What's the best way of getting even thickness Bamboo?

osprey

Member
Hi All

Anyone know a good way of getting an even thickness Bamboo backing?
A 7' length of bamboo is a good few mm thicker at one end to the other.

With most woods you can just put them through a thicknesser a few times and you get a nice even thickness. But bamboo has nodes on the one side which would prevent this working.

Putting bamboo in a vice and planning it is also a bit tricky, as the bamboo has very thin at the edges where you would clamp it.

Am I missing a simple solution?

Osprey
 

bobnewboy

Member
In the past I've clamped it down at one end on a flat workbench (or onto a long flat 4x2 in the vice), and planed away from the clamp. If you can pad the rounded side (down) between the nodes a little it works a bit better. Measure the general thickness, mark up areas to be thinned, and then clamp the other end, and carry on. Watch your fingers and hands though, because the inevitable edge splinters are an absolute b*****d, usually like razor blades, and have a magic attraction for skin. Alternatively you can run it over the rounded edge of a clamped down belt sander, but it can be difficult to get a good even thickness that way, plus of course what skin the splinters dont get the sander might.....
 

geoffretired

Supporter
Supporter
I am trying to visualise the shape of the bamboo you are working with. Is it flat on what used to be the hollow inside?
On the outside, is it still rounded as it was when growing?
I am wondering if it would help to clamp the strips onto a jig. The jig would be a long piece of wood with a trench along its length. The bamboo fits down inside the trench and both are clamped to the bench.The bamboo needs to be proud of the trench walls. Plane away from the clamp and let one side of the plane's sole run along the side wall of the trench. Eventually the thickness of the bamboo will reduce until the plane's sole runs along both walls of the trench. The hand on the plane will be guiding by running along the side of the jig which can be smooth and safe for the fingers/hand to be free from contact with the bamboo.
 

osprey

Member
Thanks for the replies. I know what you mean by those splinters, they appear from nowhere and go in deep.
 
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