Natural Cordage & Mora Companion

Discussion in 'Bushcraft' started by Hanzo, Jan 20, 2019.

  1. Hanzo

    Hanzo Monkey+++

    Wifee and I took the puppy on the trail, as we usually do. It was interesting today. The water was the lowest that I have seen. And the bird activity was the highest that I have noticed. Especially the parrots and chicken. But the smaller birds were out and vocal too. Coincidence? Anyone know if there is a correlation?

    Also, even the the sun was well up at 9 or so, it was dark in the woods like the coming of night. That was the darkest that I have noticed at the time of day too. And the area was cleared a bit, so it was surprising.

    So as you can see, in the selfie that the wifee asked me to take, she is holding a couple of agave leaves that I harvested. It is the fiber from those that are great for cordage. Many plants are great for cordage. But this is today's chef's choice.

    After getting home, I processed it out. It took about 15-20 minutes using my hands. I used the back of the Mora Companion to scrape of the outer layer of one to show the fibers in the leaf. But since the companion goes not have a sharp spine, if was slow going. And using near the tip made it too easy to accidentally tear the fibers. So fingers it was. Cave man style. Still did not take long.

    I could have gone inside for a knife with a sharp spine or carved a tool to use, but it was only two leaves. Plus, I usually have the Companion with me, so I stuck with it. May change it out to one of my other knives with a sharp spine next time out. A sharp spine is very useful.

    So I have quite a bit of fibers to use. Will let them air out and dry first. Notice that if you are careful, you can preserve the thorny tip with fibers attached. Nature's pre-made needle and thread.

    And the obligatory post-hike meal. Made chili and cheese omelette.

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  2. SB21

    SB21 Monkey+++

    Just a question here . I'm sure braiding those fibers together will no doubt add strength to the cordage , but , would braiding be easier when the fibers are still green , or is it better when dried ? Are they as flexible dry as they are green ? Just a curiosity . But I like they way all the fibers are still attached at the tip , really cool . Great pics , as usual .(y)
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  3. Hanzo

    Hanzo Monkey+++

    I was planning on twisting. Plus they may shrink a little after drying.
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  4. Oltymer

    Oltymer Monkey++

    I don't know where you are located Hanzo, but it looks like mostly sandstone in that creek. Except in the 5th picture down from the top, the boulder at the front lower section that is whiter looks to be limestone. So, when the limestone and sandstone are close together there will be flint nodules eroded out from the limestone.
    Nice work with the cordage! I have some yucca here that works like your agave, but of course only in warm weather, you must be in the tropics.
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  5. Hanzo

    Hanzo Monkey+++

    I’m in Hawaii, @Oltymer.
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  6. DuxDawg

    DuxDawg Monkey

    I square the spines on all my knives. Put in a vice and hit with a file. Leave the burrs alone. For me, squared spines see almost as much use as the edge.

    Keep (or make so) the last inch, of the tip and of the spine in front of the hilt, round as this helps preserve the strength of the blade. (Those are the places most knives break under abuse.)

    Agave has great fibers. As do yucca, nettles, dogbane, etc. Been meaning to try Day lily leaf fibers. Heard good things about them. Don't forget about withes.

    The term withes (singular: withy) refers to small, flexible branches from many species of trees, bushes or vines. They are used for basket making or cordage. In the context of cordage they are live branches that we twist or pound to separate their fibers. Fairly strong and flexible. Very fast to make.

    A link about making cordage from natural materials.

    Thanks for the virtual hike in the tropics Hanzo! High of -1F, low of -23F, 30 mph wind with 3' of snow on the ground here today. Here's to thinking tropical thoughts!!
    Last edited: Jan 29, 2019
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