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Bamboo?

Discussion in 'Luthier's Corner' started by mheintz, Jul 3, 2005.


  1. mheintz

    mheintz

    Nov 18, 2004
    Curious, has anyone worked with bamboo?

    I noticed that compressed bamboo is a new option for Sticks. e.g. http://www.stick.com/instruments/woods/bamboo/

    Hard, dimensionally stable. Renewable, if that matters to you. Takes a finish.

    Relatively cheap to get planks. What would it cost to get instrument-grade material?
     
  2. pilotjones

    pilotjones Supporting Member

    Nov 8, 2001
    US-NY-NYC
    Instrument-grade material? Usually that term refers to material that is either structurally uniform, straight, and sound for necks, or really pretty, for bodies.

    I've only seen one or two websites, offering flooring material. It is laminated up from sliced stalks. Had a very good strength, and strength-to-weight, which made me think of possible neck use. The look, however, is rather unusual.

    They also offered one variety that was steamed or otherwise heated to produce an attractive darker color, but that material had reduced strength.

    BTW there are one expired patent http://patft.uspto.gov/netacgi/nph-...&f=G&l=50&d=PALL&RefSrch=yes&Query=PN/4184404 and one current one http://patft.uspto.gov/netacgi/nph-...4,404.UREF.&OS=ref/4,184,404&RS=REF/4,184,404 that I found involving bamboo instrument necks.
     
  3. mheintz

    mheintz

    Nov 18, 2004
    Those who have tried the bamboo Sticks describe them as feeling somewhere in between graphite and wood. I have heard that the Stick bamboo is resin impregnated and not merely woven or laminated.

    Even so, bamboo without resin is apparently quite strong. See http://www.redlam-flooring.co.uk/NewFiles/bamboo.html (Follow the link on the nav bar for "Technical" information.)

    Bamboo stalks are strong, but prone to splintering. Has anyone laminated bamboo stalks? Has anyone used the flooring planks? I have seen some rather beautiful bamboo floors and the material is readily available.

    The following link contains some info on working with bamboo for flooring. (Heck, this could be an industry rep, so take it with a grain of salt...) http://www.extremehowto.com/xh/article.asp?article_id=60233

    Of course, bamboo has been used for centuries for many string and wind instruments, but I haven't seen bamboo shaped into something as refined as a bass neck.

    Anyone else with some experience with bamboo?
     
  4. There is a material called plyboo that is available in prelaminated sheets in both the natural and steamed versions. I have looked at it in the past and would consider it for bodies but would be concerned about cutting through the laminates if used on a neck (have a look at the cross section on the website you'll see what I mean). The change in loading between the plys might cause it to bow. Apart from that the material sounds really good, as strong as maple or oak and with similar densities it should work well.

    Hope thats some use.
     
  5. any one know where i can find some bamboo that would be wide enough and loung enough for a 7 string finger board with jazz bass spaceing. if its good enough for the guys who make the stick its good enough for me.