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How to Harvest Bamboo for a Potential Dome


Harvesting Bamboo
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I have long been interested in geodesic domes and owner built homes – read “I don’t have a lot of money but I have lots of ideas”.  For the last couple years I have been looking for bamboo groves to try to build with.

I even tried buying seed (but as of now none have germinated).  Luckily through craigslist I found a place to start harvesting bamboo for free.  A lady has over an acre of thick bamboo.  Her bamboo is tall enough and thick enough I can get some use from.

Bamboo Dome Idea

My idea is to use bamboo to build a dome, then cover it in wire for strength.  Once it is wired, I will use a tarp to protect the bamboo, then more wire.  Then I intend to cement it.  My plan is to use either latex cement, or aircrete.  It really depends on how my aircrete machine experiments work.

By using the tarp and wire I can make the bamboo frame removable.  I can then remove the bamboo form after the cement cures so that I can build more than one dome.

I found several online sources of bamboo dome techniques, but the one I think I will try is from desert domes.

If I use this technique and the plastic rope machine, I can make a frame for almost nothing – well except time, labor, and gasoline.

In less than 3 hours (including an hour of driving) I harvested 45 10 foot tall shoots.  This is about half of what it takes to build a single dome with a radius of 11 feet.

I will need more Bamboo

One is not enough, I am not done harvesting bamboo.  I want to get all I can from this spot, and when I go back I want to take my weedeater with the sawblade attachment, but I also need to let the shoots I have collected dry under the carport for a couple months.

Right now I have the shoots standing up in my carport, I have to trim them a little and make a stand – like stickering lumber – basically some cinder blocks and a frame so they can lay off the ground and relatively flat.

Published inGeneral Building


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