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Old Sep 08, 2014, 04:18 AM
Branjo
Joined Sep 2013
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Bamboo sticks

Anyone use Bamboo strips, or know where one might be able to acquire them? I have a lot of scratch build plans that specify bamboo for wing tips and tail groups etc. Sounds like a cool deal but I can't find any bamboo....anywhere. Thanks
Branden
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Old Sep 08, 2014, 05:34 AM
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Gluehand's Avatar
The windy west coast of Sweden
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Hi Branden,

Try Garden Supplies...
One single bamboo "fence pole" won't cost much, and it will provide a huge supply...


A few interesting links:

Clip 1
Clip 2
Clip 3

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Old Sep 08, 2014, 08:13 AM
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Gluehand's suggestion works in the US, too, if you find the right garden shop. I had found some of these poles at Home Depot.

Otherwise some barbecue skewers, for shish Kebabs or Satays, are made of bamboo. You'll still need to split it finer as shown in Gluehands pictures, though. You nee to look for a yellowish cast to the wood.
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Old Sep 08, 2014, 08:53 AM
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I found some bamboo "marshmallow sticks" at local grocery store earlier in the summer. They are just under 3' long and approx 5/32" diam. No nodes visible, but did have to go thru several packages to avoid wain spots. IIRC this was right after the 4th of July and thus on sale.

Others have suggested using roll window up shades as longer, flatter "milled" bamboo sources.
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Old Sep 08, 2014, 10:07 AM
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The 'Wack, BC, Canada
Joined Oct 2002
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The better option is the good size pole from a garden center. The cooking skewers are alright for small items like tips on peanuts to Bostonian size. But they are made from younger and thin bamboo which doesn't have really strong fibers to work well on bigger models. I found that sticks split from the walls of heavier stuff up around 2 inches diameter has much better strength even when split down to small sizes. The longer pure fiber sticks split from such walls also heat bend much more smoothly for shaping tips for wings and tails.

Again all but the very best skewer stock will split away fibers when bending like this because they are split then machined to shape which apparently cut the fibers badly.
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Old Sep 08, 2014, 12:05 PM
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The windy west coast of Sweden
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I'm far from beeing a bamboo expert. In fact, I have barely started to investigate this material, and my experience is still very limited....
Nevertheless, I can confirm that bamboo cooking skewers aren't all that fun to work with. and that's why I purchased the 2" pole (which I have yet to give a try).

At present, my cellar is "upside down", due to a major re-making, which eventually will end up in a "real" building space/workshop - after years of er...temporary solutions...
Among all too many accumulated ideas , getting a bit deeper into the world of bamboo will be a thrill.....
This is my first year of retirement....

I will follow this thread with interest.
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Old Sep 08, 2014, 03:18 PM
Branjo
Joined Sep 2013
220 Posts
Awesome. Thanks Glue hand for the great post and clips, and everyone for your input and suggestions. I had thought about the smaller kitchen type bamboo before, but it didn't seem very strong. So, this gives me some better ideas. I also saw it mentioned by Bruce that you can heat it to bend it? Or, should one soak it in water or something like you would anything else? I think I am going to try and find a nice one to split up! Thanks a million guys!
Branden
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Old Sep 08, 2014, 09:31 PM
I'd rather be flying.....
United States, IA, Story City
Joined Oct 2013
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Hi Branden -

another bamboo source similar to prior suggestions is the citronella candle pole. bamboo with the outer shell on it works great.

I've used bamboo and cane reed often in my antique models. It still is a wonderful material to work with...

To bend bamboo dry heat works best - the larger diameter inner portion of a soldering iron works, steam can work as well.

Practice splitting and shaving the cross sections you want to achieve, Curves should have the gloss " shell " on the outside ( such

as wingtips )

Best Regards,

Jeff
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Old Sep 10, 2014, 08:49 AM
Branjo
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Thanks Jeff that will definitely help.
Branden
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Old Sep 10, 2014, 10:19 AM
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The 'Wack, BC, Canada
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Check plant nurseries as well. Often you'll find heavier grades of bamboo used as plant support sticks.

The times I've used bamboo for some old timer models I found it to be easy to work over a warm iron. If you can find a short length of something like 1 inch aluminium and drill a hole in it so it slips over the barrel of a soldering iron this can be pretty easy to make even with hand tools. Sketch below....

A 300W lamp dimmer mounted in an electrical box with an outlet wired up to it serves neatly as a temperature controller.
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Old Sep 12, 2014, 04:35 AM
Branjo
Joined Sep 2013
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Far out Bruce! Thanks!
Branden
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