Introduction: Bamboo Coffee Table
We have a bamboo problem in CT, to say the least. Any ornamental bamboo has to be planted in a steel trap in order to prevent it from spreading out of control. Our neighbors actually had their bamboo planted long before that law was created, so I always had the great pleasure of doing population control with nothing but a hacksaw. After years of existing in Connecticut soil, some of the bamboo can get quite sizable in height and diameter. What's a bored kid to do in this situation?
Step 1: Select Your Bamboo
Obviously, the wider diameter bamboo will be more rigid and strong. This is good for load-bearing furniture. Smaller diameters are good for adding flourishes or decorations. For a table like this, larger diameters are needed to make the legs. For the cross supports, find bamboo that has a slightly smaller diameter than the legs. You're going to have to bore holes to make the cross pieces fit into the legs.
Step 2: Work the Wood
Determine your desired dimensions for the table and cut your bamboo to size. Leave an extra centimeter or two on the cross pieces so they can be fitted into the holes. Approximate your cross piece diameter and bore two holes that size into the legs with their centers 90 degrees apart. Pick your tool for the job. I used a dremel to cut a rough shape and them smooth the edges. When the pieces fit exactly as you want them, glue them in place.
Step 3: Wrap and Lacquer
I found my leg and cross piece joints quite unsightly, so I wrapped them in household twine for aesthetics. Also for aesthetics, lacquer the wood to preserve the color and give it a good shine.
Step 4: Find Glass to Fit
I had to order glass from a window maker of particular dimensions. Determine the final dimensions of your table and allow 3 inches of overhang on all four sides.
Step 5: Glamour Shots
Enjoy your new table. If you're in New England, also enjoy it knowing that you're helping control an invasive species.
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