DIY clacking bamboo water feature

bamboo f

I love ponds, water features, and fountains.

I love turning old fountains or drilling through rocks to create one of a kind pieces for my garden (or even my neighbors and friends). Since there is an abundance of bamboo in my area, I feel challenged to create garden features that will use this resource and maybe even give other gardeners and homeowners a reason to cut down this invasive plant and use it instead of dump it.

I have wanted a clacker bamboo water feature for some time but the price tag was over $50 for the large ones and I am not one to spend that kind of money when I know I can DIY it. Plus bamboo is so ZEN, as my son says, and the site of a bamboo water feature in any garden seems to instantly give a sense of calm. This project is moderately difficult but very doable.  There are easier ways to build bamboo water features but I wanted a clacker to see if it really keeps deer out of my yard and out of my flower beds. (I live in the suburbs and a herd of 6-9 deer pass through the common area connected to my back yard almost every evening).

The directions can be altered to fit your needs. Later this week I will be adding a simpler bamboo feature for any of you who want something easier to create for your pond. The bamboo clacker water feature takes a bit of patience because lining up the water flow is the hardest part but it can be done. I love water features and I love Japanese gardens so I am adding a bit of ZEN to my world -one step at a time.

This project cost less than $5 if you have the pump already and $25 if you do not have a small fountain pump.

Creating. Inspiring. Gardening without the rules!

Cut down and let some bamboo dry for a couple months. then I cut them to straddle the barrel I was going to use and stagger the cuts- no real measurements

Cut down and let some bamboo dry for a couple months. then I cut them to straddle the barrel I was going to use and stagger the cuts- no real measurements

The ready rod is available for a $1 a piece and this is used to hold the bamboo together

The ready rod is available for a $1 a piece and this is used to hold the bamboo together. It is 1/4″ and need a 5/8″ drill bit

cut 2 pieces of bamboo-do you see how we cut it? leaving one end closed?

cut 2 pieces of bamboo about 12 and 10″-do you see how we cut it? leaving one end closed? we pre-drilled for the spout which I now think should have been done at the end

Cut a small piece with a 45 degree angle for the spout. tried to find a piece close to the size of 1" hole saw

Cut a small piece about 4″ with a 45 degree angle for the spout. tried to find a piece close to the size of 1″ hole saw. we ended up having to cut off about 1/2″ to get it right

You will need some sort of rod so you can connect the fountain together and 2 spacers so the middle bamboo can move

You will need some sort of rod so you can connect the fountain together and 2 spacers so the middle bamboo can move. the rod does not go past the inside of the bamboo uprights

see the middle where the water is going to collect? the hole for the rod is drilled in the back of the 'seam' otherwise water will not collect

see the middle where the water is going to collect? the hole for the rod is drilled in the back of the ‘seam’ otherwise water will not collect. the clacker is about 14″ long and the back half is slightly longer at 8″ than the front where it is cut about 6″ and at a 45degree for the water to collect and dump

For the spout cut off a small piece of hose that will fit inside and connect to the elbow in side of the main bamboo

For the spout cut off a small piece of hose that will fit inside and connect to the elbow in side of the main bamboo

You will need to buy an elbow for about $3 this is 3/8" for the tubing we used and this fits up inside the bamboo

You will need to buy an elbow for about $3 this is 3/8″ for the tubing we used and this fits up inside the bamboo

thread the hose up with elbow and then you would slide the small tubing on and then the spout

thread the hose up with elbow and then you would slide the small tubing on and then the spout

We drilled the spout hole in the beginning but wondering if doing it at the end would have been better since we had to be careful where we drilled the holes for the rod to hold the fountain together

We drilled the spout hole in the beginning but wondering if doing it at the end would have been better since we had to be careful where we drilled the holes for the rod to hold the fountain together

this is what I wanted it to look like so with the help of hubby we built this first to see how it looks. takes patience to get the spout just right but if the hole is slightly larger for the spout it makes it easier to adjust and glue later after you find the perfect flow

this is what I wanted it to look like so with the help of hubby we built this first to see how it looks. takes patience to get the spout just right but if the hole is slightly larger for the spout it makes it easier to adjust and glue later after you find the perfect flow

Line up the rod and mark to drill through each bamboo piece

Line up the rod and mark to drill through each bamboo piece

Line up the rod and mark where you need to drill so the rod goes through (after centering the fountain) and then drill your holes

Line up the rod and mark where you need to drill so the rod goes through (after centering the fountain) and then drill your holes

Now we took the right  upright and marked it to drill through and then connected the rest of bamboo

Now we took the right upright and marked it to drill through and then connected the rest of bamboo

For the left side and spout side we had to make sure to drill on the outer most edge so the hose would fit up through

For the left side and spout side we had to make sure to drill on the outer most edge so the hose would fit up through

Always make sure to line up spout over clacker

Always make sure to line up spout over clacker

Plus the hole had to be at a 90degree angle from the spout hole

Plus the hole had to be at a 90degree angle from the spout hole

started the drill through (we eyeballed) on the outer edge of upright and the drill bit caught the upright marking where we could drill through

started the drill through (we eyeballed) on the outer edge of upright and the drill bit caught the upright marking where we could drill through

This is how eyeballed it. We had plenty of bamboo so if we made a mistake we could cut another one!

This is how eyeballed it. We had plenty of bamboo so if we made a mistake we could cut another one!

For this side each piece was put on rod one at a time and drilled through to touch third piece and then pulled it off and drilled through and then repeated

For this side each piece was put on rod one at a time and drilled through to touch third piece and then pulled it off and drilled through and then repeated

this was a slow process but it is what we came up with

this was a slow process but it is what we came up with

when you pull of the piece you just continue on and drill through the bamboo and repeat

when you pull of the piece you just continue on and drill through the bamboo and repeat

This side was a bit trickier so use a 5/8" drill bit so the hole is slightly larger than the 1/4" ready rod and make sure to drill out the hole making it as smooth as possible

This side was a bit trickier so use a 5/8″ drill bit so the hole is slightly larger than the 1/4″ ready rod and make sure to drill out the hole making it as smooth as possible

we used washers and locking nut on back side of fountain

we used washers and locking nut on back side of fountain

We set on edge of barrel and since the fountain can wiggle we started to make our adjustments-the spout had to be cut down a bit and adjusted (we did not glue until several test runs)

We set on edge of barrel and since the fountain can wiggle we started to make our adjustments-the spout had to be cut down a bit and adjusted (we did not glue until several test runs)

It was a period of adjusting spout to get it to stay and pour in to the clacker.

It was a period of adjusting spout to get it to stay and pour in to the clacker. there may be some drips too and adjusting the clacker and spout fixes the problem.

It takes some working, but after everything is adjusted and working then glue it (I used E600 glue but any outdoor glue will work)

It takes some working, but after everything is adjusted and working then glue it (I used E600 glue but any outdoor glue will work)

decided to move it to the large pond. it looks so cool

decided to move it to the large pond. it looks so cool

If you have any questions or even suggestions, please feel free to comment! We can all learn from each other. Thank you for reading and hope I have inspired you

9 thoughts on “DIY clacking bamboo water feature

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