Drying bamboo properly enhances the poles' strength. The 3-year-old poles can be dried using two methods. The most common method, air-drying makes the most economical sense, since mechanical heating of the poles may be cost prohibitive. Harvesting the bamboo is typically performed during the winter months when new rhizomes are not yet present. This prevents damage to the new plants.
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Things you need
- Closed shed
- Wooden rack
- 8-foot-long wooden stakes
- Electric fan
Stack the fresh cut bamboo over an 8-foot-wide rack, evenly spaced and in a single layer. The horizontal slats that support the bamboo are placed on 12-inch centres to prevent the bamboo from sagging during the drying process. The length of the bamboo rack must equal the full length of the poles.
Lay 1-inch by 1-inch by 8-foot-long wooden stakes across and down the length of the bamboo poles on 12-inch centres. Stack the next layer of bamboo poles over the stakes. The 1-inch-square wooden stakes allow air to circulate around the bamboo poles.
Continue to layer the bamboo poles and wooden stakes in a consecutive stack. Generally, a total height of 24 inches will remain stable. The total height of the stack should also be determined by the overall length and width of the bamboo poles.
Position an electric fan at the end of the bamboo stack. You may have to elevate the fan so it blows down the centre of the stacked bamboo. The air within the shed must remain in circulation. Depending on climate and humidity, the bamboo will take anywhere from six to 12 weeks to completely dry.
Tips and warnings
- You can heat bamboo canes to a temperature in excess of 149 degrees Celsius to deter pest infestation. The canes are submerged in water during this process.
- The canes can also be stored underwater to remove the sugar content. The time period for the sugar removal is generally from one to three months. Running streams are preferred over stagnant ponds.
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