Anyone using Bamboo?

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Forum topic by PBthecat posted 09-22-2010 05:28 PM 1443 views 0 times favorited 10 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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53 posts in 2088 days

09-22-2010 05:28 PM

This material seems to be all the rage with some flooring and small goods (chopping blocks) I’ve seen. My lumber dealer is selling what appears to be 4/4 engineered planks but I can’t image why anyone would use the stuff @ ~$4/BF. Maybe if I was going to do a run of chopsticks I’d try it. Any thoughts?

-- "Every hundred years, all new people"

10 replies so far

View Peter Oxley's profile

Peter Oxley

1426 posts in 2912 days

#1 posted 09-22-2010 05:39 PM

It’s really expensive here, too. Seems outrageous for a material that grows so quickly. Supposedly the price is coming down.

-- -- --

View miserybob's profile


88 posts in 2082 days

#2 posted 09-22-2010 05:49 PM

I was at a woodshop in Michigan last weekend that had some nice bamboo furniture. Scroll down to the bottom – the bamboo table top was very nice, the pictures don’t do it justice.

View PurpLev's profile


8520 posts in 2686 days

#3 posted 09-22-2010 05:57 PM

although the material grows so fast, milling it into usable lumber is an expensive process which dictates it’s high markup price.

it’s a very stable material, and personally I think in some uses is really great (flooring and large panels) but I also think that it doesn’t really look that great in other situations. YMMV

-- ㊍ When in doubt - There is no doubt - Go the safer route.

View Abbott's profile


2570 posts in 2341 days

#4 posted 09-22-2010 06:09 PM

That’s pretty nice.

-- Ohh mann...pancakes and boobies...I'll bet that's what Heaven is like! ♣ ♣ ♣ ♣

View swirt's profile


1985 posts in 2009 days

#5 posted 09-22-2010 08:22 PM

Somebody on here (can’t remember who) used it on their workbench top. I thought that was a clever use of it.

-- Galootish log blog,

View alnandy's profile


15 posts in 1935 days

#6 posted 09-23-2010 05:54 AM

The reason bamboo has become popular has mostly to do with it’s “green” (in the political sense) characteristics; it is very renewable. Bamboo is to furniture makers as mdf might be to the construction industry. It is cheap, strong, and useful. As for it’s expense, there are significant manufacturing costs that go into taking hollow tubes of bamboo and making them into sheets, boards, etc.. Not to mention the glue and heat treating. My guess is that when you factor in the “carbon cost” of making bamboo usable, it is a lot less “green” than people think.

That said, I saw some bamboo flooring at Lumber Liquidators a while back that was really quite attractive. Since bamboo is very hard, it makes sense to use it for flooring and cutting boards. I’d rather see bamboo used for flooring than beautiful woods like goncalo alves and jatoba. I’ve made some gorgeous furniture out of leftover goncalo alves decking. Some of the boards were nicer than the goncalo alves I bought from the hardwood dealer.

-- Allan

View richgreer's profile


4541 posts in 2112 days

#7 posted 09-23-2010 08:24 PM

I’m the one with the bamboo top on my workbench. I invite anyone to look at it in my workshop pictures. I’m a bamboo fan. That stuff is tough.

-- Rich, Cedar Rapids, IA - I'm a woodworker. I don't create beauty, I reveal it.

View Abbott's profile


2570 posts in 2341 days

#8 posted 09-24-2010 03:51 AM

I will go take a look Rich, thanks for reminding us.

-- Ohh mann...pancakes and boobies...I'll bet that's what Heaven is like! ♣ ♣ ♣ ♣

View timberframedave's profile


20 posts in 1848 days

#9 posted 10-22-2010 04:51 PM

I made a few tabletops for a client who really liked the look of bamboo…sure it was an expensive option – they paid for materials…so didn’t hurt me any.

We just installed a strand bamboo flooring in our house & love it. This is a new bamboo flooring product that is 3 times harder than wide grain bamboo – same price. Bought it from here:

View David Grimes's profile

David Grimes

2078 posts in 1677 days

#10 posted 05-19-2011 08:37 AM

I have installed 3/4” bamboo on my work table top, too. The various trim pieces available came in handy, too. I used the mini threshold as the face of my table, then 1/4 round across the back and sides that are against walls.

All bamboo is not created equally, but the one I used is harder than oak and the finish is tough as well.

-- If you're going to stir the pot, think BIG spoon or SMALL boat paddle. David Grimes, Georgia

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