Converting a bamboo utensil holder into a tool holder

I’ve noticed a lot of small storage items appearing in shops made of bamboo. I bought a pen holder and started wondering if these would make a good project case. I’m still considering that, but haven’t thought of a suitable project for it.

Maybe if it had a stand so that it sat at this angle and a dark panel was added in the opening for a display and switches. Perhaps an old SLR camera lens attached with an LED clock inside as a projector clock.

Recently Aldi were selling a bamboo kitchen utensils holder. I was impressed with the look of it and its price.

We had a plan to use it, however, it didn’t really work for what was planned. I decided to try and modify it to make it into a desktop tool storage holder. Apparently bamboo is grass, not a wood, so I was unsure how it would be like to work with. I decided on converting it to a tool holder with only a few straight cuts. I have a very old sawbench. It’s solidly made from cast iron and being very old the bench is fairly basic. It does have a Freud D1050X Diablo 50T 10″ combination saw blade that I’ve added. That blade has transformed the bench. Its cuts usually come out extremely clean. Using this saw it cut well, but I’m not sure I would try it with a hand saw. It did want to splinter where I had do cut a very small bit.

As well as using some of the offcuts I also used some old thin pine that was originally to be used for crates. If I had some ply that would have made it easier but I didn’t have anything suitable and I’m trying to use what I have.

With tools

As usual with my projects mistakes were made. I cut through the front slightly too deep and now there are small visible cuts in the slanted sides. Some of the pine that I used had a warp across the width of the face. After cutting slots in it and trying to slot pieces together I cracked a couple of bits. While not a mistake the handle is now a hazard. As most of the weight is on one side attempting to pick it up by the handle results in tools hurtling at your feet.

There was a couple of small offcuts that were not used. I used these to do a few tests drilling holes. I read a post that said don’t use spade bits and I wanted to confirm if the ones I have would be a problem. Some spade bits have spurs at the edge to precut a circle and I wanted to see if these were ok.

I taped painters tape on the bamboo before drilling to reduce the tear out. I did two tests. The first with a 16mm spade bit that has spurs and a smaller brad point (wood) bit. The drill I used was a small cheap benchtop drill press. Both tests worked surprisingly well and even the exit holes where quite decent.

Front view
Back view

Overall I like how this project turned out and it has already had quite a bit of use.

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