Since I have been taking pictures of some recent Bamboo blank construction I thought I share a bit about my process. First off, if you are going to build a Bamboo rod from a culm of Bamboo you better practice up on your patience. For me there are somewhere in the 60-80 hours invested in each rod and I have been at it a while.
The following are some pictures of just a few steps involved in just the blank making process. The pictures below are just a snap shot of the process. From culm to finished blank is Like a complex Algebra problem. For every step there are numerous sub-steps just to get to the point where you can get closer to the final answer.... the finished blank.
Is it fun? It can be the most satisfying thing you can do........ but there are parts of the process that can drive you off the deep end of your sanity. Say you over sand a ferrule for a fit. That's another $50-$60 bucks down the drain. Or you're making the final .001" passes with your plane and you get a chip out at a node. Chip out = future glue line so the strip is now trash.
After the cost of materials and labor I imagine that your average Bamboo fly rod builder is making < $10 an hour. Going to get rich? Not a chance. So why do I do it? Seeing the satisfaction a customer gets from casting the new rod is worth all the time and effort. Plus it isn't a job, it's a lifestyle ;-)