How to Dry Bamboo for Use in Bamboo Fencing
Installing bamboo fencing is an environmentally sound alternative to wood, thanks to the fact that bamboo grows so quickly and once harvested, the same plant can regrow again and again. Not only does the use of bamboo help to preserve hardwood tree forests, but it also provides a rich, warm appearance.
You can save a lot of money by drying your own bamboo. All you need to do is follow the simple steps described below. Keep in mind that this process takes several months and requires a lot of space.
Step 1 – Take Necessary Precautions
Before starting with bamboo drying, wear a pair of think rubber gloves. This is to avoid any splinters from the bamboo that may penetrate your skin.
Step 2 – Location for Drying Bamboo
Before proceeding with the drying process, you will need to locate ample space for the drying process. The place should have a roof to protect the bamboo from natural elements such as fire, water and wind. The floor should be dry cement and the location should have plenty of air flow while being a bit humid at the same time. Your garden shed or garage may be an excellent place to dry bamboo. Do not use your basement to dry bamboo since it doesn't provide fresh air circulation.
Step 3 – Trimming Branches
Use a machete or a small axe to cut the branches off the bamboo. Be very careful while ridding the poles of their branches not to break the pole itself. By stripping the poles you will have considerably more storage space, and it will also speed up the drying process.
Step 4 – Curing the Bamboo
Your bamboo fence will last longer if you cure your bamboo before drying. Constantly cure the bamboo ends in salt water for 90 days. You can do this by placing one end of the bamboo in salt water and then the other repeatedly. Once this is done, move towards drying the bamboo.
Step 5 – Leaning Bamboo Vertically
Lean the bamboo vertically against the wall allowing all the moisture to either evaporate or flow down to the floor. If you feel that the floor is not quite dry, use a block of wood and place the end of the bamboo on it.
Step 6 – Drying the Bamboo
After leaning the bamboo vertically against the wall, leave it to dry for a period of three months. Keep a vigilant eye. Keep inspecting it during this period since some might rot or split. If you see any part that has retained moisture in it, cut off that part. You will know when the bamboo has dried completely. This will happen when the bamboo has tanned in color. Once it has dried, you may cut the bamboo again to get the size you want.