30 Aug. 2005|
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Japanese bonsai tools are wellknown for their high quality (and for their high prices), while Chinese tools provide increasingly better quality for their prices. When you have to cut branches, trunks or roots which are too thick or too hard for using a plier, you should use an appropriate saw.Keep in mind that Japanese pruning saws cut when you pull them back towards yourself. If you want to bend branches or trunks very heavily, protective measures are advisable to prevent the wood from breaking and the bark from tearing and to help minor cracks and fissures heal without risking the branch or trunk to die. There are lots of differently shaped carving tools, often sold in sets, in different qualities and sizes, which work well for shaping, smoothing, contouring, narrowing or hollowing out deadwood. In order to erase the last traces of your work and remove wood fibres sticking out it is best to use a gas torch which is fueled with lighter gas for example. For preserving decayed deadwood you can use wood hardener, which consists of liquid plastics soluted in acetone.
The black steel of which most tools are made, needs a bit more maintenance because it can rust.
For heavy bendings there are tools like ergonomically designed massive steel levers padded with rubber.
It seems paradoxical that this is why a huge variety of tools are available for this purpose. For pulling fibres (on conifers with fibrous wood) or breaking of little wood particles (on deciduous trees with less fibrous wood) the jin plier is used.
Various loop knifes and carving hooks are used for peeling off bark and for carving slight furrows, which should follow the course of the fibres. Always wear protective glasses to avoid wood splinters or metal bristles getting hurled into your eyes!
For beginners it is advisable to acquire a few basic tools at first, like a quality concave cutter and a standard shear.
An overall, gloves, dust mask and even a helmet can be a good idea for extensive deadwood work with powerful electric bonsai tools.
Bonsai tools should be disinfected now and then, in order to prevent taking fungi, bacteria or virus infections from one tree to the next.
Iron rebars can be used as a lever for bending strong trunks if you use wooden wedges as a counterpart and guy wires for fixation. Coco brushes are used for sweeping trunks, nebaris, soil surfaces, shelves, tables, tools etc. Ideal is a large underground water tank or cistern from which you can tap the water with a hand operated or electrical pump.