How to Split Bamboo
Splitting bamboo, is another basic technique when working with bamboo. Split bamboo is often used in bamboo fences, wall decoration, furniture, etc. The applications are endless and it basically all depends on your own creativity. Below we have set up a very easy step by step DIY action guide on how to split bamboo poles.
1. If a bamboo pole is cut from the base of a stem, than it might have a hard part with narrow internodes (as shown below). This part is best removed from the pole to facilitate splitting.
2. Press the bamboo cane firmly against a wall or any other unmovable object.
3. Be sure to split the bamboo pole starting from the thinner end with the cutting edge of a bamboo hatchet (or machete) positioned in the exact center of the cane. Strike the blade on the back with a mallet (using a regular hammer may damage the blade).
4. After the hatchet has cut into the bamboo, strike the blade on the back gently with a mallet until the pole is split through two or three joints.
5. As the bamboo cane is split further, the splitting line might go off center.
6. To correct this, hold the un-split part of the cane, by stepping on it, with the smaller portion facing down and pull the bigger portion upward by hand. This way, the difference in thickness will be corrected.
7. During this process, be sure to always check the thickness of the upper and lower portions. Make sure the thinner portion always faces down.
8. Continue this process, changing the vertical direction of the cane as required, until the split reaches the other end. Be sure not to hurry this process.
9. The final result should look like this.
Important: Bamboo has 2 sides!
Remember that bamboo has actually 2 different sides; a straight side and a bent side. A bamboo pole will look straight or nearly straight when viewed from the branched side. When viewed at an angle of ninety degrees, however, the bamboo cane looks bent at each node. So, depending on the project you might want to split bamboo with a straight front or with a straight cut surface.
1. Straight Front:
When splitting bamboo poles with the branched side facing upward, the half-split cane will look straight from the front. When viewed from the side, the cut surface will have bents at the joints.
2. Straight Cut Surface:
When splitting bamboo canes with the branched side positioned vertically to the horizontal plane, the cut surface will look straight. When viewed from the front, the half-split cane has bents at the joints.