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Tool or machine to cut moss efficiently?

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  • Tool or machine to cut moss efficiently?

    Hello. I've been looking around the web to help me out on my project. I'm not sure if this is the right website for this so please forgive me if this is the wrong forum. I work with moss and create art panels by cutting each one and gluing them to a wooden panel (See pics for details). I was hoping to get some suggestions for a way to cut them more efficiently, perhaps using a tool or a machine. I'm currently cutting each moss with scissors and as you can imagine is quite time consuming and tedious. They each need to be cut at a specific length (1" for the current project). Thank you for your support.



    Please look at these additional pictures for the process:

    http://i63.tinypic.com/r9hb9k.jpg
    http://i68.tinypic.com/167019e.jpg
    http://i67.tinypic.com/ksves.jpg

  • #2
    Neat! Have you tried a rolling stone?

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    • #3
      What kind of consistency does moss have in the state you are working it?

      Is it brittle with pieces prone to breaking off at angles to the intended cut line? Is it fibrous and tough to cut, wearing cutters quickly and leaving fragments or threads instead of clean edges? Can it tolerate water: a little, a lot? Is it flammable.

      .

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      • #4
        Originally posted by Glug View Post
        Neat! Have you tried a rolling stone?

        Then how would he gather it?

        I'm thinking a tubular punch made from copper pipe bent to shape, or get creative and fold them up from sheet metal

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        • #5
          Originally posted by Glug View Post
          Neat! Have you tried a rolling stone?
          I'm sorry but I don't know what that is.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by EddyCurr View Post
            What kind of consistency does moss have in the state you are working it?

            Is it brittle with pieces prone to breaking off at angles to the intended cut line? Is it fibrous and tough to cut, wearing cutters quickly and leaving fragments or threads instead of clean edges? Can it tolerate water: a little, a lot? Is it flammable.

            .
            It's fibrous, but fairly easy to rip apart with your hands. It doesn't really wear cutters quickly but it does leave some fragments behind. I have to clean them after an hour or so before my scissors gets dirty and difficult to cut. Also, they are dyed but I think they should be able to tolerate water. I do not believe they are flammable.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by MossBoss View Post
              I'm sorry but I don't know what that is.
              Seriously? you work in moss and have never heard "moss doesn't gather on a rolling stone"
              in Toronto Ontario - where are you?

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              • #8
                By the way, thanks for the support guys, I really appreciate it.

                Also, I forgot to mention that I can only use the top portion of the moss which is round. I cut the moss from the roots.

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                • #9
                  I confess to overlooking the three image links in the OP. Having now seen them, I have a different understanding of the task.

                  Are you familiar with the rotary fabric cutters and 'self-healing' cutting mats used by people who work with fabric. Olfa make both cutters and mats, Fiskars offer the cutters and may have mats but I'm unsure.

                  Looking at your images disabused me of the notion that the moss arrived in sheet/layered form and eliminated thoughts of pneumatic or waterjet cutting to shape.

                  Instead, it now looks like the process is similar to preparing brocolli. Laborious and meticulous handiwork required.

                  The rotary cutter is like a sharp pizza slicer. The mat is delineated with graduations, which I anticipate will be useful for determining size while cutting.

                  Is this rotary cutter/mat suggestion anywhere close to fulfilling the requirement at hand?

                  .

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                  • #10
                    Olfa

                    Rotary Cutters

                    Cutter Mats


                    .

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                    • #11
                      A couple of thoughts:

                      Deli meat slicers use a rapidly spinning, thin, razor sharp blade of about 8 to 10 inches diameter and have a means of adjusting the thickness of the slice, although probably not out to 1 inch. But such a machine may be a starting point. Rig up a means to hold the piece of moss so as to slice the moss and not your fingers. (Very important!) These can be had in a wide range of prices from fifty dollar home use slicers to multi hundred dollar professional machines.

                      Also, some industrial fabric cutters use a similar blade to cut multiple layers of fabric.

                      Band knives can be obtained to fit a band saw: http://www.starrett.com/saws/saws-ha...es/band-knives

                      And I have seen, but can't now remember the source, knife edge blades for scroll saws and hand-held jig saws.

                      Do a bit of research along these lines and see what you may be able to cobble together or modify to suit your needs.

                      Another possible source: https://www.blademfg.com/products/circular-knives/

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                      • #12
                        My Machinist Hand Book does not seem to have a speed for "moss." Maybe I missed it.
                        mark costello-Low speed steel

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                        • #13
                          Thanks guys. All great ideas. I just want to further clarify what I was thinking of doing to speed up the process. Since I'm cutting each "moss head" one by one, I was hoping there could be a way of putting several moss pieces in a frame face down with the roots face up, and using something to slice them all to the appropriate size. Could something like this be possible to make? I was thinking of buying a very thin sheet of metal with one side that's very sharp to slice off the moss to size. The problem is I think the moss would come out of the frame as I'm slicing it if the edge isn't sharp enough. Does this make sense? How would I make this?

                          @EddieCurry

                          I really like this idea. I usually have to recheck each moss piece after cutting them. With the rotary cutter and mat this would definitely make cutting more precise without the need for rechecking. It would still would be time-consuming but I can see this being a better way of cutting it with regular scissors.

                          @john hobdeclipe

                          Thanks for the idea, but I was hoping of something I could make myself. Also would this really speed the process up since I would still need to cut each moss piece one by one?
                          Last edited by MossBoss; 10-14-2016, 10:53 PM.

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                          • #14
                            The only kind of Moss I'm familiar with is the kind that grows on some roofs and it is about 1/32 of an inch thick and hasn't any roots. :-)
                            ...lew...

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by MossBoss View Post
                              ..., I was hoping there could be a way of putting several moss pieces in a frame face down with the roots face up, and using something to slice them all to the appropriate size.
                              Actually, you've got the possible answer right here.

                              First, turn things around. Have the heads on top and the soon-to-be-discarded roots on the bottom.

                              Then, make a guillotine/shutter box comprised of two pieces of sheet metal lying horizontally on top of each other in a perimeter frame. (Imagine a drawer from a cupboard flipped upside down, the drawer bottom represents the stacked horizontal pieces of metal.) The sheets of metal have holes in them; the sheets are the same width, but the upper sheet is shorter than the lower one so the upper can slide laterally while the lower is fixed in the perimeter frame.

                              The way this all works is that the metal sheets are positioned so the holes are lined up, then pcs of moss are inserted into the matrix of holes, then the top sheet is slid laterally, trimming the roots off the pieces of moss - the roots fall away from the guillotine onto a tray, paper or whatever for easy disposal after a sufficient quantity accumulates.

                              As part of a refinement, something to help set the depth of cut can be added to the upper sheet. One thought that comes to mind is a section of diffuser from an overhead lamp - the kind that consist of a series of 1/4" openings.

                              .

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