How to Cure Bamboo Poles

    CRAFTS CLASSES
    TO INSPIRE CREATIVITY
    by Samantha Volz

    About the Author

    Samantha Volz has been involved in journalistic and informative writing for over eight years. She holds a bachelor's degree in English literature from Lycoming College, Williamsport, Pennsylvania, with a minor in European history. In college she was editor-in-chief of the student newspaper and completed a professional internship with the "Williamsport Sun-Gazette," serving as a full-time reporter. She resides in Horsham, Pennsylvania.

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    Residents of Japan have used the shoots and trunks of bamboo trees for generations, creating houses, instruments and weapons from the sturdy poles. Before you can use bamboo for anything sturdy, you must cure or dry it. Under the right conditions, curing bamboo can be as simple as leaving it to stand in the sun for a few weeks. This drying method does not work in extremely hot or humid areas, and drying times will vary by climate. A direct heat method is also effective for removing the moisture and resins from the bamboo to make it ready for use.

    Things You'll Need

    • Protective gloves
    • Blowtorch or fire pit
    • Rag or cloth

    Wear protective, heat-resistant gloves when curing bamboo because you will be working with intense heat.

    Light a fire in a fire pit or use a blowtorch with a small flame. The heat from the fire should be about 250 degrees Fahrenheit.

    Hold the bamboo pole over the flame, allowing the flame to touch but not ignite the bamboo. Watch for bamboo resins to begin rising to the surface.

    Remove the pole from the heat and wipe away the resins with a rag or cloth. Repeat the heating and wiping process until the bamboo no longer produces resins. The bamboo color should change from a deep green to a light green or yellow.

    Stand the bamboo poles upright in a cool, dry place to cool and dry completely. Inspect the bamboo for cracks before using it in a project.

    • Air drying bamboo will produce cured poles, but if your area has temperature and humidity fluctuations or the climate is very different from that of bamboo’s natural habitat, the process can take more than a month. Air drying can also lead to more cracking in the bamboo.
    • Never try to cure bamboo over fire without gloves; the bamboo will be hot to the touch.

    Photo Credits

    • Karl Weatherly/Photodisc/Getty Images