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New Zealand Flax - Phormium Tenax (Read 2459 times)
walter
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Re: New Zealand Flax - Phormium Tenax
Reply #15 - Jul 20th, 2020 at 7:41pm
 
Thanks for sharing this! P tenax might also make a good bow string.
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Re: New Zealand Flax - Phormium Tenax
Reply #16 - Jul 21st, 2020 at 5:57pm
 
Ooh, that is a good idea. Bow strings for self bows typically need some amount of stretch though, right? I don't know how this would compare, but it seems pretty non-stretchy (the technical term).

I'm also not sure about it's abrasion resistance.†

I found an apartment complex nearby with one of these plants on every corner. Each one is like at least 5 feet high. I cut off 5 leaves (about 2 m long each) and extracted fibers from 2 leaves already. I think that alone is close to having enough for a balearic sling, but maybe I'll need 3 or 4 leaves' worth. I'll take some pictures tonight and post them.

The extraction process in the video a few posts up is as easy as it looks. But one can get a LOT more fiber if you just scrape off the green bits from the rest of the leaf.† I'm pumped.
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Re: New Zealand Flax - Phormium Tenax
Reply #17 - Jul 21st, 2020 at 9:32pm
 
IronGoober wrote on Jul 21st, 2020 at 5:57pm:
I found an apartment complex nearby with one of these plants on every corner. Each one is like at least 5 feet high. I cut off 5 leaves (about 2 m long each) and extracted fibers from 2 leaves already. I think that alone is close to having enough for a balearic sling, but maybe I'll need 3 or 4 leaves' worth. I'll take some pictures tonight and post them.


Thats pretty amazing.  Cheesy
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Re: New Zealand Flax - Phormium Tenax
Reply #18 - Jul 22nd, 2020 at 10:20pm
 
Ok, so here are some pictures. I'll post a video of the scraping process in a bit.

The last picture shows the amount of fiber from about 4.5 leaves. I haven't made a balearic sling in a while (and haven't made a good one), but I think it will be enough.†

The pile of fibers includes the bits extracted through means shown through the video a few posts up and also using a dull metal tool (spatula) to scrape off the green matter and extract the fibers from the leaf too.

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Leaf.jpg (294 KB | 25 )
Leaf.jpg
EndOfLeaf.jpg (92 KB | 8 )
EndOfLeaf.jpg
SplittingLeaf.jpg (118 KB | 9 )
SplittingLeaf.jpg
ScrapingLeaf.jpg (194 KB | 22 )
ScrapingLeaf.jpg
4LeavesOfFibers.jpg (300 KB | 6 )
4LeavesOfFibers.jpg

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Re: New Zealand Flax - Phormium Tenax
Reply #19 - Jul 22nd, 2020 at 10:56pm
 
Canít wait to see the finished product!!
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Re: New Zealand Flax - Phormium Tenax
Reply #20 - Jul 25th, 2020 at 3:35am
 
Here is the final sling. It is 42.5g, and about 26" (it stretches a bit).

I didn't put leather on it yet, but will be putting some of my bark-tanned deer hide on it.† I'm somewhat pleased with it. I think next time I'll use somthing to hold it so I can make a more even braid, but it is probably one of the better looking slings I've made (I can't seem to make them look as amazing as a lot of you on here). It's my second attempt at a balearic, so maybe my next one will look a bit cleaner.†

The fibers from 5 leaves were extracted and this barely was enough, I'm not actually sure if I could of finished it without a few extra fibers I'd extracted from my own plant.

I'm assuming the green fibers will eventually turn brown, but I kinda hope they stay green...

