Remember last week when my fruitless search for 2″ bamboo caused me to redesign a project? Even though the altered project came out OK, I couldn’t stand it.

After giving up on finding a small quantity of 2″ bamboo (David DeCristoforo had better luck than me, apparently) I used a piece of 2″ PVC instead. It worked fine, but even so I was disappointed with the results. Then, after the project was finished I drove past a field of bamboo less than five miles from my house. Naturally, I’ve been stewing over this ever since.

Call me a perfectionist – or a fussbudget, either one applies here I think – but I just couldn’t leave well enough alone. I drove to the field, which turned out to be on the property of some company, and dropped by the main office to talk to The Boss there. I asked if they would mind if I cut me a piece and they said fine. I had tossed a saw into the car and proceeded to wander into a virtual rainforest of bamboo, selected a fine stalk (if that’s what they’re called*) and cut it down. Too long to get in the car, of course, so I hacked it into shorter lengths. A lot of shorter lengths.

Once back in the shop I cut the perfect section that was exactly what I had been looking for in my earlier searching, and redid the project complete with all new photography. A lot of extra work, sure, but by the time I was done I was glad I did it.

AJBLOG-501 image

Now, what to do with all the leftover bamboo?


*According to Mr. Google, they’re called “culms.”


  • DiAnne Patrick says:

    Bamboo culms need to be seasoned like timber. Green bamboo often splits along its length when drying too fast. Big bamboo splitting sounds a bit too much like a gunshot. Unnerving.

  • Scott Crutcher says:

    Hi A.J., Ok, so I am curious as to what the project is that would involve 2′ Bamboo. And why would you want to use green bamboo?
    Thanks, Scott

  • Where do you live?

    Would you like a live plant….in a container?
    Check with The Bamboo Nursery in North Plains, Oregon. The have one of the largest, most comprehensive nurseries dedicated to bamboo in N. America. Go online to learn more about them…and their products. They are my favorite/primary source of bamboo varieties.

    I currently live in S. Oregon….Medford, but they are located very near to where I grew up in Forest Grove….west of Portland.

    I frequently incorporate bamboo into my Wood Art designs/creations.

  • Donald Estes says:

    Why you make flutes of course!

  • Val T. says:

    I had a job recently that was to build a small entertainment center that was to match other furniture which had legs that looked like bamboo, but were actually turned mahogany. When I saw it I thought it was bamboo. I built the cabinet and turned the legs out of mahogany, which had three pieces for each leg and some other parts. You would have to be looking for detail differences to see that it was not bamboo. Doing this you can make any size you need and solve the problem of bamboo not being available. I am sure other woods would work.

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