How to Drill Bamboo

Written by b.t. alo
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How to Drill Bamboo
Bamboo has a tendency to split when drilled without proper precautions. (Jupiterimages/ Images)

Bamboo is a very versatile material and can be used in many different construction applications, from fencing to flooring and just about everything in between. Compressed bamboo, such as that used in flooring, is manufactured to receive fasteners easily; however almost all other bamboo, from full canes to split canes and reeds, needs careful attention when drilling or installing other fasteners, as the bamboo easily splits or cracks. Bamboo should be drilled for use with both screws and nails for best results.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Masking tape or painter's tape
  • Drill
  • Screws or nails
  • Screwdriver (optional)
  • Hammer (optional)

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  1. 1

    Stick a strip of masking tape or painter's tape over the area you want to drill, with at least 1/2 inch over on each side of the drill hole area.

  2. 2

    Attach a drill bit to the drill sized for the screws you want to use. If using nails, attach a drill bit slightly smaller than the nail.

  3. 3

    Drill the hole on a medium speed through the masking tape into the bamboo, holding the drill vertically and applying light downward pressure.

  4. 4

    Remove the masking tape then drive the screw into the hole with a screwdriver attachment on the drill, or a manual screwdriver. If using nails, hammer the nail through the pre-drilled hole.

Tips and warnings

  • For small bamboo canes, soak them in water for about half an hour before drilling to help prevent splitting.
  • Always use caution and take necessary safety steps when using power tools.

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