How to cure bamboo?

missguidedJune 15, 2009

I LOVE bamboo! - I have often harvested bamboo that is offered free from people and have some of my own growing...(Tampa Bay area) I have a ton of ideas on things to make with bamboo but I need to know what to do with it after it is cut down to "cure" it. Alot of what I have saved rotted. I am talking about 3"-5" thick bamboo - after I make something (outdoor) do I poly it or is there something better? Thank you!

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kudzu9(Zone 8a - PNW)

If you are making outdoor items and they get wet a lot, they are going to eventually rot. Putting on a coating will extend the life marginally, but is not worth the trouble and expense in my experience. Most large bamboo that is cured is dried over a period of several days in a big, smoky, outdoor oven: this reduces moisture content and kills any bugs. In order to minimize splitting, it's common to also take a piece of rebar with a pointed end and ram it through the bamboo lengthwise to break through the nodes. If you don't want to build a giant oven, you can air dry it in a protected location.

    Bookmark   June 16, 2009 at 12:32PM
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Thanks for the answer Kudzu9!

    Bookmark   June 17, 2009 at 9:36AM
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After coring it I use a old woodstove with a 4" flu inside a 12"flu(open at both ends) to heat dry bamboo but you have to be carefull not to burn it. I then use a pvc pipe mostly full of laquer to soak it before I use it. It's not really economical for most uses but I do this before refilling to make fishing poles. My buddy uses mineral oil and it works great but needs to be periodically reapplied.

    Bookmark   June 18, 2009 at 9:13AM
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