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Tool or machine to cut moss efficiently?

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  • #16
    Google "Egg Crate Light Diffuser" for a better idea about my depth-setting material.

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    • #17
      With such an irregular item, I would suggest trying some sort of guide - a ruler would be cumbersome and inaccurate by comparison. Imagine placing your moss in the corner of a smallish box that has a sidewall height of the desired moss length. Hold/capture the moss in the corner and use the edges of the box as a guide for the scissors or cutters, and all the pieces end up the same length.

      To do many pieces at a time, perhaps a wire grid would work as a guide and material support (grid supported by an adjustable wooden frame), but I am not sure how one might effectively guillotine the waste off or if a single/consistent hole size would work well enough. Perhaps an electric knife, like folks used to use for turkeys?

      The material needs to be fairly well captured to cut cleanly, and a wire grid (picture square hole fence wire or possibly chicken wire) could do so vertically. You would have to account for the 'crush' to obtain the desired height.
      Or, you could line a row of them up and hold them from the side (like the 'box' approach). Make sense?
      Location: North Central Texas

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      • #18
        Hmmm, the Mk II version could incorporate hot filament trimming.

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        • #19
          The hot wire does sound like an excellent possibility.

          I wonder if something as simple as a decent paper cutter with a block of wood for a fence wouldn't work tolerably well?
          Location: North Central Texas

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          • #20
            Originally posted by Joel View Post
            ...........I wonder if something as simple as a decent paper cutter with a block of wood for a fence wouldn't work tolerably well?
            I was thinking the same thing.

            Location: Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada

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            • #21
              On the theme of the paper cutter, an improvement to the 'fence' or cutter depth stop might be to build it with compartments, like a starting gate at the horse race track.

              Pieces of moss would be inserted iinto each compartment in the fence where they would be held steady at an appropriate depth. Then the fence is positioned on the cutting board and the rest is self-evident.

              This arrangement lends itself to scaling up production. Populating the fence takes longer than positioning and cutting, plus there is the matter of emptying the fence afterward.

              Solution: make multiple fences and engage family, friends and acquaintances in the trim-to-length process (bring vino!). Two people work at filling fences, another operates the cutter and one or more empty out the finshed pcs.

              After proof of profitability, plow money into the MK II version with a hot wire filament cutter mounted to a flying gantry that travels under 'trays' made out of egg crate light diffuser material. Have people dropping moss heads into the openings of the sections of egg crate trays, set a tray in position and have the hot wire gantry pass underneath, trimming off the roots. Up-end the tray to empty finished moss into bins according to size/colour.

              Perhaps Stirling Moss would approve.

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              • #22
                HMMMM - that's allot of work for something that resembles a carpet sample.

                kinds looks like a medium loop berber to me...

                if it's not a carpet sample I think it should be - maybe you can sell that pattern and color combo because its really quite stunning... suitable for framing id say.

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                • #23
                  Neither here nor there about your question . . . but you should know that you are working with lichen, not moss, and the difference is far from trivial. It probably makes no difference to you or your customers, but you really ought to know if this is what you do for a living.

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                  • #24
                    Moxiedad2001, can lichen be presented in a framed wall hanging as a living organism?

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                    • #25
                      For slicing the roots off, I believe the deli slicer John H. mentioned would be most effective from from a 'production' standpoint.

                      Be careful where you collect the moss, many national and state parks/forests etc as well as cities have serious fines for things even as trivial seeming as picking up rocks, driftwood, and plants on public property.

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                      • #26
                        Harbor Freight sells a miniature chop saw that should work nicely for this. You could make up an end stop and maybe a support piece for the stalk next to the blade. Although you would still be doing one at a time, it would be cheap, fast and easy to get exact lengths.
                        Kansas City area

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                        • #27
                          Waterjet

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                          • #28
                            How resilient is the moss? Meaning if you stuff a bunch of them with the part to be cut off into a bottom plate with holes and then cover the top of the moss with a holding plate will it ruin the moss? Because if not then do that and get yourself some cheese graters and push the frame across the graters.

                            Not to be a snob but people actually buy them as art objects! No accounting for taste I guess.
                            Location: The Black Forest in Germany

                            How to become a millionaire: Start out with 10 million and take up machining as a hobby!

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                            • #29
                              Originally posted by macona View Post
                              Waterjet
                              A good way to transplant moss onto bricks ,walls etc for ageing.. is to put it in a blender and blitz it for a few minutes,then paint it onto the stone. It grows back really well . Imagine that in an expensive waterjet. .

                              I have a similar issue with my car , moss from the trees gets into the cars seams,openings etc and its spread by the very act of cleaning it off. Even when using strong bleach or iron based moss killer , the damn stuff still returns.
                              Last edited by MrSleepy; 10-15-2016, 03:54 PM.

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                              • #30
                                Originally posted by MrSleepy View Post
                                I have a similar issue with my car , moss from the trees gets into the cars seams,openings etc and its spread by the very act of cleaning it off.
                                Your car ?



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