A Unique Bamboo and Gold Trellis

Build a distinctive garden trellis with bamboo, copper, and gold leaf.

Trellis installed.
For details about the glass, gold, and copper birdbath at the left: Birdbath.)

A hub is machined out of a block of scrap aluminum. Seven spokes will radiate from the hub, 27-degrees apart from each other. The spokes are made from 5-foot lengths of 1/2-inch EMT (electrical tubing.) These spokes will provide structural support so that no load is put on the bamboo.

Aluminum hub is machined to accept the seven EMT spokes.

1 1/2-inch diameter bamboo poles were purchased at a local garden center. The nodes inside of the bamboo were punched through using a long 1/4-inch diameter steel rod and cleared out enough to pass the 1/2-inch EMT. The bamboo was then treated by a 24-hour total submersion in a wood preservative.

Bamboo is sealed in this ABS pipe while soaking in wood preservative.

Preserving bamboo.

The bamboo poles were placed inside of a 2-inch diameter ABS pipe filled with wood preservative. After this treatment most of the poles developed lengthwise cracks which is common for bamboo. Narrow copper strips were formed around the poles and soldered closed to keep the bamboo from splitting apart.

1/2-inch copper plumbing pipe ribs are double-gilded on one side.

Three curved sections of copper pipe connect the spokes. These were made by bending 1/2-inch diameter copper plumbing pipe into 1.5-foot, 3-foot, and 4.5-foot radius 160-degree segments. Seven stepped holes were drilled through each pipe section to attach them to the spokes. Sheet metal screws attach the copper arcs to the EMT spokes. One side of each pipe was double gold leafed.

Gilding was done with weather-resistant oil-based gilding primer and size.

The copper pipes, the hub, and seven copper caps placed on the ends of the bamboo spokes were all primed with Rolco Burnish Sealer and double gilded using Rolco slow-set oil-based gold size and Monarch 23-karat patent gold leaf. While 'gold' paint could have been used nothing looks quite as stunning as the look of real gold, and any paint or varnish would begin to flake off in a couple years. Exterior gilding (i.e.: capitol domes) can be expected to last for decades. Only time will tell how my attempt holds up.

EMT spokes are fitted into the gilded hub.

The EMT spokes are placed in the holes drilled in the gilded aluminum hub.

Trellis is completely assembled.

The bamboo is slid over the spokes and the gilded copper pipes are fastened to the EMT spokes with sheet metal screws that pass through holes pre-drilled in the bamboo.

Hub is attached to a pair of 3' long steel stakes with 5 stainless steel bolts.

Rear view of the hub. It is mounted to a doubled-up pair of 3-foot steel stakes previously driven into the ground. Five stainless steel 1/4-20 screws fasten the trellis hub to the stakes. Seven 1/4-20 stainless steel setscrews lock the EMT spokes into the hub.

Installation site.  For information on the Glass Block Pond click on the link at the end of this page.

This is the installation site. The trellis is in the upper left. The trellis will be home to a Distictis laxiflora: Vanilla Trumpet Vine. Wish it luck.

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Largest used high-tech equipment dealer directory on the 'net:
Largest used hi-tech equipment dealer directory... http://www.big-list.com

(C) 2005-2014 Steve J. Noll