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Using aluminum instead of bamboo for the main archs and/or the central bone will give your lions unrivaled rigidity. They'd be a bit too heavy to use for all of the framework, but in a few strategic places will keep your frame strong for many years.
Most aluminum strips you'll find in hardware stores are at least 3/4" wide--much too fat to use as framing strips. After searching for years I've finally secured a supplier for thinner strips practically the same width as standard bamboo framing strips.
The main arches serve as the connecting point for several different parts of the lion so it's important for them to be as strong as possible.
The central bone defines the lion head's main curves so it's vital that it hold its shape well.
Thin (1/8"x1/4"): $5 per strip
Medium (1/8"x1/2" not pictured): $6 per strip
Standard strips are 48" long, 60" and 72" strips are available by special order but may require higher shipping costs, contact me for pricing if you are interested.
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