Jointing 6" Bamboo Safely

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Forum topic by uMinded posted 03-26-2016 02:07 AM 575 views 0 times favorited 4 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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104 posts in 1270 days

03-26-2016 02:07 AM

I have some projects I would like to do in bamboo but they require 12-18” wide boards and all that I have available locally is 6-8” boards.

I did the RHchange X 0.00144 X boardwidth = expansion_mm and got a range of 0.2mm – 0.45mm possible over a year in my house.

How would I go about jointing lengthwise two or three bamboo planks?

4 replies so far

View JBrow's profile


743 posts in 338 days

#1 posted 03-29-2016 02:12 AM


I am a little confused by your question because at first the width of the bamboo needed versus the width of bamboo available is disclosed. But then the question suggests that the length of the bamboo needs to be extended. In any event, I have not worked with bamboo stock and understand that bamboo planks are a man- made material. There may be special methods and glues for joining bamboo planks, I simply do not know.

Generally to make one long board from two or more shorter boards, I would tend toward half-lap joints on the ends. It would require careful setup before gluing to ensure the final plank is as straight and flat as possible. One way to achieve a fairly straight edge is to clamp the edges of two planks to a straight edge, such as plywood at least 3” wide. Long cauls clamped across the face of the joint on top and bottom of the joining planks would help keep the glued planks flat while the glue cures. The long face cauls would probably need to be at least 2’ long and centered on the joint with straight edges. With the adhesive spread over the half-lap joints and the edge and face cauls in place, clamp end to end just enough to draw the joint together while clamps on the face of the half-lap would draw the joint tight.

If the now elongated plank will be used to create a wider plank, ensuring the lap joints fall near the center of an adjacent plank and away from the elongating joint would strengthen the half-lap elongating joint (as in a running bond pattern). I would think that manufactured bamboo would expand and contract from plank to plank about the same. If so, then the glued-up panel should expand and contract equally making the panel stable.

But getting straight and flat longer stock with this or any other method would be tough. Before attempting any elongating joinery, checking the internet for mail order sources of bamboo planks is an option. A search for both “bamboo plywood” and “bamboo planks” revealed several sources. Perhaps one of these could provide the sizes you need.

View bbasiaga's profile


730 posts in 1413 days

#2 posted 03-29-2016 02:53 AM

If you are worried about the boards growing in length as humidity changes, that isn’t usually what happens. Usually they grow across the grain, which is across the width of the board. So you should be able to lap joint them to make them longer without having to worry about a sliding joint or anything there. You can edge joint them together to make them wider too, just make sure you somehow allow it room to expand in width. There are many fasteners that do this if you are making a table top, and if you are laying a floor or something you can always leave a bit of a gap under the trim at the wall.

If you clarify your question some more, we can help more.


-- Part of engineering is to know when to put your calculator down and pick up your tools.

View uMinded's profile


104 posts in 1270 days

#3 posted 04-02-2016 10:35 PM

Hey, sorry for the delay.

I am looking to make a wider board. take two 1×6x24” boards to make a 1×12x24” one. If it was plywood I would just biscuit them together but bamboo moves quite a bit.

View Ger21's profile


1047 posts in 2549 days

#4 posted 04-02-2016 11:54 PM

It doesn’t move at the glue joint. Just put some glue on them and clamp them together, Use biscuits if you need alignment help.

-- Gerry,

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