VIDEO: Banging out bamboo
January 24, 2022 | 3:39 pm CST

Making bamboo panels, one at a time.

In parts of the world, bamboo grows like weeds. Well more like grass, except it grows fast, tall and strong.

Bamboo is the largest and tallest in the grass family and reportedly grows up to 100 cm (40 in.) per day. After 4 to 6 years, the bamboo is harvested, providing room for new bamboo shoots to grow. Bamboo sprouts emerge from a root system, and there is no need to plant twice. The more bamboo harvested, the more bamboo shoots grow.

According to Mesun Bamboo, a company located in the Anji county of China, which they say is one of the largest centers of Mao bamboo in the country, bamboo has been found to have a tensile strength that is greater than that of steel.

The company harvests the bamboo and transforms the material into a variety of products including plywood, solid boards, the strand is woven plywood, countertops, desktops, claddings, beams, dowels, veneers and more.

In this video, the company displays how it turns bamboo into salable products. After turning the poles into strips, the bamboo strips are pressed together vertically. This results in a 1-ply where the pattern and characteristics of the bamboo nodes are not visible. Side pressed bamboo plywood has a thickness of 20 mm. To make thicker panels or beams, several layers are glued together. All the glue we use is Formaldehyde-free.

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About the author
Larry Adams | Editor

Larry Adams is a Chicago-based writer and editor who writes about how things get done. A former wire service and community newspaper reporter, Larry is an award-winning writer with more than three decades of experience. In addition to writing about woodworking, he has covered science, metrology, metalworking, industrial design, quality control, imaging, Swiss and micromanufacturing . He was previously a Tabbie Award winner for his coverage of nano-based coatings technology for the automotive industry. Larry volunteers for the historic preservation group, the Kalo Foundation/Ianelli Studios, and the science-based group, Chicago Council on Science and Technology (C2ST).