That’s No Moon – That’s a Bamboo Death Star

At first glance, [Frank Howarth]’s turned bamboo Death Star seems like a straight woodworking project. No Arduino controlled lights, no Raspberry Pi for audio clips of an X-wing attack or escaping TIE fighter. In other words: where’s the hack?

It’s a freaking bamboo Death Star!

If that’s not enough for you, check out the pattern on the surface of the finished model. That’s not painted on – those are the layers of the laminated bamboo lumber used to create the rings [Frank] used to form the structure. After lots of turning, sanding and polishing, the characteristic vascular bundles of the bamboo create light and dark panels for a convincing effect of the Death Star’s surface detail. And although we like the natural finish, we can imagine a darker stain might have really made the details pop and made for an effect closer to the original.

Still not hackish enough? Then feast your eyes on [Frank]’s shop. It’s a cavernous space with high ceilings, tons of natural light, and seemingly every woodworking machine known to man. While the lathe and tablesaw do a lot of the work for this build, the drool-worthy CNC router sees important duty in the creation of the multiple jigs needed for the build, and for making the cutout for the superlaser, in what must have been a tense moment.

Bamboo is an incredible material, whether for fun builds like this or for more structural uses, like a bamboo bike. All this bamboo goodness puts us in the mood to call on [Gerrit Coetzee] for a new installment on his “Materials You Should Know” series.

Thanks to [jacques1956] for the tip!

25 thoughts on “That’s No Moon – That’s a Bamboo Death Star

  1. He published the video on May the 4th :) Great channel, although not related to electronics much (read: not a hack!) :D but I don’t mind seeing him being featured here.

    1. Every wood dust is toxic to some degree, and some are downright nasty. Mahogany is a bad one, I hear, and MDF dust is horrible. Hadn’t heard anything specific about bamboo, but I wouldn’t doubt it. He seems like he’s pretty careful, though – he’s got a decent respirator on for some of the dustier operations. And not just a little paper N95 mask, either – a proper respirator.

      1. There’s an MDF that goes by the name Trupan that uses friendlier glues so it’s not as toxic as regular MDF.

        I’d be less concerned w/ bamboo dust and more concerned w/ the glues and fillers used in the plywood it’s turned into.

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