Bamboo Cabinet Door Construction

Tips and cautions for making cab doors out of bamboo sheet goods. May 15, 2012

How is 3-ply bamboo sheet stock to work with a customer who wants flat panel slab doors - will they stay flat? What do you do for ff rip up sheet stock for frames? How do you treat edges of frames and doors - just sand and leave the core bamboo show?

Forum Responses
(Cabinetmaking Forum)
From contributor R:
I have completed doors for a few bamboo kitchens using 3-ply sheets. I do not have long-term feedback on how flat they have stayed, but have had to warranty a couple of doors out of 150 or so.

We found that the manufacturer of the sheets has a lot to do with their quality. I have tried three different manufacturers (or brands anyway) and found that the most stable has been Teregren. They also have the fewest internal voids. All of our stuff so far has been finished 3-ply edge exposed. We have a feed-through edge sander, so this was not a big deal to do, though the less expensive sheets with lots of internal voids required filling in just about every door.

From the original questioner:
Thanks for the info. What do you do for face frames - 3ply pocket screw and sand to under 3/4 inch?

From contributor R:
They were euro boxes, but I have done a few frames and run them through the sander to just barely flush the joints up. I used biscuits - not sure how the screws would do in bamboo.

From contributor O:
My Company was established in 2003 and all we use is bamboo. Bamboo edge tape is available to finish the edges on slab doors and is my preference. I agree with Contributor R that you must be careful on who produces the panels. I have been happy with Plyboo and they have a large selection of materials. Pocket screws work just fine, although be careful because the bamboo is very hard and some brands of pocket screws will break.

There are 3ply panels and solid panels available. If you are using the edge grain bamboo you could make the face frames from 3ply and edge tape or use the solid stock.

The biggest challenge I have found is when you run the grain horizontal. The taller doors or narrower doors have occasionally bowed. When this has happened I have gone back and cut the door into multiple pieces and replaced the saw cuts with 1/8th " strips to compensate for the voids. This allows us to straighten the problem and keep the integrity of the grain matching pattern.