Treated Bamboo Poles

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Treated Bamboo Poles

Postby grant » Sat Sep 15, 2007 6:47 am

I'm going to be using a lot of bamboo poles as design elements and in my boundary wall. I'll need several hundred 3-5 cm dia. poles 3 m in length. I know they are relatively easy to come by but I'm looking for poles that have been treated for pest control and have a UV protection coat. Anyone know where I can source them?
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Postby dozer » Sat Sep 15, 2007 10:03 am

We have had experiences with Bamboo furniture and treated it ourselves with Shelldrite. You get bamboo eating bugs (mot mai bark beetle) and it never worked out well even when treated. Like you say, bamboo is not hard to come by, but we have not seen pre treated bamboo as you describe here in Thailand (not to say you can't find it).
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Re: Treated Bamboo Poles

Postby grant » Wed Jun 25, 2008 2:15 pm

I've been doing some research the past several months on preserving bamboo poles. There is one company in Chiang Mai that manufacturer's decorative products from bamboo and they have their own facility for preserving the stuff which includes heat treatment etc. The quality is excellent but they will not sell the treated bamboo poles. One of the simplest and most effective methods I've come across is soaking the previously dried poles in diesel for several hours, and then drying for 2-4 weeks at which time the diesel odor has disappeared. Holes must be drilled through the center of the poles to ensure sufficient contact. The poles are then treated with a polyurethane finish to protect them from the elements. I'm currently testing this approach and will update the forum as I progress.
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Re: Treated Bamboo Poles

Postby bamboofurnisher » Fri Aug 29, 2008 9:46 am

I know I'm coming into it a bit late, but in case you're still curious, http://www.staff.city.ac.uk/earthquakes/Bamboo/Bamboo.htm has a nice rundown of suggestions for treatment (including just soaking the poles in water for a couple weeks).

Good luck!

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- Brock
http://www.bamboofurnishingsblog.com
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Re: Treated Bamboo Poles

Postby grant » Fri Aug 29, 2008 12:25 pm

For poles that will not be exposed to rain, the preservation techniques mentioned probably work well. But if the poles are exposed to rain (as most are) the water based chemicals tend to leech out over time according to several sources on the web. I was recently in Malaysia and spoke with a contractor who regularly supplies bamboo poles for construction/architecture. He soaks his bamboo poles in diesel and swears by it. As a test, I soaked a couple of 3" bamboo poles in diesel for 24 hours and then stood them up against a wall in a covered shed. I let them dry for about 3 weeks and then sanded them before coating with a polyurethane finish. There is no apparent diesel odor on the exterior of the poles, with the interior of the poles still containing a slight odor after 2 months now. I do not plan to use the poles for structural purposes but simply as architectural items for screening and security of open walls as in the attached pictures. They will be exposed to some sun and rain and since the diesel is not water soluble, it should not leech out.

P1030879.JPG
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Re: Treated Bamboo Poles

Postby thaifly » Sat Aug 30, 2008 11:09 am

gidday grant..its the thaifly from mae rim...excellent post on bamboo..very interesting facts...you have given the thaifly a brilliant idea..to screen our newly water tank and pump base...on our sprinkler system...with bamboo treated as you said..and then say plant approx 15 xmas trees around the perimeter..my imagatination last nite whilst knocking a few HEINKENS down in our sala looking at the water set up ..and your great post..just sprung a idea as the above ....what do you think????...and grant did you buy the louveres in malaysia??? its a cheap soluotion to ...SCREEN GIDDAY..to all its the thai fly from mae rim
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Re: Treated Bamboo Poles

Postby Nawty » Sat Aug 30, 2008 3:13 pm

Does the diesel effect the colour off the bamboo on the outside ??

Presume not, but gotta ask.
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Re: Treated Bamboo Poles

Postby grant » Sun Aug 31, 2008 9:13 pm

Thaifly, yes this would work well to screen your sprinkler system or anything else for that matter. Things to keep in mind if you plan to use diesel to preserve the poles:

1. Make sure you get straight poles that have been dried and are not cracked. Check each pole to ensure they are in good condition before buying or accepting them.
2. Knock out the internal nodes inside the bamboo with a long piece of rebar or something similar. This will allow the diesel to contact the entire interior surface as well as the exterior.
4. When you install the poles, keep them off the ground as they will draw moisture from the ground through capillary action and deteriorate rapidly.
5. Plug the top and bottom ends with silicone.
6. Never nail bamboo as it will split. Pre-drill the holes and use stainless steel screws.

Nawty, no they do not change color. If they do change color it's not enough to be noticeable.
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Re: Treated Bamboo Poles

Postby thaifly » Fri Sep 05, 2008 12:32 pm

gidday grant...its the thai fly ...from mae rim...many thanks ..for the great info... your posts always are commonsense... constructive...and in layman terms....and no bull....T.. its PAY A COMPLIMENT GIDDAY to all its the thaifly from mae rim...
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Re: Treated Bamboo Poles

Postby Smithson » Thu Sep 11, 2008 1:30 pm

The variety and age of the poles is also important. They should be 3-5 years old and if possible the preservation carried out within 24 hrs of harvesting.

If the poles are fully exposed to weather then it may not be worth preserving them at all. I was also wondering about the diesel and flammability?

We have several varieties on our property. One is called 'Lumalock' in Thai, however I can't find the English name. The locals swear it isn't attacked by borers. We've used some in our house and it has a natural varnished look, even many months after being harvested. Whereas other varieties have gone dull.

It would be really good to identify the variety. I've been sending pics to some experts in the US, but without much luck.
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Re: Treated Bamboo Poles

Postby Nawty » Thu Sep 11, 2008 2:36 pm

put a pic up here then, closeup and far.
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Re: Treated Bamboo Poles

Postby Smithson » Thu Sep 11, 2008 5:57 pm

Below are 2 pics. The stuff at our place is 1.5" to 2", but I've seen it about 3" in the forest. It's fairly common in our area.

A Malaysian guy in the US is sure it's a variety called Vulgaris, however this variety is full of starch and therefore quickly attacked by borers. Judging from what the locals have said, it could be a variety called Tulda, but the guy in the states swears it isn't??

Most of the poles at our place have been nailed without cracking and I don't think they were pre-drilled, although the bamboo itself has cracked in other places. I'm guessing this is due to it being young.

Apparently one of it's uses was for the bamboo rods in thatch panels. Such rods are made from split bamboo and therefore more susceptible to borers.
ImageImage
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Re: Treated Bamboo Poles

Postby Nawty » Fri Sep 12, 2008 9:14 am

Thats not the resistant one though right....I'm confusing now.
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Re: Treated Bamboo Poles

Postby Smithson » Fri Sep 12, 2008 10:11 am

Nawty wrote:Thats not the resistant one though right....I'm confusing now.


Sorry for the confusion. This is the variety I'm trying to identify, which the locals have told me isn't attacked by borers. We've used it in our house and it hasn't been attacked so far. It's called (Mae Pai) Lumalok and is common in our area, although I'm not sure about other parts of the country because some Isaan ppl had never seen it before.
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