I had a bit of bamboo lying around the shop and decided to make a small 3-legged accent table. With a couple isosceles (equilateral) triangles jigs, you can easily make this type of table using many different materials. You could also use metal tubing, pipe, wooden dowels or rustic tree branches, but I used bamboo cuz that's what I had lying around. And bamboo looks pretty cool. So first let's build the 2 triangles you'll need to assemble this type of table. In the 2nd picture, you get an idea of how the triangles anchor the legs while you secure them at the middle crossing. For my table, I only used the bottom triangle as I decided "mid-project" to use a slightly larger top which meant the triangle was too small. Ideally you should build a larger triangle at the point, but I simply leveled the table top and it worked out fine. I'm planning to build multiple sized triangles so I can make a variety of tables. It is easier to do with 2 triangles.
Rip pieces of 3/8" or 1/2" plywood 1 1/4" and 2 1/4" wide. You'll need 6 pieces of each width roughly 20" long. Later we'll cut them down to 19 1/2" after they are fastened together. Take a 2 1/4" piece, apply wood glue to one edge, and nail an 1 1/4" wide piece to it (pic 3). This creates the six 20" angled side pieces which are 1 1/4" x 2 5/8" (pic 4). Trim the ends even and to a length or 19 1/2". To make an isosceles triangle we need to trim 15° off the ends to create 30° angles. On my miter saw, I use an auxiliary fence which is basically a large 90° angle (pic 5). This fence allows me to accurately make this cut with my miter saw set at 30°. To cut the other end of the side piece, use a 2x4 under it for support. You could also make this cut on a table saw, hand saw, etc. Don't forget the ends are cut in opposite directions.
Next you'll need band clamps to hold the triangles together after gluing the edges (pic 6). To support the corners, glue and nail a small triangle across the bottom of the corners. Picture 7 shows the finished triangles ready for use. You can imagine how the edges of the frames hold the table legs in the correct position.
Step 1: Preparing the bamboo
Next you need to prepare the bamboo unless you chose another material to use. You'll need 3 culms or sticks 36" long. Bamboo is stronger if it is heat treated to caramelize the sugars in the bamboo which increases strength. Picture 1 shows the before and after. It also shows a hole drilled through all of the diaphragms inside the bamboo so air can escape during heat treating. If you don't drill these holes the bamboo will explode as the air has no place to expand. Exploding bamboo is a bad thing. I use a 36" long drill bit that electricians use to run wire in walls. Alternatively, you can simply punch holes through the nodes using a metal rod.
Bamboo is covered by wax which must be removed by heating with a propane torch (plumber's torch). Picture 2 shows dull unheated bamboo on the left , shiny melted wax in the middle and heat treated bamboo on the right. When the bamboo wax melts and looks shiny, you simply wipe it off with a rag. Once the wax is removed, continue moving the torch over a small area until you get the shape of brown you prefer. Once you have 3 heat treated piece, you're ready to cut (pic 3).