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CallMeVilla 06-24-2013 06:05 PM

Cutting dry bamboo
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Got a project. Bamboo canes are connected into a fence material with wire that is strung horizontally. The product comes in "sheets" that are 48" tall so the bamboo forms a sort of wall.

However, the height needs trimming. These "sheets" are being applied to a wall inside a restaurant as a decorative accent.

Has anyone cut dry bamboo canes like this? What tool did you use? Some people cut individual poles with hacksaws. Some people recommend a very fine toothed band saw (not entirely practical in the field).

Bamboo frays and cracks if it is cut with a Skillsaw. My approach is to use a cut off wheel in an angle grinder. Another alternative might be a jig saw with a fine metal blade. What is your experience and/or recommendation?

oldognewtrick 06-24-2013 06:23 PM

What about a fine tooth blade in a table saw

nealtw 06-24-2013 06:30 PM
You will want to wrap each shaft with tape first.

CallMeVilla 06-24-2013 06:47 PM

The wall is 34' long with individual bamboo canes ... wrap every single cane first?? HUH??

I don't think a table saw will work because the canes are not stable and will vibrate all over the place. That could lead to cracking and fraying.

Approach #1
Use a jig saw with the finest tooth blade I can get. Lay a 1/4" piece of plywood over the "fence", which is laying on a bench. That gives me support from top and bottom for the cutting.

Approach #2
Clamp a piece of plywood over the fence which is lyaing on a bench. Draw a line using a Sharpie and work my way down the line with a metal cutting disk mounted in an angle grinder.

Got a preference??

nealtw 06-24-2013 07:11 PM

If you are adventurous I would try a test cut. Lay a peice of foam rubber on a peice of plywood and then the bamboo and clamp a 2x4 on each side of the cut forcing the bamboo into the foam to hold it still and then cut it with the finist finishing blade you can find. If it works reset and cut to finished length.
100 plus teeth, high speed steel 7 1/4" blade

nealtw 06-24-2013 07:33 PM

The 2x4s and plywood will bend leaving less pressure in the middle so you would need a 2x4 above and below standing up with an arch cut on the them to give more pressure in the center. 1/2" crown on all 4 2x4s

CallMeVilla 06-25-2013 10:55 PM

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Cut some of the bamboo material today ... but it was manufactured into a 1 1/2" butcher block. (See pic) It cut steadily with a 60 tooth table saw (220VAC) and rounded over with a light cut on a router table.

You have to be careful because it does chip or fray.

Will attack the bamboo fence material in a day or so ... will let y'all know how I "made it right."

CallMeVilla 07-03-2013 09:29 PM

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Following up . . . Cut the bottom edge of the bamboo decorative fence which was attached along the inside wall of the retaurant. Used a 40 tooth blade in my 5 1/2" trimsaw (Skilsaw) running along a spacer of 1/2" door stop. This prevented scratching the floor and elevated the blade to exactly allow for the customized baseboard. And, yes, I mounted the saw blade backwards to minimize fraying and tearing out.

The bamboo killed the blade ... but the wall was 34 feet long. Used a FEIN saw to cut the pieces where the Skilsaw could not reach. Cleaned up any remaining mess with a very sharp chisel. The baseboard was cut on a 32 degree angle to scarf the ends together. Baseboard was glued (not nailed) using PL 400 underlayment glue and weighted overnight with concrete wall caps to guarantee flatness and adhesion.

Here is a sense of how the wall looked after cutting and after the custom baseboard was installed.
Thought you would like to know about an unusual application that turned out great.

oldognewtrick 07-04-2013 04:17 AM

Looks good villa.

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