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Old 6th April 2016, 10:42 PM   #1
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Default Experience with bamboo ply

Hi All

I am working towards a full range speaker project, bouncing around between different design ideas. I suspect at this stage it will be a Victor or Vulcan as they will be driven by a flea amp. Looking for advice of the pro's and con's of various plus including bamboo, from a suitability in speakers in general and anything tyo watch/do with working with different materials.

Part of the considerations are that I might have the front baffle in a natural wood finish, while the sides might be sprayed.

MDF is not being considered.......

Cheers

Paul
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Old 7th April 2016, 03:15 AM   #2
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There are 3 kinds of bamboo ply available (at least here in NA). Horizontal, vertical, and stranded. They all have the same block core, but with a different construction for the outer plies. The stranded variety (a matrix of bamboo strands) is the best (due to its much higher stiffness).

Bamboo Plywood & Veneer Products | Plyboo
Strand Bamboo Explained | Plyboo

It also has a very hard surface making it mire immune to dings.

Click the image to open in full size.

dave
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Old 7th April 2016, 04:28 AM   #3
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Thanks Dave

My early investigations here are fine, coarse and stranded with carbonised and natural finishes. Haven't seen horiz vs vertical. Are you using similar thickness to BB? Any difference in technique to join?

Cheers

Paul
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Old 7th April 2016, 04:34 AM   #4
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Fine & coutse might be different names for vertical & horizontal. Chris was the one did the actual joinery, but he did say that he had to do things a bit different to take advantage of the edge grain.

Click the image to open in full size.

Our 1st bamboo build (vertical grain). What looks like marquetry is simply the edge grain of the ply.

This would be natural finish… carbonized is "dyed" darker.

dave
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Old 7th April 2016, 07:12 AM   #5
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Thanks Dave. The edge pattern looks nice. Not sure how id make it work with a victor/vulcan, but like the idea of the renewable resource take.

Paul
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Old 7th April 2016, 07:12 AM   #6
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Plyco (Victoria, Australia) have these bamboo vartieties on their website. If you can't find a QLD supplier, you could ask them.

When I called a while ago, they also had 5mm thick bamboo in 'slabs' (single layer, not a ply*) which I would like to try as a very thick veneer. It should hold up very well to incidental damage + flaws in my workmanship. There might be a QLD supplier who also has it. It is fairly costly.

If you go with this concept "the front baffle in a natural wood finish, while the sides might be sprayed"

...since most of the ply will be painted over, you could do the cabinet in good-but-basic ply, and laminate a face layer onto the front baffle only.

Recently, I've been laminating timber (breadboard style) over ply, as a super thick veneer. The trick is finding thin boards, to keep the weight managable. Flooring places seem to be the best; I'm using 'overlay' material that's only 9mm thick, which is salvage timber and looks grand, IMO.

Two packs ($140) will cover several metres, but are light enough to carry home from the shop.

*unless I misunderstood. Maybe I should get a sample.
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Old 7th April 2016, 10:33 AM   #7
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Thanks Hollowboy - I'll add lamination to the list of potentials. Breadboard style means running in parallel glued together? Photo would be great if not too much trouble.

Thank you for picking up on the fact I am considering painting - "basic" ply - structural vs marine?

Re: bamboo, I have seen that it is available up to 40mm thick but shudder to think what the cost might be......

Cheers

Paul
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Old 7th April 2016, 10:51 AM   #8
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Don't laugh, but what about this as a raw material ALDERN Countertop Bamboo 102x49 cm - IKEA i've been thinking about build small full range speakers for a while and every time i see sheet bamboo i start wondering...
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Old 7th April 2016, 11:41 AM   #9
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Not laughing as that might be a cheaper way of getting the laminate hollowboy suggested... I have a love hate relationship with IKEA, (also with Quentin Tarantino, popstars with good voices, white bread), this is one of those moments.....
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Old 7th April 2016, 11:50 AM   #10
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Another option is their kitchen chopping boards which are a straight ply, also very cheap. I used a few of them to make a hifi-rack
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