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Cane Prep - Stain Removal

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Has anyone ever tried using oxalic acid to remove water stains from a culm or strips? Is there a secret solution that will remove these stains?  (Jon Holland)

    I think it's called a bamboo froe. <G>

    I've used oxalic acid on my oak floors and it's worked well, but never heard of using it on cane.  (Art Port)

      A "froe" is a knifelike tool used to split a bamboo culm into strips.  Jon's use of these terms was correct.  (Dave Burley)

        I know what a froe does - I think it'll work better than bleach on eliminating stains of ANY type. Split around them! Thus the <G> attached.  (Art Port)

    If memory serves me right wood bleach breaks down the fibers in the wood in order to bleach the wood out.  I don't think it would be a good idea to use this on bamboo but really do not know if it will harm the bamboo.

    Try it out & let us know the results.  (Bret Reiter)

    It is commonly used when restoring rods to remove stains left by old deteriorating guide feet, etc. Never have heard of anyone using it in the building process though. (Larry Puckett)

    I have used Dap Wood Bleach (by Plastic Wood) for years to remove rust stains  left by guide feet while doing restoration work. It says on the container, which is a plastic tub, that it is excellent for removing water spots. I have found that when it comes to bamboo that it is real crap shoot on whether you are successful at removing water spots. Might work well on a floor or windowsill but on bamboo it fails just as often or moreso than not.

    You can pick the Dap up at Lowes or Home Depot and make sure to protect your lungs when using this stuff. Oxalic acid will burn your skin as well so wear rubber gloves and eye protection. The skull and crossbones label is on the tub for a reason.  (Will Price)

    I've used it on restorations to get stains out of rods, especially the stains left by the guide feet.  Moderate to good success, depending on the rod. Most off the shelf wood bleaches are nothing more  than diluted  Oxalic Acid  and may get the job done... or not.  It's really just a crap shoot, Jon.  I used to have a bottle of PURE oxalic acid that Mike Shaeffer gave me years ago, but it has long since disappeared.  I had no more success with that than I did with the Wood Bleach you buy at the local hardware store.  (Bob Nunley)

      You can also try Oxy clean.  I dip a piece of rag in it and let it sit on the stain for a few hours before removing it.  Just my method.  Again, sometimes it works, some times not so much.  (Brian Morrow)

      How many of you are really bothered by water stains? Personally, I think the small stains add a little character to a natural product, but I also like the look of nodes when they are prepped just right…  (Tom Vagell)

        I'm with you Tom. As long as the stains a subtle and not too large, they don't bother me at all. Look at any Granger, Heddon any of the production rods and you'll find water marks. Heck, I've even got a top grade Eustis Edwards rod that has 2 small water marks on it. Nature seldom provides perfect products.  (Will Price)

          Small natural blemishes are called, "birthmarks."  The ones I create are called, "birth defects!"  (David Dziadosz)

        I work around water stains on new rods, but on restorations, I'll try to get out any stains, but especially the black stains left by the guide feet.  Water stains don't really hurt anything, as far as rod performance, but I just like to get as clean of cane as I can.  (Bob Nunley)

    Well folks, I am taking the easy way out, I'll just have to flame the living daylight out of this particular culm. The watermarks are too large and too many, seems like the best solution.  (Jon Holland)


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