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.