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 Post subject: Bamboo fitting procedure
PostPosted: Mon Feb 06, 2017 11:33 am 
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What is your process for fitting bamboo extensions?
I've done several and they always come out just fine in terms of fit, but the process is a huge pain in the butt for me, I always end up re-inventing the wheel trying to get the mortises and faces all lined up...
I guess I haven't made enough bamboo extensions to figure out a reliable procedure.
All this "chucking, re-chucking, facing, re-facing, maybe use a drill bit, or maybe chuck it by the stainless tenon, well no 'cause it wobbles..., etc." it's just getting old.
Can anyone share a reliable procedure from bandsaw cut to drilled and squared piece ready for glueing? How do you drill the mortises?
I will probably get some pretty good instructions on this in March and I will be happy to share then, but before that I have two bamboo pipes to make and I don't want to spend 3h just squaring the pieces...
Thanks!

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PostPosted: Mon Feb 06, 2017 12:41 pm 
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1. I leave a little extra on the oruginal cut so it can be faced down to the spot I want it at (when I get to that step).

2. 4mm tapered drill bit chucked on my lathe. Not sure how many rpms, but nothing too fast. Hold the bamboo and let the tapered bit "follow" the middle of the bamboo. Flip the bamboo over and do the otherside. The holes will eventually meet in the middle.

3. Chuck a 6mm drill bit on the lathe and drill mortise to size on both ends.

4. Use a 6mm pin gage to chuck up the bamboo to face. An appropriate length of ss tubing would probably do the job of chucking up the bamboo to face as well.

That is basically what I do.

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PostPosted: Mon Feb 06, 2017 3:52 pm 
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I use my special clamp (under the "X, Y and Z axis" thread). There is usually a pit in the bamboo and I place this on the bottom pin, clamp the bamboo, and drill my 3/16" mortise and face with a counter bore with a 3/16" pilot, reverse the bamboo, drill the mortise and face. I then drill the 9/64" airway on the same set up but stop short of touching the bottom pin. I finish this airway using a hand drill ( usually about a1/4" or so). I use short tenons of 3/16" SStube at both ends.
I would suggest masking the entire piece of bamboo while working the assembled pipe because it is very easy to get unanticipated marks and stain on the bamboo.
I dress the blades on the counter bore with a diamond hone periodically and at 220 rpm, don't get any tear out.
This method is limited to relatively straight pieces of bamboo, and I suppose you would have to use Kamkiel's method or a variation there of to get around a mild bend. I am also going to experiment with heating and bending bamboo which has already been mortised and faced, because that's the only way I figure that some of these pipes have been done.
I can PM some photos of this process if you desire.
DocAitch

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PostPosted: Mon Feb 06, 2017 4:07 pm 
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How long a piece of bamboo are you talking about, WP? And straight or curved?

I'm asking because if it isn't super long or bent, just line the entire piece of bamboo with a single length of ss tubing.

As long as you countersink the bamboo enough to get a clean facing cut up to the tube, and leave some extra "clamping length" (that will later be cut off) for the chuck to grab when facing, it's a piece of cake. Drill bamboo, countersink hole on both ends, insert/glue tube, chuck and face both ends, cut off surplus tube.

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PostPosted: Mon Feb 06, 2017 4:30 pm 
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LatakiaLover wrote:
Drill bamboo, countersink hole on both ends, insert/glue tube, chuck and face both ends, cut off surplus tube.


Yup, I did that once, worked very well. The only drawback was that a 6mm diameter ss tubing actually adds quite a lot of weight to a small piece of bamboo.
I'm talking about fairly short, straight pieces. Maybe I'm overthinking it, I guess I'm intimidated by these tiny delicate roots that you cannot even touch, coat or buff! ;) I'm pretty sure if I just make 20 bamboo pipes in a row instead of making them once every six months and forgetting all the tricks in between, I will be able to solve my problems.

Kamkiel, thank you, that's probably the reasonable way to do it, for some reason I wanted to avoid drilling the mortises by hand, but I guess it doesn't make sense to look for other solutions if this works.