Here is the fiber extraction process in video form...
https://youtu.be/BCbtz9xLafQ
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Re: New Zealand Flax - Phormium Tenax
Reply #21 - Jul 25th, 2020 at 7:57am
 
Itís amazing to me that 5 leaves was enough for that. The video says it is processing so I canít watch it at the moment but is the fiber really like flax? Like hair fine to where it could be spun? I would love to save money and spin my own high quality cordage for braiding.
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Re: New Zealand Flax - Phormium Tenax
Reply #22 - Jul 25th, 2020 at 1:04pm
 
The fiber looks a lot like yucca. Extraction process very similar. Y ucca leaves are quite wide, so I split them in half before scraping. Never tried length wise. If that works it would speed up t he extraction process.
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Re: New Zealand Flax - Phormium Tenax
Reply #23 - Jul 25th, 2020 at 1:32pm
 
Morphy wrote on Jul 25th, 2020 at 7:57am:
Itís amazing to me that 5 leaves was enough for that. The video says it is processing so I canít watch it at the moment but is the fiber really like flax? Like hair fine to where it could be spun? I would love to save money and spin my own high quality cordage for braiding.


Yeah, like I said though...barely. I'd say 6 would have safely been enough to finish it. The video should be up now. I put my computer to sleep before it had finished uploading...oops.

Some of the fibers are very coarse, these are the ones that are very easily extracted. The parts from the leaf that you have to scrape are much finer. It must be similar to flax, but I doubt it is as fine as the flax for linen. I watched a really neat video on how flax is made into thread and woven into linen. Those fibers are very fine.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nspGz6xYzvg
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3gDWuWT23x4&

Quote:
The fiber looks a lot like yucca. Extraction process very similar. Yucca leaves are quite wide, so I split them in half before scraping. Never tried length wise. If that works it would speed up t he extraction process.


Yes, I would assume it is very similar.  The fibers when dried are still quite pliable. I didn't have a problem with them becoming brittle yet.

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Re: New Zealand Flax - Phormium Tenax
Reply #24 - Jul 25th, 2020 at 8:25pm
 
For completeness, here is the sling with leather. I quite like this sling (hence all of the posts about it). I'm not sure if I'll get used to slinging with it, but man, is it much better for fast reloading. Because the retention cord resists twisting, the pouch is almost always oriented properly for quick reloading. I think that was one of Jaegoor's secrets in his rapid-fire slinging video. I tried doing this with my split-pouch slings, and I just can't keep my rate up high enough. The pouch always twists.  But, just one go with the balearic sling, and I can repeatably throw shots within about 5 seconds of another. Sorry if I'm preaching to the choir, I've never tried using a well-made balearic sling before.
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Re: New Zealand Flax - Phormium Tenax
Reply #25 - Jul 26th, 2020 at 4:33am
 
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« Last Edit: Aug 15th, 2020 at 4:56am by J »  

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Re: New Zealand Flax - Phormium Tenax
Reply #26 - Nov 26th, 2020 at 10:29pm
 
So here's another New Zealand Flax sling. I made this in about 1† to 1.5 hours, start to finish from the raw material (Since it is a holiday here, it was a bit off and on).

It is 2 ply, about 23" from end of the retention loop to the center of the pouch. I would have done a splice for the retention loop, but I wanted to see how fast a sling could be made.

I stripped it using a piece of aluminum with a 90į edge, slightly dulled. It works much better than the metal spatula I used before. I tried to keep all the fibers in the main piece, but lost some, hence the small left over pile.† There is an overhand knot on the release cord near the pouch to keep† the "rockman" style pouch intact. Without the knot the 2 ply twine just let the leaves slip by each other and they are just stay stacked on top of one another without really forming a pouch. Because of this knot, I had to use the left over pile of fibers to make the release cord long enough for a loop.† This whole sling was made from a leaf that was about 5.5 feet long.

I love this plant.
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Re: New Zealand Flax - Phormium Tenax
Reply #27 - Nov 27th, 2020 at 1:36am
 
That's amazing. It'll be interesting to see how it holds up once it dries but it looks amazing. That plant is amazing.
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Re: New Zealand Flax - Phormium Tenax
Reply #28 - Nov 27th, 2020 at 4:44am
 
Going from raw plant to sling in an hour and a half is pretty amazing. Love that you left the leaves as the pouch. Very cool look.
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« Last Edit: Nov 27th, 2020 at 8:36am by Morphy »  

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Re: New Zealand Flax - Phormium Tenax
Reply #29 - Nov 27th, 2020 at 4:54am
 
Wow. That looks great. Awesome job
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