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17 April 2018


Plyboo, plywood and bamboo united! In researching green materials and products, the devil is usually found in the details yet found nothing scary or bad about plyboo and their rather cool products. When you think about it, mating the long history of plywood and even longer history of bamboo makes a lot of sense. In my early days of building boats, I always found wood to be very versatile from heat-steaming into unusual shapes and sizes. It was not until later I tried my hand at various woods from teak to pine and all in between. It was not until I began working with bamboo and here sister hemp did I realize what Mother Nature provides us to fulfill all of our needs in green building materials.
So what is the story with Plyboo? In the words of Smith and Fong, creators of plyboo, “Smith & Fong was founded in 1989 on the premise that bamboo offered unique opportunities and solutions to some of the world’s social and environmental challenges.
We began our exploration with bamboo boxes, integrating form and function, making a container that was aesthetically pleasing, but also quite useful. Within four years, we had begun manufacturing bamboo flooring and quickly exhausted our manufacturing capacity in Taiwan. Moving our operations to China, we converted a tea-processing plant into a factory that produced bamboo flooring.
At our headquarters in San Francisco, we changed our business model and began distributing the first bamboo flooring in the United State under the Plyboo brand. In 1996, we introduced bamboo plywood to the American market.
Smith & Fong incorporated in 1997 and spent the remainder of the decade developing new sizes and applications for our bamboo flooring and plywood lines.
In 2000, we launched our bamboo strand line of flooring. Strand differs from typical bamboo flooring in that the bamboo is not cut into strips and laminated, but instead thrashed and pressed into dense logs. The logs are sliced and fabricated into flooring or plywood, creating a harder, denser material with an entirely new bamboo aesthetic.
Smith & Fong expanded its product line again in 2001, introducing a line of plywood and flooring products made entirely of coconut palm and marketed under the Durapalm™ brand. True to our environmental ideals, the palm trees from which the wood is milled are coconut palms that no longer yield fruit.
With the later additions of Forest Stewardship Council® (FSC® Certified 100%) Pure Bamboo and Soy-based formaldehyde-free binders, Smith & Fong now offers a wide range of sustainable design solutions to the international marketplace”.
For more information, some really cool photos and videos, click here to go to the Plyboo gallery site!

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