I’ve done some research and ramped up the quality of the bamboo I use to make hera.
First I have decided to use Tonkin, a super strong and resilient bamboo which is used by bamboo fly fishing rod makers. As evident in the image above, it has a preponderance of dark “power fibers”, which give it strength and a pleasing density. Look at the end of a chopstick for comparison, which is generally pure white weak pith. There are over 1,000 species of bamboo.
I’ve also decided to heat treat the bamboo after initial shaping. Dr. Wolfram Schott has a fantastic paper, Bamboo in the Laboratory, if you are interested in more details. His Bamboo under the Microscope is also highly recommended. Both breaking strength and modulus of elasticity increases according to his research and tradition in rod making. I’m not totally convinced it makes a difference for such small tools, but it certainly doesn’t seem to hurt. And the stove adds a comfortable warmth on these increasingly cold fall days!