• Advertise with us

« back to Wood & Lumber forum

Forum topic by hnderson posted 03-05-2012 09:19 AM 1014 views 0 times favorited 5 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View hnderson's profile


4 posts in 2284 days

03-05-2012 09:19 AM

Topic tags/keywords: bamboo wood portland oregon

I was in Portland, OR Saturday and stopped at a warehouse for coffee. Turns out the space is shared by an interesting business. A couple of brothers who are woodworkers and got into having sheet bamboo imported from China. They’re selling it in 4 X 8 sheets. I believe a 3/4” sheet is $200 and a 1” sheet is $250.

Apparently it can be used like any other wood.

Does anyone have experience working with this bamboo? How well does it hold up. Is it worth the extra expense?

Other comments?



5 replies so far

View Charlie's profile


1100 posts in 2254 days

#1 posted 03-05-2012 11:07 AM

Depending on the bamboo and how the ply went together…. it’s harder than hard maple and because the edge is kind of decorative, it doesn’t need edging. It’s so hard you really want to predrill for screws. The END grain, which looks different from the EDGE grain, is very absorbant. It will suck water like a straw if it gets wet so when you’re done with a project it needs to be sealed well.

I have bamboo spoons and spatulas that are 30 years old and still in daily use. I’m going to be doing a kitchen island topped with bamboo ply. 3 feet by 7 feet.. I have hard maple Boosblock in one area of the kitchen next to our cooktop and I expect the bamboo to be equally durable.

The price sounds about right. I’ve seen the good 3/4” range from about $180 all the way to $250.

View Gene Howe's profile (online now)

Gene Howe

10368 posts in 3396 days

#2 posted 03-05-2012 02:01 PM

I used scrap bamboo to re-surface a counter in my shop. It’s VERY hard. But, it is not heat resistant. My coffee warmer/hot plate scorched the spot it sat on after one day. I put it on a piece of MDF after that, the MDF doesn’t scorch. OTOH, the counter is where I clean old planes and other old iron and, the bamboo doesn’t seem to react to harsh chemicals.

-- Gene 'The true soldier fights not because he hates what is in front of him, but because he loves what is behind him.' G. K. Chesterton

View Bill White's profile

Bill White

4907 posts in 3928 days

#3 posted 03-05-2012 03:07 PM

I had no idea that bamboo could be that expensive. That’s some high priced grass.


View Charlie's profile


1100 posts in 2254 days

#4 posted 03-05-2012 05:18 PM

Bamboo for chairs, tables, boxes, etc is nice and you can get pretty creative with it once you learn its ins and outs…. just like any other wood. But it is like wood in that it will scratch, scorch, stain, etc. When I said I was going to make the island countertop out of bamboo I was told, “It will get marked up is you cut things on it and it will stain…” and on and on. We use cutting boards when we cut things. Always have. Even on the Boosblock, we don’t cut directly on it although I know we can. The Boosblock is the countertop that my cooktop is mounted in. It’s seen oils, juices, all kinds of stuff. The only sealer on it is mineral oil. It looks like the day we put it in a few years ago. The countertop will get oiled with pure tung oil…. real tung oil… first cut with citrus solvent and successive coats with less solvent until the final of pure tung oil (warmed slightly). Makes for a pretty durable, food-safe surface. It also takes a wipe-on poly very nicely if you’re doing furniture or art pieces instead of countertop.

Yeah, it’s a bit pricy, but I’m going to trim 1 inch strips off until I get it down to size, laminate a single 3/4” bamboo plywood to a piece of 3/4” birch that’s cut smaller then the bamboo so I can take the 1” strips and apply them to the bottom of the bamboo plywood to make it look like 2 sheets of bamboo laminated. :)

View hnderson's profile


4 posts in 2284 days

#5 posted 03-05-2012 05:33 PM

I agree the bamboo is pretty expensive. I’d hate to make a beautiful piece out of it only to find it’s inappropriate.

They also have compressed bamboo. I didn’t even ask the price on that. I suspect it’s heavier than iron wood. They had a sample turned bowl – about 20” diameter 8 or 9” high. It looked light but was very heavy.

Sounds like bamboo has good properties. Thanks.


Have your say...

You must be signed in to reply.

DISCLAIMER: Any posts on LJ are posted by individuals acting in their own right and do not necessarily reflect the views of LJ. LJ will not be held liable for the actions of any user.

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics