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Old 16-05-2011, 08:35   #1
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How Does Bamboo Hold Up ?

I'm seeing a lot more bamboo in the materials around me (not that I'm complaining.) It's a pretty good 'hardwood' for cutting boards, knife handles, etc. I've even got it now for cloths pins from Ace hardware.

My real question is out to the cruising world in salt water and hard sunshine. How does it handle long term exposure to the elements?

My guess is you wouldn't want it for decking (to slick and I can't begin to imagine what a sliver would look or feel like!), and I'd be worried about it for any application that required it to be glued to make a larger piece.

Anybody got any good experience with it and exposure?
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Old 16-05-2011, 09:15   #2
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Re: How does Bamboo hold up?

I had purchased some socks from Walmart made out of Bamboo fibers. They were very comfy, handled sweat and moisture really well. If they could survive being on my feet, I think its pretty durable.
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Old 16-05-2011, 11:44   #3
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Re: How does Bamboo Hold Up ?

I've been wondering also. It's a nice looking material for home use. A friend put it in her new-built house floors but says it dents really easy. I've got a nice cutting board but it has a black stain I dont know where that came from. I'd be reluctant on a cabin sole unless I knew what glue was holding it together! Definitely wouldnt try it out side...
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Old 16-05-2011, 12:01   #4
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Re: How does Bamboo Hold Up ?

This is a link to a thread from a member who built a bamboo schooner.
Very interesting.
Bamboo Schooner
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Old 16-05-2011, 12:04   #5
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Re: How does Bamboo Hold Up ?

I've seen several soles done in Bamboo and it seems to hold up quite well. I actually am planning an interesting little project using bamboo flooring material to build a cold-molded dinghy. It seems to take epoxy quite well, is uni-directional in nature, very high strength to weight ratio. I'm starting small for proof of concept and am planning to work up to a tender or sea kayak depending on what I think of my testing. Before anyone tells me it will rot I am planning on laminating inside and out. I think it has a great deal of potential as a small boat material....
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Old 16-05-2011, 12:28   #6
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Re: How does Bamboo Hold Up ?

Read about the Kon Tiki voyage. A guy built a boat out of bamboo and crossed the ocean with it.

Bamboo is tough stuff, its biggest downside is the biggest pieces are only a few inches across by a few feet long, unlike hardwoods that can be cut into pieces up to 6 ft by 20's of feet. This requires many small pieces laminated together as opposed to one massive piece of wood. As noone uses a single piece of wood for building anymore anyway, (we have long ago moved to laminates, and plywood), and glues have increased in durability and strength. This is no longer the dsadvantage it once was.
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Old 16-05-2011, 13:00   #7
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Re: How does Bamboo Hold Up ?

minaret,

What material are you looking to use that you can bend over a frame? Flooring material has is processed into board and cannot bend. I'm curious.

Thanks
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Old 16-05-2011, 13:53   #8
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Re: How does Bamboo Hold Up ?

Bamboo , when immersed in seawater , "pickles" & lasts virtually forever ... as such is widely used in the far east to make rafts & outrigger-type canoes ...
In air it dries very quickly after being chopped down & becomes brittle ...
For interior use such as decorative cabin sole, it would likely need to be sealed with epoxy ...
Regarding size ... I have seen bamboo stalks as thick as 2ft in diameter ...

It is an amazing & versatile species of GRASS ...
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Old 16-05-2011, 14:04   #9
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Re: How does Bamboo Hold Up ?

scratches and dents easily and once compromised splinters very easily.
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Old 18-05-2011, 08:53   #10
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Re: How Does Bamboo Hold Up ?

Ok, very disappointed with the holding power of the bamboo cloths pins. There is very little tension on the springs. If it were holding something of a life line to dry you'd be missing it when you came back to check. The old pins have a lot more spring power.

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Old 18-05-2011, 09:07   #11
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Re: How Does Bamboo Hold Up ?

Bamboo is light in color, so it gives off light. The Ford family as in Ford blue boat has bamboo in itīs interior. Very pretty, and tough as nails.........i2f
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Old 18-05-2011, 10:39   #12
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Re: How Does Bamboo Hold Up ?

I think it's a great , and renewable material...still...I think we need to know what glue is used to make it into boards before using it in the marine environment!
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Old 19-05-2011, 20:15   #13
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Re: How Does Bamboo Hold Up ?

Ok folks. A friend used it for flooring. It expanded and contracted and buckled in his high rainfall area. China has had bamboo forests for a gazillion years. Are their junks made of bamboo? Not hardly. Is it because they, in a few thousand years, didn't think of it? I don't think so.
I have construction bamboo growing here in Hawaii. 4 to 6 inches in diameter. It's good for poles and for some construction but it is not ideal for boatbuilding. It would be ideal for spars if it were completly straight. Wood boring beetles love it.
kind regards,
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Old 19-05-2011, 21:06   #14
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Re: How Does Bamboo Hold Up ?

I had a nipa hut(bamboo shack) in the Philippines. It was not liveable within 6 years, yet, I've seen furniture that has lasted longer. The core of bamboo turns to powder over time. As JohnL says, bugs love it! We have a few bankas in The Philippines with bamboo amas. The amas have to be replaced about every 18 mos to 2 years. It's cheap & they use it for scaffolding in a lot of Asian countries.
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Old 19-05-2011, 21:19   #15
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Re: How Does Bamboo Hold Up ?

I'm very curious to hear how the cold molded dingy goes. It seems to me like it would be porous enough to make a great material to be impregnated with resin for use in a laminate and multi-directional cold molded boats... but I've never heard of it before.

The bamboo laminate floors available for homes are very hard wearing.

Let us know how it works!
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