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My experience cutting Bamboo

Posted: Sun Mar 28, 2010 11:02 pm
by Turtle49
Hey guys I picked up a sample of Bamboo and did some test cuts to see if I liked it. Here are the results:

I have noted numbered areas on the images and commented on them below.
1- Notice the hold down screw split the piece down the grain. Definitely pre-drill and put in fasteners carefully.

2- The pocketed rectangle was done after breaking the edge with a 90 degree vbit (35 ipm). So I cut the chamfer and came back in after with a 0.25" up-cut end mill (50 ipm) for the pocketing. Everything looked really good with this cut. The edges with the chamfer are crisp and clean and there was no splitting.

3- The carving was done with a 60 degree vbit (35ipm) and looked excellent with great detail.

4- The profile pass was done with a 0.25" up-cut end mill (50 ipm) with a 1" ramp and 0.25 depth of cuts. You can see that the top split as you would expect when the bit went cross grain. You would really want to use a compression bit with this type of cut.
5- Note again how clean the chamfer and then pocket path looks.
6- This is where I intentionally tried to burn the bamboo while rounding over the edge. This material did not burn easily, I think it would rout very nicely.

7- I edge sanded the piece with my bench sander. It went nicely but I would caution that you can quickly remove material as it is pretty soft.

8- Note the grain split as the end mill came in and went out of the edge of the piece.

All and all I like the cut. The dust was very fine so that would be a caution. But with just a few precautions I think you could cut this material trouble free.

If anybody is interested I got the sample through Northwest Bamboo. It is the 0.75" thick Stair Riser (horizontal lamination)

Talk to you later,

Re: My experience cutting Bamboo

Posted: Mon Mar 29, 2010 12:47 am
by knighttoolworks
I have cut a hundred sheets or so of bamboo. downcut is the way to go. also I found the profile cut cuts the best with a climb cut. no idea why but I found I got a better edge with a climb cut as the finish pass.

Re: My experience cutting Bamboo

Posted: Mon Mar 29, 2010 1:01 am
by moto633
Tim how much are the full sheets?
I just talked to one of the warehouse guys where I get my sheet goods and he has a stack of about 10 sheets of .25 bamboo ply that he offered to me for a reasonable price......I think :roll:
He sold me a 36x60x.5 piece of avonite(corian type stuff) for 40 bucks!!

Thanks for the info now to pick up my bamboo!!


Re: My experience cutting Bamboo

Posted: Mon Mar 29, 2010 1:20 am
by Turtle49
Hey Nick,

My buddy ordered the sample, I haven't called yet. I plan on calling next week and getting some to do a few test parts.

Give them a call...

Re: My experience cutting Bamboo

Posted: Mon Mar 29, 2010 5:09 am
by knighttoolworks
full sheets of 3/4" are about 190.00 but it depends on the type and color. there are a lot of choices.