Bamboo key tops?

Just wondering if anybody has any experience with bamboo as a material for key tops. Is it practical? Does it feel ok to the player? A lot of the materials traditionally used are conservation nightmares, but bamboo isn’t.

4 posts were merged into an existing topic: About the Materials category

Just wondering if anybody has any experience with bamboo as a material for key tops. Is it practical? Does it feel ok to the player? A lot of the materials traditionally used are conservation nightmares, but bamboo isn’t.

No experience as actual harpsichord keytops, but since it is commonly used for flooring and withstands high heel pressure and long hard wear, I see no reason not to. The only thing I would say is that the colour of bamboo is highly variable and non uniform and the keyboard may look patchy. Depends on your source I suppose. Flooring bamboo may not necessarily have been seasoned long.

As a user of slide rules and nowadays a collector of such, I know that Hemmi and Ricoh seasoned bamboo for at least ten years, and I think more like twenty years before the cut and reseasoned it. But of course that application requires the bamboo to be dead straight and not move for decades. My original Ricoh still slides with precision and is still dead straight, the one I had a at school in 1973.

it may be difficult to glue, but again, I don’t know.

I have had some experience working with bamboo (not as key covers or any other instrument part
Tom), And it is really hard and could hold up well. That said though, I think the cross cut edge that would be at the front of the keys might turn out to be pretty unattractive though I’ve never experimented with that.
I guess my first question is why use it when there’s such a plethora of other great choices available?

I saw a maker advertise bamboo tops for (electronic organ) keyboards and
was curious. I have a few bamboo furniture-like things and it’s pretty.
It looks like wood until you look closely
and then it doesn’t look like wood at all.