Bamboo Door Flatness

A discussion of the stability and flatness tolerances of bamboo plywood material for cabinet doors. August 31, 2009

Does anyone have experience with the flatness of bamboo 3-ply sheets for cabinet doors? If you have used it, what product did you use and how flat did it stay? Would you warranty them?

Forum Responses
(Cabinetmaking Forum)
From contributor J:
We just did a job out of the same bamboo panel stock - grain matched doors. It has held up very nice so far and it is very flat. It is very hard so make sure you have a fresh blade.

Here are some pictures.

Click here for higher quality, full size image

Click here for higher quality, full size image

From contributor B:
I have been using it for a few years now and it is very stable as long as the plant was mature when it was harvested. Both Teragen and Plyboo are excellent and control the product right from the forest to the finished panels with no middle men making for a consistent product.

From contributor N:
In our experience, we've run in to the same risks and problems with bamboo doors at about the same sizes as plywood. In other words, beyond normal cabinet door sizes, it's a bit of a crapshoot, and you need to select for flat sheets. Full-height doors and such are almost assured to be problematic.

We fabricated a 3/4" plyboo mirror frame that got finished all sides and applied to a wall over the mirror. The frame members were about 3-1/2" wide. The mirror was about 6' wide by 3' tall (pretty big for a frame this thin). I was nervous about it from the get go, but the contractor absolved me of any responsibility. It was very flat when installed. Six months later, we were on site fastening it to every stud to get the thing to sit flat. It was curving off the wall in strange and unusual ways. So don't have any delusions of it being any better than 3/4" plywood.

From contributor N:
To answer your questions more directly, we've used Plyboo and Teragren and found them to be about the same - I think we found the Teragren core and face quality to be slightly better. But would gladly use either one. We warranty it but are very clear with our customers about the risks of large doors. If they need to be replaced or modified after the fact despite our best efforts, that is on our customers' dime.