Subscribe now and save up to 56%
Although I spend most of my free time in the shop, I do try to stay fit as well. Over the past few years, that has meant riding a road bike as much as I can. Being the tool geek and tinkerer that I am, it also means that I’ve spent a lot of time looking at the websites of custom bike makers and learning what I can about how to make a bike.
At any rate, it was through all that browsing that I first came across Calfee Design, known primariy as a maker of custom carbon fiber bike frames. However, they also make a very cool frame from bamboo. That’s right, bamboo. As you might know, bamboo is a great natural resource, as it grows quickly and is plentiful. It’s also strong and absorbs the road vibration well. That makes it a great material for bike tubes. And that’s pretty cool. All the bikes I’ve ever seen or ridden have been made from materials (steel, aluminum, and carbon fiber) that require quite a bit of manipulation and technical skill to turn them into a bike frame. With bamboo all you need to do is have the shoot and heat treat it a bit so that it doesn’t split. The individual tubes are held together with epoxy and some kind of fabric or fiber (Calfee uses a hemp fiber).
Recently, I came across a NPR piece about the Bamboo Bike Studio in Brooklyn, NY. You can go there over the weekend and leave with a brand new bamboo bike. Very cool. In fact, I think I just might have to give it a try.
Get woodworking tips, expert advice and special offers in your inbox
Become a member today
Get instant access to all FineWoodworking.com content.
Subscribe to Fine Woodworking
Save up to 56%
There is a company in Portland, Oregon tha makes hardwood bikes - http://www.renovobikes.com/ I haven't ridden one, but they sure look cool.
Hey, these are cool! I practice medicine (and woodworking!) in Washington State, USA, but teach in SE Asia, where Bamboo is everywhere. Bikes are common too. My students and friends there make almost EVERYTHING from bamboo, but I've never seen a bike. I like the efforts to use these ideas to help people too, and would love to get something like that going in Burma. I wonder if there are sources for the technical aspects of building them? I'd like to learn more.
LOL! You must not be very old. Bamboo bikes have been around since the days of the dear, departed Whole Earth Catalog. I certainly hope they become more common, though. Bamboo is wonderful stuff and the more of it I see in use, the better.
Kezurou-kai Mini, or NYC KEZ for short, is a gathering in which craftsmen and enthusiasts come together to celebrate Japanese style woodworking.
Make something fun while learning new skills
Fast, fun approach to making a comfortable, casual seat
In this video Michael finishes the first of the three boxes. Gluing-up, planing, sanding and finishing bring a new piece of art to the world.
In this video Michael starts work on the second box, a carved and painted Saddle lid box.
Michael begins carving the saddle lid box with his ripple pattern along the top. Then turns to his 5/30 gouge to texture the sides of the box. This isn't work…
Become a member today and get instant access to all FineWoodworking.com content!
Plus tips, advice, and special offers from Fine Woodworking.
Our biweekly podcast allows editors, authors, and special guests to answer your woodworking questions and connect with the online woodworking community.
Browse our collection of hundreds of quality plans including Shaker furniture, Arts and Crafts pieces, beds, diy plans, chairs, workbenches, tool storage, and more.
© 2016 The Taunton Press, Inc. All rights reserved.
Become a member and get instant access to thousands of videos, how-tos, tool reviews, and design features.