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» Fushinuki, Traditional method for removing bamboo nodes


Posts: 247
Group: Members
Joined: 14-September 11
From: California
Member No.: 2,023

Post #1

I start by building a small, insulated
fire; usually with some sort of lid.
For this example, I'm using the
bottom of an old smoker lined with
regular concrete bricks. Clay bricks
work better and "fire bricks" or
refractory cement would be best.
However, If all I've got is a small pit
dug into the dirt...well..then I use
what I've got.

I also don't need any special fuel.
I've been using scrap soft wood to
make my coals for years.
Attached File  kodoan.org_how_to_make_a_shakuhachi_bamboo_flute__1_.jpg ( 39.91K ) Number of downloads: 35

In no time, I have something resembling this.
I keep small kindling on hand to create more
charcoal. Once my coal fire is going, I'll add
scrap that is roughly 2 inches by 2 inches
when needed. This should keep a relatively
constant heat without large spikes in

In order to create the heat necessary to burn
through the inner bamboo nodes of a future
Shakuhachi, I'm essentially creating a small
forge. The set up you see below is
easily capable of creating forge heat without
the addition of a Tuyere (pronounced "tu
weer") pipe or special fuel.
Attached File  kodoan.org_how_to_make_a_shakuhachi_bamboo_flute__2_.jpg ( 44.93K ) Number of downloads: 32

Once the fire is
going, I place
the lid on top
and begin
heating the
metal burning
Attached File  kodoan.org_how_to_make_a_shakuhachi_bamboo_flute__3_.jpg ( 27.5K ) Number of downloads: 26

I start with the smaller
diameter metal rod to burn a
pilot hole. This one is a 1/4
inch in diameter.

Extreme caution is needed
when performing this
operation! That red hot
piece of steel that is burning
through the solid bamboo
root end could burn through
my arm even easier!
Attached File  kodoan.org_how_to_make_a_shakuhachi_bamboo_flute__4_.jpg ( 24.88K ) Number of downloads: 26

Attached File  kodoan.org_how_to_make_a_shakuhachi_bamboo_flute__6_.jpg ( 25.55K ) Number of downloads: 25

I use the smaller steel
burner for both halves of
the future Shakuhachi.
Once the pilot holes are
bored out, I switch to the
larger diameter steel.
This one is a half inch in
Attached File  kodoan.org_how_to_make_a_shakuhachi_bamboo_flute__5_.jpg ( 43.59K ) Number of downloads: 23

The tools I've used to come
this far could be made by any
skilled blacksmith. I've
reached this stage without the
use of electricity or modern

At this point, both halves of the
future Shakuhachi are bored
out and ready for the next step.
Attached File  kodoan.org_how_to_make_a_shakuhachi_bamboo_flute__7_.jpg ( 47.26K ) Number of downloads: 32

This post has been edited by kodoan: Jan 30 2012, 01:50 AM

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Posts: 247
Group: Members
Joined: 14-September 11
From: California
Member No.: 2,023

Post #2

One more thing:

For those interested in creating a simple, woodburning forge, here's what my bucket of "fuel" usually looks like.
Attached File  IMG_3214.JPG ( 4.47MB ) Number of downloads: 13

You can start the fire with almost any kindling but when it's time to heat your irons, you want to keep a fairly constant and high temperature. Fire wood cut into fairly uniform and small (2 inch by 2 inch roughly) pieces will all but eliminate temperature spikes. If you are using a mechanical air source (blower or Tuyere'), wood might burn too hot but if your air source is something like a hand held fan, then charcoal or coal might not get hot enough. Being a firm believer in the "keep it simple system", my "air source" is usually a hand held fan...less to break or repair and less set up and maintenance time. Plus, the small piece fire wood is usually scrap lumber (so technically "free").

This post has been edited by kodoan: Feb 1 2012, 10:40 PM

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Posts: 4,258
Group: Members
Joined: 13-January 08
From: Central NC
Member No.: 68

Post #3

Very cool information and I appreciate the pictures. smile.gif Definately admire the traditional and time tested techniques.

I guess I am cheating. Typically I knock a hole the nodes with a drill before heat treating. When I am ready to use the bamboo I open them up by sanding. I use a piece of steel tubing in my drill motor, slit the end and wrap with sandpaper. In a way it is more like friction burning. I have found I have to go slow and get increasingly larger in small degrees to avoid spiltting and it works great for me.

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Posts: 247
Group: Members
Joined: 14-September 11
From: California
Member No.: 2,023

Post #4

Well.....I wouldn't call it cheating - just modern. Many roads to the top of the mountain but the same view of the moon once you get there.

In my workshop, I use both modern and traditional tools & techniques but I wanted to add some not-so-available info to the Flute Portal.

I think we get better by comparing and contrasting methods and technique - one of the reasons I'm improve.

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