, now you are thinking "Ooooh, i could make me a bloody nasty spear with this stuff". Indeedy you could!

This aint mine, but when i finally remember to get me some more of this stuff, i'm so making one!



Source of Pic/Credit etc

Now go kill some tincans!


edit on 2-12-2014 by skalla because: clarity




posted on Dec, 2 2014 @ 08:53 AM
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Nice blades mate.

By the way, we have the same coffee table as you...

Kindest respects

Rodinus



posted on Dec, 2 2014 @ 09:07 AM
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a reply to: Rodinus

I always knew you had good taste! Glad you liked the knives too


ETA: It's a tea table by Jove. A actually have an alter-ego, and at night i dress up as a tea-bag and do battle with the forces of Coffee. Evil stuff
edit on 2-12-2014 by skalla because: (no reason given)



posted on Dec, 2 2014 @ 09:37 AM
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a reply to: skalla

I think you should try working with discarded porcelain toilets.

I had a leak in the tank of my commode a couple weeks back. In the process of searching for the leak I ran my hand lightly over the under seat and around the back of the tank. I felt the wetness and emptied the tank.

My mother asked me what I was doing, I told her about the leak and she reached down to see if it was still leaking. While I was wiping up the water from the floor, I noticed some blood on the floor. I looked up and saw blood dripping from my mother's hand. I said "Mom, you are bleeding!" She said, "No, I think I got it from you."

On closer inspection, it turned out we were both cut and bleeding. A small crack under the seat had sliced both our hands. I had not felt a thing and my mom did not feel anything either. So it seems porcelain would make a very sharp, effortless knife in a pinch.


edit on 2-12-2014 by NightSkyeB4Dawn because: (no reason given)



posted on Dec, 2 2014 @ 09:44 AM
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originally posted by: skalla
a reply to: Rodinus

I always knew you had good taste! Glad you liked the knives too


ETA: It's a tea table by Jove. A actually have an alter-ego, and at night i dress up as a tea-bag and do battle with the forces of Coffee. Evil stuff


I hope it is not the table that is all splurdged with bogies underneath that you are planning on sending to Mars?

NightSkye is quite right about broken porcelain bogs, its amazing how sharp those broken edges are.

Kindest respects

Rodinus



posted on Dec, 2 2014 @ 09:48 AM
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a reply to: skalla

excellent post.

and I have the same plush cthulhu.

Ph'nglui mglw'nafh Cthulhu R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn!



posted on Dec, 2 2014 @ 10:02 AM
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a reply to: NightSkyeB4Dawn

Hiya, Porcelain and toilets (especially the ones made from "Johnstone" brand ceramic) are well known and sought after sources of blade-stuff in the knapping community. I've had to stop myself bringing broken bits of toilets home from urban foraging trips as the wife would kill me; i still have two massive tubs of broken TV screens for knapping in to spearheads, have been banned from bringing any more sticks inside to season and i'm no longer allowed to work bone indoors or do midnight wood carving on the sofa now i've moved house either lol.

Some Australian Aboriginals actually used to take the porcelain insulators from telegraph cables as they were so good for making blades from. Naturally this was a bit of an issue, so in future when they repaired them and put up new ones etc, they would apparently leave a pile of insulators on the ground nearby for the locals to use instead.

These awesome points are knapped from "Johnstone" toilets/sinks:




Source/Credit - some clever dude at Paleoplanet

It worth noting though, that making a functioning ergonomic weapon from bamboo is a lot easier than knapping a decent spear-head/knife blade and hafting it, though individual stone flakes (or ceramic or glass etc) are of course easy to make and use

edit on 2-12-2014 by skalla because: typos



posted on Dec, 2 2014 @ 10:11 AM
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a reply to: Rodinus

a reply to: grey580

Rod, that is in fact a different table!

I would also urge you both to think "have i seen my coffee table/plush Cthulhu recently?". I also have Skeptic Overlord's "Dexter" coffee-coasters and Harte's "I believe in Atlantis really" Keychain.



posted on Dec, 2 2014 @ 10:11 AM
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a reply to: skalla


yes i rummage through rubbish looking for interesting stuff

Me, too. Its amazing what people throw away. Those carvings are nice.

Viet Cong guerrillas in Vietnam employed bamboo in a variety of expedient booby trap devices. Wreaked havoc with US troops.

punji sticks



posted on Dec, 2 2014 @ 10:16 AM
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a reply to: skalla

very cool...you know you could get those on a plane or anywhere if you wanted to always have some protection on ya...i use a sling often and thats another weapon that can be taken anywhere or woven into things to look like its nothing.



posted on Dec, 2 2014 @ 10:25 AM
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Looks like fun..
Unfortunately living in the Midwest limits the amount of bamboo laying around so I would be better off with steel.



posted on Dec, 2 2014 @ 10:43 AM
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No bamboo around here, so I guess a flake of rock glued to a stick can make a good spear or arrow. A person should always carry a decent pocket knife with them and also a lighter or matches in a sealed container. A vacuum packer is good for doing this.

