A visit to Bamboo Australia

I’ve flown up to Queensland this week to see Bamboo Australia and their amazing supply of bamboo.

Arrived there today and spent a good 3 hours breaking the ears off the lovely staff and asking possibly too many questions. ┬áHere’s my good buddy Nat at the entrance to the farm:

Here’s the cutting shed, where I gathered various sizes of Tonkin and Aurea species bamboo poles and had them cut to 70cm long each (mainly so they’ll fit in my bag, but also because the bottom tube is never really any longer than this).

I came away with about 20kg of poles, both green and dried, as well as 5 pairs of bamboo socks and the bible of bamboo: Bamboo, The Gift of the Gods

Here’s hoping it’ll make it back to Melbourne without splitting from the various temperatures and humidities of flight.

bamboo joinery

Today we started the process of learning about how to make joints with bamboo. Using a Dremel we cut mitres into the 3 bits of wood and then stuck them together with an epoxy paste. Once that’s dry we’ll start the lay up process with sisal twine, followed by epoxy resin. This mini project will result in a simple 3 joint bike stand. You can see in the first picture where the rear wheel of the bike will slide into.

Testing the mitred joints:

Applying epoxy paste:

Letting the epoxy dry. We’ve┬átemporarily lashed it together with some sisal:

bio-resins – alternatives to epoxy resin

I’ve been researching bio resins for use in the bamboo frames and discovering a whole beautiful world of people making resins out of things like soy. There’s an interesting PDF here that details the environment costs and benefits of creating such resins.

I’ve contacted Bioresin to see if their products have made it to market yet, and whether or not they’re available locally. Let’s hope so!