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how do you treat your bamboo for project longevity

 
master pollinator
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Location: Officially Zone 7b, according to personal obsevations I live in 7a, SW Tennessee
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So, we now have this.

IMG_20210417_122550037.jpg
[Thumbnail for IMG_20210417_122550037.jpg]
 
Joylynn Hardesty
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If I were to split some of this for a fence, how would I treat it to make it long lasting? Or will simply letting it dry out naturally up off the ground make it last for years and years and years?
 
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Wow, wow, wow Joylynn!  That is so great.  Today was also the day that my bamboo I bought last year came in.  Fingers crossed that this new species for me does as well as the other species that I have.  Just loved that we both got new bamboo plants today!
 
Joylynn Hardesty
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Well.... You got plants, I got bamboo poles. We, Hunny and I braved the dangers of a local bamboo "patch". It measures roughly 100 feet deep and 500 feet long.



I know myself well enough to realize, I don't have the neccesary attentiveness to manage a patch in our zone. Besides, look what I can harvest from!!! Permission has been granted, ongoing. And it remains somebody else's problem!

A modular fence built over time, is my current thought. Something like below. It appears the youtuber did not mention treating his fence splits with anything.


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NKzMbO-Hklw

Edit: this load is for several trellises.
 
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If exposed to the elements it will rot way faster and depending on your climate some bugs can find it very attractive based on its sugar and starch contents. There are various ways to treat bamboo, and they can be divided between the chemical approach and the more traditional ones.

Previous to all of this it’s always a good idea to harvest the sticks before sunrise between 3pm and 5am, this is when most of the starch is still in the roots. Which makes it less attractive to insects, are less heavy to transport and will dry faster. Then wash the bamboo with a hard brush (This helps aesthetically a lot if done here) and leave it to dry preferably 21 days At a 45 degree angle. Any curing or immunization process must be followed after this.

I’ll describe what’s used for Guadua which is a giant structural bamboo and is what I know by heart :)

Chemical

Here there’s the immersion and injection methods

Injection: Inject 1/3 of the volume of each cavity  a solution of 3kg of borax and 3 kg of boric acid dissolved in 50 liters of water by drilling a small hole two fingers underneath each knot and in zig zag.
Immersion: here you have to remove the inner knots with a metal rod that fits from underneath and immerse in a solution of 1.5kg of borax by 1.5kg of boric acid dissolved in 100 liters of water.

In both cases leave untouched for three days.

BUT there’s a better ecological and easier approach using the same methods  but replacing the borax salts for over the counter sea salt and the boric acid for lime in the same proportions.

For both of these I’ve seen people add a whole array of nasty chemical things mostly bug poison specific to termites which I personally deter from. Also after the three days “petrifying” the surface is a good idea and for this you may use things like diesel or much better linseed oil with turpentine...

Also! If it’s an option, Simon Velez  one of the best architects imo who uses bamboo for everything, when available submerges them in the ocean for a couple of weeks after theyve dried.

One last personal tip is to add a teaspoon of sulfur the the above.

Traditional

My neighboring indigenous community has used fire just after it’s been cut by slowly and gently passing the sticks over a bonfire and removing the resin that comes out. Afterwards they add a smoking factor to the drying process by setting a smoky fire underneath the drying sticks twice a week. Before cutting they wash them with vinegar.

I’ve used a combination of these for different purposes, the more structural the more picky and thorough.

Phew, hope that helps :)




 
Joylynn Hardesty
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Okay, so this year's trellises won't get treated. Because I need them now. And one is complete! Ah well. I was imagining something less labor-intensive. I've been forbidden the flame thrower option. That would've been fun!

For future projects, maybe a cinderblock rocket stove, with a high riser to drag the poles over it from a standing position? Similar to below, with more blocks on top to raise the surface further above the flame.


http://the-pragmatic-stoic.blogspot.com/2012/08/design-five-block-rocket-stove.html

What do ya'll think?
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