I notice that rakes made out of bamboo have curved tines (as shown below).

enter image description here

How can I permanently bend bamboo like there tines?

  • 2
    @AllisonC Uh, I want to make a rake. How is that not a craft? Aug 10 '21 at 20:21
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    @TylerDurden maybe it would be a good idea to specify in the question itself that you want to copy the effect, and it's not just curioisty
    – Chris H
    Aug 11 '21 at 8:17
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    I see no reason why that would have to be addressed by the author: AFAIK we can just assume the author is interested in it from a practical POV (there is a Q&A somewhere on Meta exactly about this but I can't find it ATM...). This question falls under technique-identification, and seems perfectly fine to me. Allison, what do you think is problematic with it?
    – Joachim
    Aug 11 '21 at 8:54
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    I rephrased the question from a passive "how was this made" to an active "how can I recreate this". It doesn't change the content, but it sounds more on-topic now.
    – Elmy
    Aug 11 '21 at 9:26
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    @AllisonC I didn't get that impression, but of course I was biased because the issue was already raised. I still think it's an okay question, with at least a practical aspect, and might be insightful to others as well.
    – Joachim
    Aug 11 '21 at 15:47

In most commercial applications, the bamboo is treated with steam to soften it. You can also soften it by soaking in water, but it takes a lot longer. You can even apply heat to the bamboo, which softens it and turns the water contained in the bamboo to steam.

If a specific shape needs to be replicated, like those tines, the softened bamboo is put in a form until it cools and dries out. Steam treatment followed by a form is essentially the same as the process for bending wood.

3 Ways to Bend Bamboo, describes three ways that don't require a steam chamber.

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    Wet bending (of wood) can also be done by applying a little tension, soaking repeatedly, and increasing the tension in small steps over several days. That's more useful for big pieces you can't fit in a tub but could be used on small stuff too, especially if you want to make one former that will hold several pieces. Hot water soaking will speed things up a bit compared to cold
    – Chris H
    Aug 11 '21 at 8:23

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