Preventing Cracking

Bamboo poles are not shipped split or cracked, but sometimes due to climate changes this may happen.

Most cracking is caused by pressure difference of the air trapped between the nodes and the outside air.   Dryer the climate, the more likely it is to crack.  In the southwest USA, such as Nevada, Arizona and New Mexico this is a big concern. It is less of a concern in humid areas near the coast, but if your project depends on limiting the splitting, you should probably do something to prevent it.

Note that splitting and cracking do not change the structural characteristics of bamboo. Also, splitting is more common in larger poles than in smaller poles.

To prevent cracking, the first thing to do is knock out the nodes. This frees the trapped air  Nodes are fragile and this is easily done by ramming a rod down the center—see photos below.

For additional protection, you can coat the poles with a clear PU coating, which limits the expansion and contraction that comes with changes in humidity (bamboo, like wood, has slight expansions and contractions that correspond to the relative humidity). Before coating the poles, wipe it down with paint thinner and let dry to remove the oils.

As always, if you need more info feel free to contact us.


Back to Bamboo Carpentry