In Episode 08 of Rough Cut, Tommy heads west to San Francisco for a quick tour of Smith & Fong, makers of Plyboo, a sustainably manufactured bamboo plywood.
After the tour, Tommy heads back to the shop and uses bamboo plywood to construct a sturdy and stylish vanity (with the help of Rough Cut regular Al D’Attanasio).
Bamboo isn’t winning any awards for most popular woodworking material. It can be tough on tools and cross cuts can result in tear out.
But if the appearance of the vanity isn’t enough to convince you, here are three reasons why you should consider bamboo in your next project:
Healthy Harvest. Bamboo naturally regenerates annually and has inherent qualities that helps to prevent erosion. It can be grown without fertilizers and pesticides and can be harvested by hand, without the use of heavy, destructive machinery. It’s a great species choice for the woodworker who keeps an eye on sustainability and the overall health of the environment.
Toughness. Bamboo’s inherent durability and strength — it’s harder than maple — suits its use across a wide range of applications, including furniture, tables, bookcases and more.
Conversation Piece. Let’s face it, bamboo does not exactly enjoy widespread use in woodworking projects. Although it is more frequently seen in flooring, fencing and decking across the country, it’s not a go-to material for your average woodworker. So a bamboo piece is going to stand out. Best of all? When a friend asks if bamboo is a tough wood to work with you can respond, “It’s not a wood.” Because it’s not. It’s a grass. And then take it from there.
Want some more info on bamboo? Check out these sites:
American Bamboo Society. Tons of good knowledge here.
BambooWeb.Info. For woodworkers with some specific questions about bamboo.
Bamboocraft.net. Similar to the above.
Have you ever worked with bamboo? Tell us about it or show off pictures of your project in the Forum.