bend me, shape me ...

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bend me, shape me ...

Post  fiona on Thu Aug 06, 2009 12:21 am

At the start of my current bonsai walkabout I spent a splendid few hours at Tickle Towers on Sunday when he was embarking upon the task of turning a solid-ish branch on a Scots Pine through 180°. Ably aided by his charming young assistant Bob, the feat was achieved with the minimum of effort, time and anxious moments caused by ominous creaking noises. Here's how it went.

As it was in the beginning... the branch to be moved is the one bottom left. The curly bit where Tony's hand is is a part of it too. Its new position will be bottom right - the branch that is, not his hand.



As seen from below



The process of branch wrapping begins,featuring those two great wrappers Mistah T and Wee Bob B (there's a good Scottish pun in that - if you get it there's a prize)



Fully wrapped and wired



The bending begins



Buddy waits in case there's a broken bit of branch to chew



Sorry Buds, it's through with no wastage



Now, what'll I do with this ear bit ere?



I know. I'll do this.



Fine tuning



OK let's call it quits for today



And there it is. A wee aside about this tree is that I was there when he did an early bend and styling on it in Edin... Edinbu... that other city in Scotland. A very unprofessional "fellow bonsaist" stood and muttered criticisms from the sidelines and claimed (vociferously) that the tree would never survive.

That was three years ago.

Nuff said.


Last edited by fionnghal on Thu Aug 06, 2009 12:23 am; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : lack of food)

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Re: bend me, shape me ...

Post  bonsai monkey on Thu Aug 06, 2009 9:08 am

Wow, I'm blown away by how much bend Tony got into that branch. I panic if I try half that amount affraid

I'd better not show this thread to my trees that I'm taking to Burrs, they might just turn up their toes at the sight Laughing

Okk, Okk,
Simon

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Re: bend me, shape me ...

Post  Lee Kennedy on Thu Aug 06, 2009 10:20 am

I thought you were going to turn mistah T into morph and were going to bend him and shape him! sunny

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Re: bend me, shape me ...

Post  fiona on Thu Aug 06, 2009 10:34 am

Lee Kennedy wrote:I thought you were going to ... shape him!
Whatever did happen to that personal trainer of his, I wonder? Question

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Re: bend me, shape me ...

Post  Kev Bailey on Thu Aug 06, 2009 11:35 am

Simon, the trick is in the skilful application of the self amalgamating plumbers tape. It's damn good stuff but tricky the first couple of times you use it. It either stretches into a thin rubber band (too much tension), or isn't tight enough and won't hold the bark in compression while you do bendy things to it. If done well you can take a Scots through 180° over a surprisingly short distance, should you so wish!

Great photo series Fiona. Very nice improvement of this fine Scots yamadori Mr T.

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Re: bend me, shape me ...

Post  fiona on Thu Aug 06, 2009 1:09 pm

Craig Coussins is championing a stuff called Vet Wrap just now - it's a bandaging stuff they use for horses. Does everything the self-amalg tape does but is also breathable. Additionally it seems to have a lot more leeway regarding tension. He got a supply from the USA but you can get similar over here online, including something called Powerflex which claims to stay at the tension you set it at. Go for black rather than strawberry pink or the one with the natty patterns on it.

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Re: bend me, shape me ...

Post  Velodog2 on Thu Aug 06, 2009 2:06 pm

fionnghal wrote:Craig Coussins is championing a stuff called Vet Wrap just now - it's a bandaging stuff they use for horses. Does everything the self-amalg tape does but is also breathable. Additionally it seems to have a lot more leeway regarding tension. He got a supply from the USA but you can get similar over here online, including something called Powerflex which claims to stay at the tension you set it at. Go for black rather than strawberry pink or the one with the natty patterns on it.

I have seen this and it is good. Very cool technology - it is only sticky to itself. I believe it is most readily available in sporting goods stores as a wrap for joints.

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Re: bend me, shape me ...

Post  Lee Kennedy on Thu Aug 06, 2009 3:35 pm

fionnghal wrote:Craig Coussins is championing a stuff called Vet Wrap just now - it's a bandaging stuff they use for horses. Does everything the self-amalg tape does but is also breathable. Additionally it seems to have a lot more leeway regarding tension. He got a supply from the USA but you can get similar over here online, including something called Powerflex which claims to stay at the tension you set it at. Go for black rather than strawberry pink or the one with the natty patterns on it.
I was using this 5 yrs ago,due to my previous life involving horses,it is available as VETWRAP here but to be honest decent rafia with the tape over it(screwfix for cheapest supply) is much better.
The vetwrap tends to pull the bark off if left on for more than 6 months and normally 6 months aint long enough to keep a bend in branches in general.

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bend me, shape me ...

Post  Bob Brunt on Thu Aug 06, 2009 6:06 pm

Who is that ugly devil assisting the "THE ENGLISH PIRATE"...

...SMEE !

Did you see what i did there ?

It was a beautiful morning again..Always is when I visit Tony's garden.I to was cringing and expecting that branch to snap.Fiona it was a pleasure to meet you and Buddy.Hopefully will see at the Wirral show on Sunday.

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Re: bend me, shape me ...

Post  jrodriguez on Thu Aug 06, 2009 7:16 pm

I like the current change. In my opinion, the planting angle needs an adjustment. The tree should be raised a little bit to give it more stability. Right now, the line of the strunk make entirely too much emphasis towards the left, making the composition a bit unstable.

Kind regards,
Jose Luis

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Re: bend me, shape me ...

Post  Harleyrider on Thu Aug 06, 2009 9:00 pm

Ahh, see you lot, you all thought that was a beer belly, when in reality it's a well-designed bracing point for heavy work just such as this!

