Titebond II on Bamboo?

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Forum topic by nailbanger2 posted 03-20-2011 08:15 PM 1718 views 0 times favorited 5 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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1041 posts in 2566 days

03-20-2011 08:15 PM

Topic tags/keywords: question bamboo joining refurbishing

Hi folks, and thanks in advance. I am doing several jobs at a house and the owner had a party in which someone stood on the bar rail in their tiki hut, which then broke off. The rail is made of bamboo with a clear finish (varnish) and was attached to the bar by smaller pieces of bamboo perpendicular to the bar, which then went thru another piece of bamboo into holes drilled into a piece of 1×2 cedar. All these pieces were attached with Liquid Nail (or PL400).

My idea for the fix: clean off all LN, sand ends of bamboo to remove clear finish, replace 1×2 cedar with 1×2 oak, then attach bamboo to oak with Titebond II, probably using a nail (finish, brad, or pin) to hold in place. My question is WILL IT WORK? I’ve never used raw bamboo in anything before, and I only have the pieces that were on the bar, so I can’t test it. Has anyone had any experiences with anything similar.

I’m especially interested if someone says “No, it won’t work” and can then explain why it won’t. Once again, my thanks to all.

-- Wish I were Norm's Nephew

5 replies so far

View Loren's profile


8168 posts in 3070 days

#1 posted 03-20-2011 08:52 PM

Bamboo is not very porous on the surface. I wouldn’t expect
simple glued butt joints to work. Rattan furniture is usually
held with nails and wrapped cane around the joints.

With bamboo you can drill the larger pieces and insert the
smaller into the holes, making a mechanical joint. The
insides of bamboo can be plugged and held with wood
disks. Use a gap-filling glue of some sort to hold the
disks in place, since the inside of bamboo probably doesn’t take glue too well either.

View richgreer's profile


4541 posts in 2497 days

#2 posted 03-20-2011 09:02 PM

I’ve worked with bamboo some. Other than the top of my workbench, the most relevant project was a clock I made. My intuition was that glue alone would not be sufficient on rabbit joints and I used biscuits. It has held up well for over 10 years. I guess I will never know if the biscuit were necessary – but I felt better using them.

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

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1041 posts in 2566 days

#3 posted 03-20-2011 09:17 PM

Thanks, guys. I was hoping someone would answer, but here I am 15 min. later, and two of the most skilled craftsmen on here have answered! I had to reread my post, and it was murky. The smaller pieces will be going into holes on an upward angle through the oak, the oak will be screwed to the bar. The piece of bamboo these “struts” go through is strictly for looks (this covers the oak).

The other option would be my talking them into making brackets out of cypress (bartop is cypress), thereby assuring strength.

-- Wish I were Norm's Nephew

View funchuck's profile


119 posts in 2480 days

#4 posted 03-21-2011 07:36 AM

I have made bamboo flyrods and they were put together with Titebond III. The flyrods all have been through several years of fishing expeditions and I have not had the glue joints fail yet. But, the joints were glued across the grain (not on end grain). I think glue joints across the grain are stronger, so you may want to pay attention to that. The other thing I did to the flyrods is, I coated them with spar varnish. I think that also helped it to be more durable.

You may also want to consider using Titebond III because it is waterproof. I imagine a bartop may get wet, so it might be better to use the III instead of the II.

But, I am not sure if any type of glue can hold a person up like that…

-- Charles from California

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1041 posts in 2566 days

#5 posted 03-21-2011 02:11 PM

funchuck, thanks for answering the call. I am leaning toward the bracket idea if I can convince the owners. I took the bar rail back to my shop and the glue up was spotty on all four supports. I can only imagine this was the first time that rail was abused (it is a new tiki hut, one of my jobs is to spray fire retardant on it).

-- Wish I were Norm's Nephew

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