Things You'll Need
Hacksaw with fine teeth
Miter box (if angled cuts are needed)
Many stores that carry bamboo poles will cut them for you.
Bamboo may look and feel like wood, but it is actually a member of the grass family and is grown primarily in East Asia and Southeast Asia. Fresh bamboo is the favorite food of those cute Chinese panda bears, but when dried and seasoned, cut bamboo poles are great for making fences, furniture, decorative borders and torch holders. Because bamboo splinters easily, it must be cut with care using a few simple steps.
Measure the piece of bamboo and make a pencil line where you want to cut it.
If making a flat cut, score the bamboo along the pencil line with the sharp knife. Use light pressure so you don't splinter the bamboo, and make sure it is scored all the way around.
Place the bamboo on a bench, table or other raised flat surface. If you can, clamp it to the bench or place it in a vise. Saw slowly with the hacksaw at the score mark. If the bamboo begins to splinter, stop and use the knife to make a deeper score. Then saw slowly again with the hacksaw. Hold the end that is not clamped down or have an assistant hold it so that it doesn't crack or splinter before you're finished sawing completely through the bamboo pole.
Use a miter box for any angled cuts. Scoring is more difficult on an angle, but it must be done to prevent splintering. Use a fine-tooth miter saw if one is available.
Use fine sandpaper to smooth any rough spots on the cut edge. Again, be gentle to avoid splintering.
Paul Seaburn is the head writer for Taylor's Attic, a family comedy on the .2 Network. He's been writing humor pieces for 20 years for television (The Tonight Show), radio (American Comedy Network), books (A Wife's Little Instruction Book), magazines (Why Not!), newspapers (The New York Times), speakers and comedians.