Building a Bamboo Fence

Building a Bamboo Fence image by BurningWell.org

Yotsume Gaki

The Yotsume Gaki style of bamboo fence is the most commonly seen since ancient Japan. To construct, you should start with sturdy posts of about 4' in diameter. A rot resistant wood is best, such as cedar. Remember that when you are building fences, it is best to order your posts 50% longer than what you want visible, as 1/3 of the post should be beneath the ground for maximum stability (e.g., if you want a 3' tall fence, buy 4' 6" posts so that 1' 6" may be in the ground). A good size for the fence rails is #8 bamboo canes(1 1/2" diameter). The upright bamboo canes should be more narrow, such as #4 or #6 bamboo, around 3/4" diameter.

Lashing

Most bamboo fences are lashed together. You can use wire or narrow nails to support your fence further, but always drill a pilot hole through the bamboo so that it does not crack. There are specialty lashing twines available through specialty stores, but any dark colored waxed twine will do a particularly good job while resisting the elements as well. The dark color is not necessary, but it lends a more authentic appearance. You may choose a more natural color if it better suits your design. The knot that is traditionally used is the Ibo knot, which is an adaptation of the square knot. Any knot used for lashing will work well, but the Ibo knot lends authenticity.

Assembly

Sink your posts to the proper depth with a post hole digger about 4' apart. When you have back-filled your post holes, level them individually and with each other before packing the earth. Measure down the posts for the desired height of your rails (you should have 2 equally spaced #8 bamboo rails just over 4' in length). Drill 1 3/4" holes 1" deep so that you can sink the rail at least 1/2" into them. You can drill a hole diagonally through the bamboo to secure it further with a nail. You will insert a top and bottom rail between each post. Secure your #4 bamboo between the posts in an upright position with the Ibo knot. You may either space them out evenly, alternate them to the inside or outside of the rails, or keep them close for a more wall-like pattern.

Finish

If you would like to make the fence appear even more authentic, you may stain the bamboo to take on the burnt color of ancient Japanese styling. If you prefer to leave your bamboo unfinished, it will eventually fade to a shade of gray. There are bamboo preservatives that can help add years to the life of your bamboo fence. Keeping your fence a minimum of 2" from the ground will make caring for your lawn easier, and help retard rotting from ground moisture.

About this Author

Angela Herrie has been a freelance online content writer for over three years. She has been published on a number of popular sites, including Conceivable World, and writes on a wide variety of topics.

Photo by: BurningWell.org

Article provided by eHow Home & Garden | Building a Bamboo Fence