Joe Bonici


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Bamboo Dining Table

6 or 7 years ago I built a dining table as a commission. I was originally going with Honduras but the ecological concerns played a role. I went with Bamboo because my supplier said they could get it...



Recent comments


Re: It's impossible to cheat at woodworking

People have probably quit reading by now but I remember reading in Fine Wood about 20 years ago an article on the master Pye who said something to the effect that there was:

The craftsmanship of certainty and the craftsmanship of risk.

Neither one negating the other.

I have bought into this ever since.

Re: Bamboo Dining Table

Well, Thank you OldShavings. I wondered how this trestle would play in is forum. Overall I believe the table satisfies the functional criteria set out from the start: Seating for 10-12, nobody is straddling a leg, storage of leaves in the table, and to be very steady in the expanded Thanksgiving mode. The powder coating color choice is a nod to the aquamarine color of a spring-fed pond viewed from the dining room.

Re: How to Use Bamboo for Fine Furniture

I just now posted some pics in the reader's gallery.

Took me a while to figure it out.

Re: How to Use Bamboo for Fine Furniture

I have had some different results than those posted above. Probably do to my methods. 6 or 7 years ago I built a dining table as a commission. I was originally going with Honduras but the ecological concerns played a role. I went with Bamboo because my supplier said they could get it for me for about the same price.

I ordered 1.5" and 3" thick slabs for my table. I was told they make the stuff in billets as large as 6" by 48" by 120". I specified NO VOIDS. Process took about 6 months from Shanghai to Long Beach harbor then by train to Chicago and truck to NW Montana. The product was NOT pristine. Quite wavy on the surface. Leading to variable thickness and there was a bit of delamination and that piece was replaced at their expense and to their shagrin.

I had the slabs wide belt sanded and then I shaped my pieces by pattern routing with new large massive bits in the largest Porter Cable router. Let me say it was like butter. Hard butter, but no chip out or tear out at the nodes. Maybe a bit of burn where I had to stall the router sometimes but it hand sanded off with ease and no destruction of profile edges. I was very pleased.

I pattern routed the interior of the slabs thus producing a large planar recession that remained flat and the bowl cutting bit I used didn't tear out nodes. I removed enough material to get down to another cross layer of ply and at that point the lamination lines changed direction 90º, producing a nice graphic contrast. This was a good project and I like the material.

Wish I could post a picture or too.

After completion everyone was happy with the product but I wonder now about the eco-friendly nature of the substance. This is what sold me originally and I still like the idea of merchantable product in 5 years time but the thought of these factories (and I believe there are a lot of them) pouring their Resorcinol-laden waste waters into their river creeps me out. I also didn't like the idea of supporting the Chinese government which doesn't have such a great human rights track record.

So I concluded that it is very difficult to be politically and/or environmentally correct if one goes international.



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