Infusion of bamboo poles
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Author:  chepilo [ Sun Dec 02, 2012 2:48 pm ]
Post subject:  Infusion of bamboo poles

I live in Highland, Utah. We are at about 5000 ft here. It's zone 6 that I recall. I would be interested in growing bamboo here, even indoors. But my family does not care for bamboo. Perhaps gaining some friends here on the site, I can still trade something of value with others in order to still reach my goals.

I am interested in experimenting with various species of bamboo that would be popular bicycle choices if they could be kept from splitting/cracking as they dry. Right now the Iron, Tonkin, madake, moso and a few other varieties are popular. However, when I look up comments from builders as they approach the nigra varieties (just as an example) they all say that it is prone to spltting and nigra is not recommended. If a bamboo culm does not split when it's live, then I wonder if something can be done to infuse the culm with something as it is drying so that it does not lose it's consistency and gains new strength. Most approaches to preparing bamboo are to heat it up or smoke it. Some say to just put it aside for a few months to let it dry slowly. Some tell me to refer to those that do the work - "... just get some from the supplier and you won't have to worry about dealing with cracked poles." I'm told. To me this sounds a little lazy and cheap. I'm sure there are more effective techniques that could be applied. In the end I hope to use my research and techniques to build a set of bicycles and trikes that are light weight, stiff/strong, and attractive. I don't want to be limited in my species choices.


Author:  foxd [ Mon Dec 03, 2012 2:47 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Infusion of bamboo poles

Punching out the nodes with a long metal rod helps alleviate the stresses that cause the bamboo to split. Use a flat ended rod to do the punching!

Author:  chepilo [ Mon Dec 03, 2012 10:05 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Infusion of bamboo poles

I have seen a number of videos for bending, smoking, drying with ovens, etc. and they all said to punch out the nodes first. Still splitting occurs randomly and in particular species the splitting is too often for the species to be trusted. That's truly a shame since some of the most difficult to trust species are so attractive.

Maybe the best thing for me to do is obtain some of the worst offenders/splitters and see if I can discover a technique. Some have said they didn't knock out any nodes and no splitting occurred during the drying out process. Inconsistencies like that tell me that there are situations that can be discovered and possibly eliminated that will prevent splitting.

My hope is that some of the nigra varieties will be usable if I can resolve the splitting problems.


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