This topic has 6 replies, 7 voices, and was last updated 4 years, 9 months ago by EvanWRapp.

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     Cayla Ray-Perry
      • Experience: 5-10 years
      • Scenic Status: Full Time Freelance

      Where can one actually acquire these magical sticks??? And I could use a reminder on how to prepare a new pole for painting (splitting)…


        I have been lucky enough to find some that just grow naturally. Chop them down, clean them up/dry out a bit. Then I slice them in the band saw so there are usually six “flaps” (3 even cuts). I am pretty sure you can get them at Lowes/Home Depot, but they could be a seasonal item.


        Pier One sometimes has bamboo sticks. They also carry them in my local Ace Hardware in the garden department. If you have an Ace Hardware, check to see if they have them or can order them.

         Lili Lennox
          • Experience: 15-20 years
          • Scenic Status: Full Time Freelance

          Partner Member

          On the hunt for bamboo just yesterday… Garden centers didn’t have it, nor did hardware stores that were also selling gardening stuff…. Bingo! Tiki torches! Bamboo poles just the right length, and the ends are already split. I pulled the torch bits out of the top, then used some electrical tape to bind the splits about 6″ from the end.

          The poles were a good thumb’s thickness, and some thicker.

          Home Depot had them for $4. I imagine you could find them pretty easily in the summer no matter where you are.



            • Experience: 20+ years
            • Scenic Status: Full Time Regular

            The usual site we order bamboo from is down right now, but this is our backup supplier. The way we prep our bamboos is to pick straight ones, sand them lightly on the outside, then pick the length and slice the top on a diagonal, keeping the cut close to a node to make the biggest space for the brush as possible. The cut angle seems to make it easier for us to get brushes into. Then with a chisel, we gently split it into four slats, after which we sand the dickens out of that end. In between the slats, around the end, anywhere we can to prevent later bamboo splinters. Then we toss two rubber bands around the end, keeping one low and one high. We don’t usually tape anywhere unless it needs it from accidents or age.

            On small bamboos that may end up holding small charcoal or detail brushes, we may cut one of the slats out so the other three can close tighter around the end when bound together, and those sometimes end up with the skinnier rubber bands to reduce bulk.

             Jamie Clausius
              • Experience: 5-10 years
              • Scenic Status: Full Time Freelance


              I have actually found some decent bamboo sticks at Michael’s craft store! Probably not the highest quality, (the Cobalt suggestion is probably better). But in a pinch it will be a stick for your tools!


              Good luck!


              Jamie Clausius

                • Experience: 5-10 years
                • Scenic Status: Full Time Regular

                Has anyone tried to actually cut fresh bamboo? If so…. how long do you let it dry for?


                It grows all over the place around here and I often dream of days in the bush cutting down bamboo.

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