How to Build an Arbor With Bamboo

Written by mason howard
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How to Build an Arbor With Bamboo
Bamboo is a sustainable resource and a wise choice for many building projects. (bamboo image by free_photo from Fotolia.com)

Give your garden the essence of Zen with a bamboo arbor. Over time, climbing plants will accumulate on the arbor and it will be a unified part of your exterior landscape. A bamboo arbor can also be used to create focal points and natural archways for outdoor weddings. Additionally, bamboo is a good choice of wood to use for building projects because it is a sustainable resource. This 7-foot arbor is easily constructed with just a few basic tools.

Skill level:
Moderate

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Things you need

  • Measuring tape
  • Saw
  • 4 bamboo poles, 7 feet long and 1 1/2 to 1 1/4 inches in diameter
  • 21 bamboo poles, 2 feet 3 inches long
  • 4 bamboo poles, 5 feet 6 inches long
  • 4 bamboo poles, 4 feet 3 inches long
  • Wood preservative and fungicide
  • Varnish
  • Paintbrushes
  • Garden twine
  • Scissors
  • Drill
  • 4 stainless steel bolts with nuts, 3 1/2 inches long and 3/8 inch in diameter
  • 4 rebar stakes, 18 inches long, 3/8 inch in diameter

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Instructions

  1. 1

    Cut 1 1/2 to 1 3/4 inch diameter bamboo poles for the sides of the arbor using a saw. Cut four sections that are 7 feet long for the posts (two for each side). Cut 14 sections (seven for each side) at 2 feet 3 inches long and four sections at 5 feet 6 inches long for the latticework.

  2. 2

    Cut bamboo poles for the roof of the arbor. Cut four sections that are 4 feet 3 inches long for the cross beams. Cut seven sections that are 2 feet 3 inches long for the latticework.

  3. 3

    Paint the bamboo with wood preservative and fungicide to protect it against mould and infestation.

  4. 4

    Paint the bamboo with varnish to seal it and protect it against water damage.

  5. 5

    Lay out the pieces for the sides on the ground to assemble. Pair up the 7-foot-long pieces and set them 2 feet apart. Set the sections that are 2 feet 3 inches long crosswise along the posts so they overlap slightly, like a railroad track. The shorter sections can be spaced evenly apart, at 1-foot intervals or more sporadically, depending on your preference; however, one needs to be placed at the top of each side for connecting the roof. Place the sections that are 5 feet 6 inches long between and parallel to the 7-foot sections to complete the latticework.

  6. 6

    Secure each joint with 2-foot-long pieces of garden twine. Cut the twine with a pair of scissors and dunk it in water before tying. Tie a joint by centring the twine and wrapping the twine ends tightly in alternating diagonals around the four corners of the joint then securing the ends with a square knot.

  7. 7

    Lay out the pieces for the roof on the ground. Space two of the sections that are 4 feet, 3 inches long 2 feet apart. Set the sections that are 2 feet 3 inches long crosswise along the cross beams. The shorter sections can be spaced evenly or they can be placed more sporadically; however, one needs to be placed at each end for connecting the sides.

  8. 8

    Secure the joints with twine.

  9. 9

    Drill 3/8-inch holes straight down, 6 inches in from the ends in the top lattice pieces on the arbor sides, and in the end lattice pieces on the roof.

  10. 10

    Line up the holes in the side pieces with the holes in the roof. Insert the stainless steel bolts that are 3 1/2 inches long, 3/8 inch in diameter through the holes and secure them with nuts.

  11. 11

    Place the last two sections that are 4 feet 3 inches long on either side of the arbor 1 foot down from the roof and secure it to the posts with twine. These pieces will provide extra cross support.

  12. 12

    Set the arbor in place. Hammer rebar stakes about 10 inches into the ground where the arbor posts will stand. Set the arbor onto the stakes so the protruding stakes go inside the arbor posts.

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