Introduction: Bamboo Bed Part 1
Turn giant bamboo into an awesome bed! This project isn't quite complete yet, but I wanted to show it and make updates and changes as I go.
Step 1: Gather Materials and Tools
Bamboo (similar diameters, fairly straight)
5/8" or 3/4" Straight Cutting Bit
1/4" Slot Cutting or Rabbeting Bit
1 X 4 Super Strips
MDF or Plywood for Jigs
C Clamps or other hand clamps
1/4" Dowel rod
Pipe Clamp (optional)
Step 2: Create Jigs
To do the bed as it is shown, you will need three separate jigs. One for the arched toprail and one for each the head and foot posts.
The arched jig is pretty simple, just sketch out the curve on the MDF/Plywood. If you have the ability to glue strips together, you can make a steeper curve. That being the case, I can't give you plans for that curve.
The jigs for the legs are simple. If you don't have a bushing setup, you can change the jig a bit to add a border to create a 6" channel for the router base.
When using the jig, clamp down both sides of the bamboo. The clamps are primarily to keep the bamboo straight. The jig should be tight to so the bamboo cannot roll side to side. Cut through just the top layer of the bamboo, the ends of each segment will remain for structural purposes.
Step 3: Route Tenons, Route Grooves and Cut Side Strips
The tenons should be as long as necessary to get reach the back of the bamboo, they can be sanded to roughly round edge on the end. The placement of the ends of each segment in not terribly important, but what is needed is enough room to secure a dowel or two.
The side strips are as thick as the groove in the bamboo is wide. They will be just wide enough to reach the surface of the bamboo.
Again, the cuts will be made when the ends of each segment where the strips cross them.
Step 4: Cut Fencing and Sand/Stain Bamboo
Dry fit everything. Based on my mistakes/failures with this first attempt, dry fitting before is ESSENTIAL. I miss-cut both sets of the bamboo fencing the first time. Luckily each set of the fencing can make several beds worth of head/footboard pieces.
Stain everything before you glue. Any exposed wood without stain may have glue on it. After it is together, you may not have the option to correct finish mistakes. And with all wood projects, though no one else will notice...IT WILL HAUNT YOU FOREVER!
Step 5: Glue, Clamp, Pray, and Nail
Polyurethane glues react to the moisture in the wood. You should use a moist paper towel or sponge to wet all the gluing surfaces.
Wear latex or vinyl gloves...don't get this stuff on your hands. It is really bad for you. There is an MSDS sheet for similar glues that takes days to read...
If you screw up and can't get the panel in place, don't worry. You can put it in afterwards, it is just a bit more difficult.
Clamp it, check for square (or approximate square) and tack everything together. The dowels will be added later.
More to follow as I complete the project.
The carvings were all done by my CNC, and was the inlay (if you can see it).