Thursday, March 28, 2013

Building with our bamboo

The walkway to the bird and musang habitat.
We have a few groves of bambusa bamboo on our property in Palawan, Philippines. It's thick and good for building things. Hence, most of everything we build here is made out of it.

We had a bamboo walkway made that leads to our animal habitat. It was always muddy in the rainy season. Instead of paving it with cement and creating more bogs we built the "floating walkway"so the water can flow under it. It turned out so well and we love it.
We used old bamboo in the grove that the previous owners had cut about 8 feet above the root. It was  hardened and dried. Fresh bamboo contains a lot of cellulose which is sugar to the local anay (termites) and bukbuk insects. We then used an outdoor varnish to help protect it.

The area became so nice I decided to have a bamboo couch/bench made so that we would have some place nice to sit outside and listen to the myna birds singing and chatting in the animal habitat.

Clearing some of the flowers to make room for the bench.
We are so fortunate to have two carpenters from a local village that know how to work with bamboo and are good at taking direction and then adding their own creative touches.
I asked our carpenter to use the crooked bamboo for the back of the couch. The built the whole thing using hand saws and basic tools. Although they did use an electric drill.
Here is the finished bench. It turned out well don't you think?
It has turned out so well, we have decided to put a roof over the walkway and bench so that we can use it even during the rainy season.... and it will certainly last a lot longer out of the sun and rain.

As things evolve here as we need them, I realized that I would be hanging out there using the internet, so Dave, my hubby had electrical outlets set into the bamboo posts, easy to use but not easily seen to mar the look.



We did spray the bamboo with a non toxic termite prevention product before they installed the pieces.

We also had bamboo benches installed on the first landing of the steps that lead to our apartment area.

Bamboo grows so fast and renews itself so well here in the tropics. We take care of our groves and do not take all of the stalks so that the grove will continue to renew itself. You can literally watch the bamboo grow. One stalk with grow over a foot a day. The bamboo in our grove grows to about 80 feet long!




1 comment:

Aloysius MeƱez said...

Hello Diana,

I recall suggesting to you that you can preserve bamboos by soaking them in a vat or tank of salt water. That will prevent termite infestation.

Also, it is better to keep the nodes on, not to scrape them off for their natural design details and to keep their branches on as useful accents.

You can still peel off the skin using knives or broken glass pieces, and wipe them over with sap of banana trunks. That will give it a dark sheen.