DocAitch, thank you for your answer. Sorry, but I stopped reading at "special clamp" :lol: :wink:

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PostPosted: Mon Feb 06, 2017 5:27 pm 
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I just checked, and the OD of the tubing I use is .188" (4.77 mm), and the ID is .150" (3.81 mm). It weighs almost exactly 1 gram per inch, which is close enough to the weight of the material removed from drilling that it's a wash.

Unless you're really into jumbo-sized airways, I'd say the tubing you're using is thicker walled---and therefore heavier---than necessary.

I'd point you to the source for what I have, but they don't ship outside the USA. (McMaster-Carr)

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PostPosted: Mon Feb 06, 2017 5:36 pm 
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All I can usually find around here is 6mm OD with 4mm ID, which I just turn down to 5,5mm or 5mm as needed. Turning stainless tubing to a precise and consistent diameter makes me feel like I know what I'm doing on my metal lathe, so I enjoy it very much, even though it's basically a waste of time.
You are right, that time I had too much wall thickness so the weight was noticeable.

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PostPosted: Mon Feb 06, 2017 5:51 pm 
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W.Pastuch wrote:
DocAitch, thank you for your answer. Sorry, but I stopped reading at "special clamp" :lol: :wink:


Doc has a secret. The main reason he makes pipes is to have a never-ending source of tricky clamping, drilling, and jigging problems to solve... which is his REAL hobby. (Think real world, 3D crossword puzzles.) :lol:

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PostPosted: Mon Feb 06, 2017 9:09 pm 
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The tubing through the length of the bamboo works too. I tried it on a small pipe for my wife. It ended up with the stem having a mortise to connect to the bamboo's tubing tenon. It works for now, but I'm not sure how long it will last. Does the ss tubing slowly wear away the stem material? Is there a preferred material for these types of mortise/tenon connections?

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PostPosted: Tue Feb 07, 2017 1:55 am 
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W.Pastuch wrote:

DocAitch, thank you for your answer. Sorry, but I stopped reading at "special clamp" :lol: :wink:

Send them to school, teach them to read, buy them books, and all they do is eat the covers. :D
DocAitch

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PostPosted: Tue Feb 07, 2017 4:12 am 
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Search for hypodermic tubing (the stuff they make needles from) not only is it thin walled and very strng, the sizes are very precise and the steel is incredibly high quality. Also because it's an item used widely, its cheap! I buy 4mm outer, inner diameter is about 3.5mm I think, I pay about £1 per foot.

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PostPosted: Tue Feb 07, 2017 4:25 am 
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Now that bamboo is the subject, I plan on doing my first bamboo real soon. Drilling etc is clear to me, but what I still wonder about is how the hell do you get the bamboo & ebonite ring identical in size & shape AND polished nicely.
Can you actually sand the bamboo and polish it to a finish? Or do you need to completely shape the ebonite/acrylic without touching the bamboo?

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PostPosted: Tue Feb 07, 2017 9:54 am 
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Massis wrote:
Now that bamboo is the subject, I plan on doing my first bamboo real soon. Drilling etc is clear to me, but what I still wonder about is how the hell do you get the bamboo & ebonite ring identical in size & shape AND polished nicely.
Can you actually sand the bamboo and polish it to a finish? Or do you need to completely shape the ebonite/acrylic without touching the bamboo?

Bamboo has a thin skin that will take some sanding and polishing, but it changes the surface appearance markedly if you go through that skin.
I find the process very similar to putting a new stem on a finished pipe. It requires careful file work and then sanding. I also apply stain at the junction with a tooth pick while keeping the bamboo up.
I would also recommend masking the entire piece of bamboo during staining.
DocAitch

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PostPosted: Tue Feb 07, 2017 9:57 am 
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I stain before glueing the bamboo on

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PostPosted: Tue Feb 07, 2017 10:34 am 
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kamkiel wrote:
I stain before glueing the bamboo on


You must be a very tidy gluer. I take it that you do the fitting and sanding with the bamboo unglued?
DocAitch

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PostPosted: Tue Feb 07, 2017 10:44 am 
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Massis wrote:
Can you actually sand the bamboo and polish it to a finish?

