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Bamboo Spars

Good Bamboo Wok Brush typeBad Style of Bamboo Wok Brush

 

There are four sources of bamboo for miniature kite spars.

 

†Bamboo Wok Brushes - considered by many kite makers to be the best bamboo you can get for making miniature kites. Typically wok brushes are made of bamboo split to approximately 1/16 inch thick by 1/4 inch wide by 8 inches long, which can be easily split into smaller widths for kites with a craft blade. Look in your local gourmet kitchen stores or Asian department / grocery stores. If you donít like hunting though the local stores, they can be mail-ordered from Amazon and Ebay. Make sure the wok brush has all bamboo bristles, as in the picture on left above. Some "bamboo" wok brushes (picture on the right) only have bamboo around the outside and are tiny milled softwood dowels on the inside.† While the milled dowels might be usable for hand-sized kite or large, they do not split to finer widths and do not have the resilience of bamboo.†

 

Bamboo Window Shade Ė For under $20 USD from you local home improvement or import store you can find a small bamboo shade with enough split bamboo to last you for years and years. However, compared to the wok brush it is usually a much lower grade bamboo and can be difficult to slit into consistent widths. Best used for larger sized kites where the wok brush is too short. Be prepared for some waste.

 

Bamboo Skewers - can be split and used. They are more difficult to split then wok brushes but extremely easy to find. Just about any grocery store carries them. Try soaking the skewer in water before you split it.

 

Bamboo sticks or poles - from garden stores can be split, and split, and split again until you get to the right size but depending on the size of the bamboo it could take you a while.† Worth the effort if you happen to find 100-year-old aged bamboo.

†See also: How to split bamboo

Last Updated (Tuesday, 02 February 2010 16:04)

 
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Tip of the week
Use "Mini File Tab Punch" by McGill to make mini kite line winders from old cards, photos or magazine covers. Glue two together if your material only has color on one side.