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How to make a bamboo water hammer


This traditional water feature made out of bamboo will conjure up the spirit of a tranquil Eastern garden. You can buy a bamboo water hammer kit from garden centres or water garden specialists. You'll often find them called by their Japanese name of Shishi Odoshi, or Deer Scare. Traditionally, on entering a Japanese garden, you would wash your hands and take a drink to show purification. Today, just enjoy the quietly relaxing clack of the hammer in action.

How to do it

Digging a hole for a water feature reservoir

1Choose a site for your water hammer and dig a hole that's deep and wide enough to hold the water reservoir.

Checking level of reservoir with spirit level

2Lay a length of wood across the top of the reservoir and use a spirit level to check it's even before you fill the gaps with soil.

Pouring water into bamboo hammer

3Pour a little water into the bamboo arm and check that it falls into the reservoir. Mark the position of the hammer and dig a hole for it.

Filling hole with concrete

4Fill the hole with concrete and insert the base of the bamboo post making sure that the bamboo arm is pointing towards the reservoir. And check that the main post is vertical using a spirit level. Then place the pump on the bottom of the reservoir and pull the electric cable neatly over the edge.

Making a channel for electric cable from water pump

5Make a channel in the turf to take the pump's cable from the reservoir to an armoured outdoor plug socket - ask an electrician to do this if you're unsure.

Attaching tube to water feature pump

6Connect the pump to the tube that carries the water to the top of the hammer. Fit the plastic-coated grille snugly over the reservoir.

Filling water feature reservoir

7Use a hosepipe to fill the reservoir. The final water level must at least cover the pump, but ideally it should be about 5cm below the rim of the reservoir.

Testing bamboo water hammer feature

8Turn on the pump to check the water hammer works correctly. All the water should flow into the reservoir. If it doesn't make any minor adjustments now.

Covering water feature grille with cobbles

9Complete the look by covering the grille with cobbles and the electric cable with a larger stone. As a finishing touch, plant up the area.

Adam's tip

Remember to keep the water reservoir topped up during the hot summer months.
Enhance the hammer with Japanese-style plants: bamboos, ferns, grasses and perhaps an acer.

Discuss this project

Talkback: How to make a bamboo water hammer
Your comment will appear after a quick registration step

nintwala 13/03/2012 at 15:52

where do you get the bamboo water hammer? I have been making something similar of my own. Take a look

omri abbou 27/04/2013 at 06:10

first its beautiful
can you tell me the pump deatails- voltage & size or any information that might be importent for it?
thank u