Step 3: Heat treat bamboo
The bamboo I bought was green and freshly cut. I realized that it would have to be dry before I could use it but I wanted to use it right now! A brief interweb search tought me that bamboo can be heat treated. So I busted out the trusty old blowtorch and got to work on some test pieces.
Holy cow, heat treating bamboo is amazing. Steam and water literally spews out the ends. Sorry I don't have a picture of this (I was using both hands and recently broke up with my girlfriend so nobody was there to take pictures).
Practice on a few pieces first. The trick is to heat the bamboo evenly and slowly. The two step process worked best for me. The first step is to turn the green sections to a light brown. The second step is turn the light brown sections to a dark brown.
I also had a few dry pieces (already light brown) and only treated them once to get them to a dark brown color.
Another thing, I only did one section at a time (from one node to the next).
Heat treating turns relatively soft bamboo into a super hard material. It is incredible. My wood saw had no trouble cutting the green bamboo but I had to use a hacksaw to cut the treated bamboo.