October 30, 2009 12:50 PM   Subscribe

Bamboo. I am in Merida, MX., with access to lots of long, tough bamboo, 1-3" thick. I would like to try working w/ thinner, and more flexible STRIPS of it, to weave or build furniture. Using the full, round pieces does not interest me; too heavy, bulky, rigid and looks bad. But when I ask about cutting or stripping it, i just get blank stares. Cut in 1/2, ok, but thinner, lighter, no. I have bamboo baskets from other parts of Mexico, so it is done here. Any ideas on getting more mileage from this cheap, abundant material?
posted by ebesan to Home & Garden (6 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Could you take the full/ larger round pieces and split them? It would seem like a simple way of getting exactly the width strip you want from nearly any sized piece. It's been a while since I worked with bamboo, but IIRC splitting it involves a sharp wedge applied to the end and struck and then gently moved down the split/ channel formed continuing to strike when needed. This site seems to talk about it a bit as well.
posted by quin at 12:58 PM on October 30, 2009

Kite makers have dozens of ways to split bamboo. Try googling bamboo kites. try here
posted by Gungho at 1:21 PM on October 30, 2009

This page on making a bamboo fly rod shows you how to split the cane.
posted by advicepig at 1:37 PM on October 30, 2009

This should help--even has video.
posted by Elminster24 at 9:23 PM on October 30, 2009

Hmmm, forgot AskMeFi doesn't auto hyperlink URLs...

Lets try that again.
posted by Elminster24 at 9:24 PM on October 30, 2009

You need a bamboo splitter. They look like this.
posted by oneirodynia at 6:42 PM on October 31, 2009

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