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Bamboo Fence

Here is how I built a fence out of bamboo.  With a few tools and some cheap supplies, this fence cost me next to nothing save a ton of work!

My 30 foot fence cost about $20, including gas money, but I had to work my ass off to get the "free" bamboo because it was growing on the side of a cliff. 

If you can find someone who has a lot of bamboo that is easily accessible by car (not a lot of carrying), cutting, trimming, and assembling it is relatively easy work if you don't mind that sort of thing.  If you set your mind to it you can do the project in a weekend.

A thirty-foot fence required about 230 stalks of bamboo, each averaging about 1" to 1.5" diameter.  About 8 stalks per foot si what I went by, and it came out pretty close.  Of course this all depends on the size of the bamboo.

Keep in mind that it will soon be a brown fence, as the bamboo dies it turns wood color.

How I did it:

First I harvested  and trimmed the bamboo from an acquaintance's yard.  As most owners are, he was quite glad to get rid of it! Note that this is about 1/10th of the bamboo that was needed, and it took about 6 hours to cut down, trim, bundle and clean up.

Trimming the branches off the stalks is easily accomplished by running a machete down the stalk from the top.

Next I measured the height I wanted and set up a simple jig.  This is especially important when planning to cut several hundred stalks.  A few minutes in the beginning saves a lot of time measuring.

By cutting just to one side of the natural joint in the bamboo, the top of the fence will have a natural waterproof cap and it will prevent splitting.  Of course, this is usually only possible on one end, so make sure the capped end is up when building the fence.

Original jig and guide lines show where to drill holes for the wire.  This allowed me to drill about 10 stalks at a time.  I used a 1/8" drill bit, about twice the diameter of the wire.

I built the fence in 6-foot sections.  Next I cut two pieces of wire to 8' each.

Next I started threading the wire though.  I found it easiest to thread 8-10 stalks on one side, then switch sides, shuffling the stalks to the end of the wire as I went along.  As the fence got longer, I began rolling up the finished part to save working space.

Once the section was finished, I carried the roll to the existing fence that I planned to cover, and unrolled as I attached every foot or so to the support posts.

Finished fence.  This will turn tan in a couple of weeks. You can barely tell there is a chain-link and a stockade fence behind!