Horsetails as an abrasive - How to prepare ?

Horsetails ("scouring reeds") are a traditional abrasive, particularly for Japanese wood and lacquerworking (and thus a tenuous link to alt.armourers).
Does anyone know how to prepare them ?
They're a lot like bamboo in structure. Hollow stem with a tough outer layer and intermittent septa, with an external fringe where the leaves are attached. In evolutionary terms they're quite different though - these plants are more primitive than flowering plants, they were around in time for the dinosaurs to munch on.
I've just picked a bagful, from the bogs of Antrim. I then started out by cropping them to a foot long, taking the blackened and rigid part near the base. I split this in half, boiled them for half an hour, then scraped out the soft inner pith. I'm now trying to dry them and press the outer husk flat.
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Wed, Jul 30, 2003, 7:47pm (EDT+5) snipped-for-privacy@codesmiths.com (AndyDingley) informs us: Horsetails ("scouring reeds") <snip> Does anyone know how to prepare them ? <snip> I then started out by cropping them to a foot long, taking the blackened and rigid part near the base. I split this in half, boiled them for half an hour, then scraped out the soft inner pith. I'm now trying to dry them and press the outer husk flat.
Andy, Andy, Andy. Rules to live by: ONE: No longer than about an inch, TWO: Skin left on, for vitamins. THREE: Baked, not boiled. FOUR; Serve hot, with wow-wow sauce. FIVE; Google, google, google.
This quote, "Horsetails are also called scouring reeds. The silica they contain in their skeletons makes them abrasive enough to use for scraping and scouring, either in their natural state or after burning. Their ashes still contain the silica and, with a little water, make an effective polishing paste." is from: http://www.educationalimages.com/it130004.htm
Whereever did you get the boiling and scraping?
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Jack-of-all-trades - JOAT wrote:

I'll third that one. Grab and rub on something. Never used them for woodworking, but I've cleaned plenty of camp cookware with them.
The advice to pick dead ones to avoid the green is probably sound, but all that boiling and stuff is making my head hurt with the level of complexity.
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Wed, Jul 30, 2003, 7:47pm (EDT+5) snipped-for-privacy@codesmiths.com (AndyDingley) says: Horsetails ("scouring reeds") are a traditional abrasive, particularly for Japanese wood and lacquerworking (and thus a tenuous link to alt.armourers). <snip>
Wait a minute. Which is it you're trying to do, use as an abrasive, or making armour? I took it as for scouringat first, and still looks like that's what you could mean, but looking at again, not sure.
JOAT Always put off until tomorrow something which, tomorrow, you could put off until, let's say, next year. - Lady Myria LeJean.
Life just ain't life without good music. - JOAT Web Page Update 23 Jul 2003. Some tunes I like. http://community-2.webtv.net/Jakofalltrades/JOATorJackOfAll/page4.html
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Yep, grab and use. Dead is better to avoid the green.

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On Fri, 1 Aug 2003 14:53:49 -0400, "Young Carpenter"

Some advice - don't take up cosmetic surgery.
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AM Pittman wrote:

Plant one, and you get 50,000 of them in a couple of years. There's a reason why they've been around for 20 million years or whatever. Some of the colonies are probably that old. :)
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Actually the reeds absorbs silicon as a nutrient and a description of their prep etc is in "Grinling Gibbons and the art of carving."
the reed is called Dutch reed [equisetum byemale] a relative of the horsetail. It is dried and sections used between nodes of the stalk A dowel can be inserted and used in that manner or soaked and slit down one side opened up and redried,that way it can be used as a sanding pad.
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