The cane bender

Branches, which nowadays are often considered waste products, were used extensively. They are stronger and more pliable than sawed pieces of wood of the same girth, but generally they do not have the form the craftsman needs. Javelins, spears and arrows have to be straightened, while parts of furniture are often curved and wheels preferably rounded. The ancient Egyptian wheelwrights, fletchers, and joiners formed branches by first heating the section which had to be bent or straightened while it was still covered by the bark to prevent scorching, removing the bark (drawing on the left) and then exerting pressure on the workpiece with a lever until it had cooled down (drawing on the right) and accepted its new form. In the tombs of Meri and Ti the depictions were accompanied by remarks such as Heat the wood!, Debark the branch! and Form the staff!.

Tools & Invention

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