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How to Bend Bamboo for a Walking Cane

Dried bamboo needs heat to bend.
Jupiterimages/Photos.com/Getty Images

Things You'll Need:

  • Candle or paint stripping gun
  • String or twine


If you don't want to use dry heat to soften the bamboo, you can use boiling water or steam. Soak the bamboo in the water or expose it to constant steam until it softens enough to become pliable, then proceed in making your cane.

A curved bamboo walking cane is lightweight and sporty yet sturdy enough to give you the support you need. You can soften the dried bamboo you need to make the cane using either dry or wet heat, then mold it into the cane. If you're new to wood crafts, pick up a couple extra bamboo poles to practice the technique until you find just the right amount of bend to get a cane that fits in your hand.

Expose your bamboo to dry heat from a candle flame or a paint stripping gun. Work the heat source back and forth across the tip of the bamboo, exposing about 5 inches of bamboo to the heat. Do not hold the heat source in one place for too long or you'll scorch the bamboo.

Set aside the heat source and bend one end of the bamboo into a U-shape with your hands. For a cane, you only need to bend the top 5 inches or so to create a U-shaped handle you can hold. If you're having trouble bending the bamboo, you haven't heated it up enough, so go back to heating the bamboo until it's pliable.

Hold the bamboo in a U-shape to form your cane. Don't let go. Tie the cane with rope or twine so it stays bent into a crook.

Let the bamboo cool down completely, then remove the string. Bamboo will "set" at the place where it cools down, so bamboo that's heated, bent and tied into a crook will stay in that shape.

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