A Juncus Polissoir – III

Once the Juncus dried enough for me to play with, I trimmed a large hank to length, about 4-inches.

Just to make sure it was really dry I placed it in a glass canning jar on top of my coffee warmer glue pot for 24 hours.  Then I started to make a polissoir as I have done many times before, albeit with sorghum broom straw.

One thing that is immediately apparent is that Juncus is much less dense and more fragile than broom straw.  This is not a surprise give that Juncus is a hollow rush, essentially a tube structure.  When assembling the fibers for constructing the polissoir I did something I had not done before, I flipped half of the fibers and then shuffled them for a fairly even distribution.

Grabbing a handful from the case of hose clamps I keep on the shelf for maintaining the hydroelectric penstock, I lined everything up and started tightening.  And tightening.  And tightening.  The hollow feature of the Juncus meant that the collapse of the bundle was dramatically more than the broom straw.  While the broom straw compresses about 10-20% under clamping, in my gross observation (I did not measure it in advance) the Juncus compresses 50-75% to achieve the same density as the corn straw.  In other words, Juncus compresses somewhere between 2-1/2 and 7-1/2 times more than sorghum.

Once the bundle was tightly bound in the hose clamps I began to wrap it with heavy waxed linen cord until it was complete and tied off.

One one end of the polissoir I trimmed the tip with a Japanese knife; on the other I used a fine saw to cut off the excess.

Now it was ready to put to the test.