I made this free standing bamboo planter as a gift for one of my Workaway hosts. If you are looking to live, learn and volunteer anywhere in the world for free then check out Workaway.
I was staying in Pacho Cundinamarca with a family near the El Torito Empanada restaurant. One of the guys there was a builder who used Guaduda (the really thick bamboo) and he showed me a few things. We built using a cutting machine so apologies but I haven’t yet learned how to cut by hand.
So first you need to come up with a design. The one I made looked like this:
You can pretty much see how it is made from the photo but I will add a few sketches of the joints and cuts so you know how it is all fitted together.
First of all, cutting the bamboo. Always try to cut near the knots. They are incredibly strong so if you have a knot as your foot, the bamboo will not split. As you can see the ends of all the horizontal pieces are also knots, so that the soil is held in the planter.
Firstly the Verticals…
The straight cut at the base of the legs was done using the circular saw, although you could use a hand saw, just cut right through, as straight as you can. The cuts at the top, where the horizontal pieces sit, are slightly more difficult.
First cut a triangle notch in to the bamboo using the circular saw, then use the sander to make it in to a nice circle. for the sloped pieces to sit in to. You are going to need to make one side lower than the other in this design as the supports are sloping downwards.
To cut the spaces for the plants to sit, just saw half way through then you can easily split the bamboo with a hammer to knock the piece out.
Cut all your pieces to size, then to assemble you will just need to know where to put your screws. Make sure to drill a hole before screwing in the screw or you may split the bamboo.
And lastly, you should drill some holes in the bottom of the planters to allow the water to run through. If you dont treat them with any chemicals they may not last forever but at least you can safely compost them after a year or two of use, and make another one another day