*Sighs in admiration* Is there no sacrifice this man won't make for his art.

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Re: bend me, shape me ...

Post  mr treevolution on Thu Aug 06, 2009 9:43 pm

Nice bending!
Personally i wouldnt use vet type wraps either. Got some from our vet few seasons back, in blue! Tried it on scots pine and azaleas. Bends worked and set fine , no problems there but it did stick to the bark a bit. Worse still it left its edge fibres still wrapped around the wood which took ages of precise scissor work to remove, which on azaleas was not nice to do!

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Re: bend me, shape me ...

Post  fiona on Thu Aug 06, 2009 9:55 pm

This is interesting - the two people who have used the Brit version don't rate it, or more accurately, rate it poorly. I just googled again and notice that the Brit stuff is saying it's non-latex based. I wonder if the USA version is different in this or another way. I can't see Craig using it if it's as described on here but I do know he got his from the States.

Can our transatlantic cousins shed any light please?

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Re: bend me, shape me ...

Post  elroy on Thu Aug 06, 2009 10:18 pm

I use the vet wrap but put the first layer on inside out to avoid bark sticking. A the end I give it a twist and go back over the wrapping with the outside out.

Elroy

Lee Kennedy wrote:
fionnghal wrote:Craig Coussins is championing a stuff called Vet Wrap just now - it's a bandaging stuff they use for horses. Does everything the self-amalg tape does but is also breathable. Additionally it seems to have a lot more leeway regarding tension. He got a supply from the USA but you can get similar over here online, including something called Powerflex which claims to stay at the tension you set it at. Go for black rather than strawberry pink or the one with the natty patterns on it.
I was using this 5 yrs ago,due to my previous life involving horses,it is available as VETWRAP here but to be honest decent rafia with the tape over it(screwfix for cheapest supply) is much better.
The vetwrap tends to pull the bark off if left on for more than 6 months and normally 6 months aint long enough to keep a bend in branches in general.

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Re: bend me, shape me ...

Post  Tony on Thu Aug 06, 2009 10:55 pm

First Cat litter, now Horse Tape... it like animal Farm on this forum... here is a better shot of the tree from the 'Portly Pirate' pirat



Jose Luis, Repositioning the pine on the rock would be quite a feat!

Here is the tree before bending


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Re: bend me, shape me ...

Post  fiona on Thu Aug 06, 2009 11:19 pm

Tony wrote: here is a better shot of the tree from the 'Portly Pirate'
Ah you've been tweaking and twiddling since we left! It looks much better after it too.

PS next photo shoot I'll give you advance warning of when I'm taking shots so you can breathe in.

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Re: bend me, shape me ...

Post  Tony on Thu Aug 06, 2009 11:27 pm

fionnghal wrote:PS next photo shoot I'll give you advance warning of when I'm taking shots so you can breathe in.

I WAS breathing in Embarassed

And I DID tell you I would be tweeking when you left Rolling Eyes

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Tony Tickle.. "that's not your real name is it?"

‎"Study me as much as you like, you will never know me, for I differ a hundred ways from what you see me to be. Put yourself behind my eyes, and see me as I see myself, for I have chosen to dwell in a place you cannot see." — Rumi

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Re: bend me, shape me ...

Post  fiona on Thu Aug 06, 2009 11:37 pm

Tony wrote: I DID tell you I would be tweeking when you left
Yes. But neither Bob nor I wanted to comment on that Shocked

Anyway, the tree's looking pretty darn good now, not that it wasn't before. I'll send a pic to the "detractor" shall I?

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Re: bend me, shape me ...

Post  Velodog2 on Fri Aug 07, 2009 12:16 am

I have to say I've never actually used the medical tape myself. I've seen a local artist using it in a demo. Given the prevalence of allergies i would not be surprised if our version was also latex-free. Perhaps it would be prudent to layer it over rafia.

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Re: bend me, shape me ...

Post  John Quinn on Fri Aug 07, 2009 2:12 am

fionnghal wrote:This is interesting - the two people who have used the Brit version don't rate it, or more accurately, rate it poorly. I just googled again and notice that the Brit stuff is saying it's non-latex based. I wonder if the USA version is different in this or another way. I can't see Craig using it if it's as described on here but I do know he got his from the States.

Can our transatlantic cousins shed any light please?

Vetrap by 3M does contain latex. 3M also makes Coban wrap for the medical profession which also contains latex. They do make a latex free version, CobanLF.

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Re: bend me, shape me ...

Post  AlainK on Fri Aug 07, 2009 2:46 am

Mr Treevolution wrote:
(...) Bends worked and set fine , no problems there but it did stick to the bark a bit. Worse still it left its edge fibres still wrapped around the wood which took ages of precise scissor work to remove, which on azaleas was not nice to do!

Don't know about azaleas, but on pines I first put soaked raffia before putting plumber's tape so there is no problem removing it.

What's more I think raffia helps the bark look older.

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Re: bend me, shape me ...

Post  mr treevolution on Fri Aug 07, 2009 10:38 am

Salut Alain, would agree with you there on raffia. I like raffia and as i have a load of it plan to use it up before buying more self amm. tape. Had a roll but like alot of things in my shed seems to have hidden itself!

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Re: bend me, shape me ...

Post  JimLewis on Fri Aug 07, 2009 3:40 pm

You all might head to a tennis supply shop and get some "grip tape." I doubt there's any latex in it since it's designed to make tennis racket grips more secure in sweaty hands.

I use the plastic surveyor's tape (many colors!) and have had no problems. But then, I tend to not tie many of my trees in knots, either.

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