I know the properties of woods fairly well, some knots are very hard in maple or most hardwoods usually and can be sharpened. I have had the benefit of seeing a lot of discarded Indian rock knives here in the ground, buried about a foot or more deep. It is easy to flake certain rocks, they do not need to be flint, chert, or obsidian for a temporary knife. The ones I am finding are damaged and were probably discarded by burying by the Indians so people did not cut their feet. You wouldn't want to leave a broken knife hanging around in the open.

These rock knives were quick and simple to make with abundant resources in the area. Within a couple of minutes someone could make a knife. Not everyone made fancy knives or arrow and spear heads.



posted on Dec, 2 2014 @ 12:08 PM
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a reply to: rickymouse

You're dead right about the variety of rocks that can be flaked in some way or other.

In recent years, the knapping community (mainly in the states) has become so proficient in working with "the usuals" (ie flint, chert, obsidian and other conchoidally fracturing lithics), that they are seeking new challenges, and working with much harder, less forgiving stuff. Quartzite river pebbles seem to be the latest thing.

Point is though, while it's easy to make a sharp flake, you would also have to gather materials for glue, possibly bindings and a shaft and combine these even in a microlith arrow fashion. This takes skill and knowledge of the glue recipe, starting the fire to melt the glue takes time, and so forth. These are a piece of cake to make, and take little time and pretty much no skill.

Besides this, i just like making pointy things

edit on 2-12-2014 by skalla because: typo



posted on Dec, 2 2014 @ 12:24 PM
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originally posted by: Hoosierdaddy71
Looks like fun..
Unfortunately living in the Midwest limits the amount of bamboo laying around so I would be better off with steel.


Hell yes, i much prefer my nice steel knives.

But i'm reassured that if i ever got washed up naked on some isolated island, i can make good blades and points from rocks, bones, plants and horn and have already worked the kinks out of my techniques in making and hafting them.

I can smith a bit, but in the above scenario, to properly work steel (as opposed to just grinding some scrap with a rock until it was sharp) i'd need to fell a lot of trees tool-less to make a heck of a lot of real charcoal which is a major undertaking, make bellows and clay air pipes, find a large flat dense rock as an anvil, make some preferably iron tongs and a series of hammers.

But i could be armed in 10 minutes if i found a stand of bamboo and a couple of rocks to work the stuff with.

It's good to be skilled up and have different options for different scenarios, otherwise you aint really prepped, you're just putting all your eggs in one basket



posted on Dec, 13 2014 @ 07:59 PM
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a reply to: rockpaperhammock

I have a carbon fiber knife with a special spring in it so that metal detectors do not pick it up. I have flown with it over a dozen times and have never been stopped once with it.



posted on Dec, 13 2014 @ 09:11 PM
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a reply to: Divin3F3nrus

i remember when they made those and then the feds came down so now they have to sprinkle metal in ihem...i missed out on those



posted on Dec, 14 2014 @ 04:53 AM
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a reply to: rockpaperhammock

I got lucky, my dad bought it a while back and gave it to me. He always has thefun shtuff. He is trying to get his hands on a ceramic pistol.



posted on Dec, 14 2014 @ 06:48 AM
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Bamboo the magic plant !

I have see darts made from bamboo that were approx. 12" long (or longer) and used in a blow gun for fishing and small game.. The darts had a wooden plug to capture the air blown through the hollow tube (also Bamboo)...

Bamboo bows and arrows.. Just ask the Negrete of the Philippines how well the bows worked killing Japanese during WW2. They did tip their arrows (when available) with scrap metal fashioned into arrow heads that were almost impossible to get out of one's body without some serious cutting with a knife or arrow tip extraction spoons..

Thirsty; the water inside the joints of green Bamboo is very drinkable... Plus a small shoot of bamboo makes a great straw.. Natures filtered water for those who thirst.

If I were around Bamboo I would never worry about something to drink, Making a fire or making weapons.. Amazing uses for a plant that most westerners have no idea of it's many uses..

Great thread S^F



posted on Dec, 14 2014 @ 10:12 AM
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a reply to: 727Sky

Aye, bamboo is pretty awesome stuff and I've seen some really cool bows made and backed with the stuff too. Not only that but it's ridiculously awesome stuff for building with and I even have some socks made from the stuff. Great for making cups and cooking vessels too



posted on Dec, 14 2014 @ 10:34 AM
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originally posted by: skalla
Firstly a group pic - Cthulhu is for scale. He's not full sized.


Great post! And that line actually made me LOL



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