No, you really can't, that's the problem. Anything more than the lightest touch of 600 grit will change the color and texture of the bamboo surface and having the bamboo lighter in color next to the ebonite or briar junction is the biggest "noob" mistake you can make with this sort of decoration (unless there is a mystery technique for finishing bamboo that I haven't discovered yet... Is there one?)
Very thin strips of sandpaper are good for finishing those areas without touching the bamboo, also some kind of tape to mask it during work (not too thick or it will screw with the continuity of your line).

kamkiel wrote:
I stain before glueing the bamboo on


I heard that's what the Danes do, it seems a good way to do it, but how do you keep the bamboo fixed and registered in one position during shaping? Just a tight fit?

For me the secret to avoid staining is using a spacer, just a thin ebonite ring is enough to solve the problem of stain going on the bamboo. I was once told that it looks less "pro" than a pipe without the spacers but I strongly disagree with that, the ring between briar and bamboo makes it look more finished and elegant, in my opinion.

Also, while we're talking about bamboo: has anyone handled a bamboo pipe with wedding band style rings? The kind that stand above the surface of the shank/stem? (like Tokutomi and Ray Kurusu do sometimes). My question is, is the ring cylindrical and rounded on the lathe or is it shaped to the contour of the bamboo (not round) and the edges rounded by hand? It looks cylindrical on photos but I would think it would look weird sitting next to the not-round shape of the bamboo root...?

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PostPosted: Tue Feb 07, 2017 11:03 am 
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I suddenly feel a lot less urged to try out bamboo :-P Making a nice spacer ring with the same shape as the not-so-round-with-dents bamboo now sounds like a real PITA!

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PostPosted: Tue Feb 07, 2017 10:16 pm 
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Massis wrote:
I suddenly feel a lot less urged to try out bamboo :-P Making a nice spacer ring with the same shape as the not-so-round-with-dents bamboo now sounds like a real PITA!


Naw, just a PITH (last year's, to be specific).

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PostPosted: Wed Feb 08, 2017 5:24 pm 
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W.Pastuch wrote:
Massis wrote:
Can you actually sand the bamboo and polish it to a finish?

No, you really can't, that's the problem. Anything more than the lightest touch of 600 grit will change the color and texture of the bamboo surface and having the bamboo lighter in color next to the ebonite or briar junction is the biggest "noob" mistake you can make with this sort of decoration (unless there is a mystery technique for finishing bamboo that I haven't discovered yet... Is there one?)
Very thin strips of sandpaper are good for finishing those areas without touching the bamboo, also some kind of tape to mask it during work (not too thick or it will screw with the continuity of your line).

[


Au contraire, mon Polish frere, I think you can work it. The second pipe below has has the nodes and leaf base cleaned up with a little delicate "dental work" with a diamond round tip,then carefully sanded with some 400 grit dry. I am going to do the same with the first pipe.
I know there are some problems with proportion on these pipes, they are from briar that sat in my basement for 40 years and were cut almost a year ago, and the bamboo was a little larger than ideal, but it was all I had at the time. I will finish them and give them to my 'Beta testers'. They also have briar shank extensions with military mounts which makes them longish. I was more interested in process rather than proportion.
Image
Image

By the way Woijec, I glued the pieces together using a "SPECIAL CLAMP", but am not sharing this incredibly useful design unless someone PMs me. please note that I left this to the end so that you might read the post up to that point.
:D
DocAitch

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PostPosted: Wed Feb 08, 2017 5:52 pm 
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DocAitch wrote:
By the way Woijec, I glued the pieces together using a "SPECIAL CLAMP", but am not sharing this incredibly useful design unless someone PMs me. please note that I left this to the end so that you might read the post up to that point.


Now that's some PMF-worthy smart-assery, right there. :thumbsup:

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