How Do I Build Bamboo Gazebos?
A gazebo is a small shelter where you can go to escape the sun or a mild rain. The entire structure consists of a roof and a support system. Bamboo is a strong building material when used properly, so it can make a frame that will hold a lightweight roofing material. Traditional gazebos use leaves as a roof, but these structures usually do not last more than a season. A lightweight, rigid plastic will form a roof that will last longer than the supports, if properly attached.
Excavate four holes, each 12 inches wide and 24 inches deep, in a square pattern with your posthole digger. Leave seven feet of space between each of the four corners of your square pattern. Dig a fifth hole the same size in the center of the square.
Hold all the 12-foot pieces of bamboo together in a bundle, with their ends even. Wrap tie wire around the bundle of bamboo six inches from each end. Wrap tie wire around the bundle every 18 inches along the length of the bamboo. Twist each piece of wire with your pliers. Cut off the excess using the wire cutters on the side of the lineman's pliers.
Stand the 12-foot bundle of bamboo in the center hole of your pattern.
Make four bundles out of your 10-foot bamboo pieces. Place seven pieces of bamboo into each bundle and bind each bundle with tie wire. Tighten the wire and snip the excess with your pliers.
Stand a 10-foot bundle in each of the four remaining holes you dug. Push the dirt back into each of your five holes with your foot. Step on the loose soil in each of the holes to hold the bamboo bundles in place.
Hold a 10-foot piece of bamboo up between the tops of two of your outside posts. Fasten this horizontal beam to the bundles with tie wire. Place a horizontal beam across each side at the tops of the bamboo bundles. Cut the horizontal bamboo pieces with your hacksaw as necessary to fit.
Attach one end of a 10-foot piece of bamboo to the top of the 12-foot bundle with tie wire. Place the other end of the piece on top of one of your 10-foot bundles. Repeat with additional pieces of bamboo, running them from the center post to each of the corner posts, to make the roof frame. Secure each end of the bamboo pieces with tie wire. Cut each piece of bamboo with your hacksaw as necessary.
Lay a sheet of plastic on top of one side of the roof frame. Outline the placement of the bamboo frame under the plastic, using your fine-point marker.
Remove the plastic and cut it along the marked lines with your razor knife. Score the plastic a bit at a time with your knife until the scoring breaks, leaving the desired shape.
Place your cut plastic back onto the roof frame. Drill through the plastic and the bamboo along each edge. Make a 1/8-inch hole every 18 inches around the perimeter of the plastic. Slip a piece of tie wire through each hole to bind the plastic to the bamboo frame. Twist each piece of tie wire. Snip off the excess with your pliers.
Mark, cut and attach a piece of plastic sheeting to each side of the roof frame in the same manner.
Fill in the gaps between the pieces of plastic with caulk. Apply caulk from your caulk gun to the top and bottom of each seam. Wipe the caulk smooth with a wet rag.
After learning electronics in the U.S. Navy in the 1980s, Danny Donahue spent a lifetime in the construction industry. He has worked with some of the finest construction talent in the Southeastern United States. Donahue has been a freelance writer since 2008, focusing his efforts on his beloved construction projects.
- Jupiterimages/Photos.com/Getty Images