Bamboo Coffee Table




Introduction: Bamboo Coffee Table

About: Firefighter/EMT, avid tinkerer, always loved working with my hands. Interested in a lot of things, so my tinkering tends to make dorky appearances.

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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    5 years ago

    I am sorry you have a problem in Connecticut with excessive bamboo growth but it looks like a fun material to get to play with. I live in Michigan and my husband and I looked into planting some in the landscaping. We eventually gave up on the idea because of all the stuff we read about it spreading.


    Reply 5 years ago

    Yeah, unfortunately it's a little wacky. But definitely a fun material to work with. Try ordering some from a supplier--it'll save you a lot of hassle


    Reply 5 years ago

    Sounds like a safer idea. Thanks.