Bamboo Lashing Techniques

Bamboo is one of the most useful plants as it can be used to make houses, traps, cages, furniture, tools, weapons, bridges, rafts, towers, fences, water wheels, irrigation pipes, and thousands of other items.

The challenge however, is learning how to connect those bamboo canes.

Bamboo poles can be tied together using any of the traditional lashing knots, such as the square lashing, round lashing, diagonal lashing, shear lashing, tripod lashing, floor lashing, or ladder lashing. But, there are also more advanced techniques for joining or lashing bamboo sticks together by using pegs or braces of which we will show some examples below:

Drilled Lashing Joint

One of the simplest bamboo joints is the drilled lashing joint.

1. An upright pole is cut above a node, and a hole is drilled all the way through the pole, just below the node. A cross-pole is then secured to the upright by a lashing through the hole. For maximum strength, a node of the cross-pole should be positioned on the upright. Lashing on both sides of the cross-pole node prevents the bamboo poles from shifting.

2. A piece of wire bent in half (or an improvised wooden needle) makes threading cordage through the drilled hole easier, especially the last pass or two after the hole is already packed with several strands of cordage.
3. Here is the completed joint showing how bamboo lashings are made on both sides of the cross-pole node. The lashing is finished with a clove hitch around the upright and a square knot. Tying lashings around any drilled hole is a good way to strengthen the joint and helps prevent bamboo poles from splitting.
4. The drilled joint can also be used to connect the end of a cross-pole to an upright, as shown above. For this application, the lashings should be tied above a node on the upright. Downward pressure on the cross-pole will simply tighten the bamboo lashings further as they encounter the larger diameter of the node. This is one of the most basic principles used in bamboo construction; having the nodes work for you to prevent slippage.
5. Drilled bamboo lashings can be used to connect more than one cross-pole to an upright, which is a good way to make bamboo frameworks.

 

Using the drilled lashing, two cross-poles can be connected to an upright at right angles to form a corner joint.
7. Drilled lashings have been used to connect three cross-poles to an upright as in this example.

 

8. In this example, drilled lashings have been used to connect four cross-poles to an upright. Once the bamboo joint has been formed and tied in place, extra lashings can be added for reinforcement if desired.