Curing Bamboo

Our attempts to switch over to agroforestry of bamboo to substitute wood for our handicrafts took me to Institute Of Wood Science and Tech, IPRITI and NID Bangalore, where I had the pleasure of meeting some rare breed of "bamboo connoisseurs". The 5 day seminar offered insights into novel methods of bamboo preservation and product development.

To a layman, bamboo epitomizes "a poor mans timber"- an ambivalent "pole"- being utilized in almost all rural activities- may it be construction, fencing, fishing or agriculture.

Why preserve bamboos?
Natural Untreated Bamboos are classified as GRADE 3 timber material. However, when properly treated it turns out be a very fine timber, in ways, stronger than steel and ALL HARDWOODS. In its treated state! – Bamboo is classified as GRADE 1 Timber- along with Sagwan an! d Sal. Thus, treating bamboo becomes a necessity. 

Preserving bamboos extends their life, reduces costs in the long run and improves safety of the structures they are used to form. There are many techniques of extending the life of bamboo under use is through preservation treatments. These techniques include non-chemical and chemical methods, some of which I have already discussed in one of my earlier blogs.

Sap Displacement, smoking, white-washing, storage in water.
Chemical treatment methods (CCA), Boric acid / Borax

Treatment in boiling linseed oil / oleo-thermal process-
I am intrigued by the simplicity and functionality of this process. Where-as, other processes may involve a time span of at least a few months! , from the time of harvest to a fully dried and treated bamboo, the oil process renders a ready/treated and duly de-hydrated and de-starched bamboo, in a matter of hours!!! I am trying out various combinations- to study the costs involved, as well as to minimize chemical deterioration and the associated fire hazards.

Would appreciate comments/observations on this method

 

Outer/Exterior Protection

Lacquer vs Varnish- Both lacquer and varnish are used to provide a finish to wooden furniture, but they are different in ingredients and how they are made.
Varnish is made from resins that are mixed with thinners or other solvents to remain liquid. On the other hand, lacquer is made by diss! olving cotton and nitrocellulose in solvents. • V! arnish is always transparent, whereas lacquer can be made to give tinted finishes.
• No flattening agent is added in lacquer, whereas varnish can produce semi glossy and even satin finishes because of the presence of flattening agents.
• Lacquer being quick drying, it is applied mostly by spraying whereas varnish is applied using a brush.

Varnish is a resin(natural or synthetic) dissolved in oil and does not contain pigments. It produces hard film. Where as lacquers are quick drying coatings made of nitrocellulose dissolved in solvent with pigment added for color.

A farmer’s blog on Bamboo Agro-Forestry http://bamboowoodcraft.com

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Babool- Gum Arabic Acacia Nilotica Wood for Handicrafts

The Babool or the Indian Gum, Nilotica (linn), Willd ex del is also known as kikar, babur etc. and is indigenous to the Indian Sub-continent. It is found in Deccan and Thar.

A. nilotica is a multipurpose tree. Its timber is valued by rural folks.

Uses

Tooth brushing- The tender twigs are used as a toothbrush (Datun)

Gum arabic- The gum of A. nilotica is also referred to in India as Amaravati gum

Hedges- V. nilotica is thorny and hence makes a good hedge.

Physical Properties of the Wood
The hard wood is heavy and tough. The average weight is about 785 kg/m3 at 12 per cent moisture content. It is somewhat coarse-textured and has interlocked grains. The wood is dull and somewhat rough without any characteristic odour or taste. The strength properties of wood are given below

  Babool Teak   Green Air Dry Green Air Dry! m> Moisture content per cent 70 12 76.6 12 ! > Static Bending         (a) Fibre stress at elastic limit (kg/sq cm) 421 487 509 651 (b) Modulus of rupture(kg/cm2) 776 894 841 959 (c) Modulus of elasticity (1000 kg/sq cm) 977 1128 1097 1196 Impact bending     !     (a) Fibre stress at elastic limit (kg/sq cm) 1085 1306 1085 1121 (b) Maximum height of drof in impact binding (cm) 130 104 ! 91 71 (c) Modulus of elasticity (kg/sq cm) 108400 140100 160600 166800 Compression parallel to grain (kg/sq cm         (a) Compressive stress at  207 260 311 376 (b) Maxi. Crushing stress  354 536 415 532 (c) Modulus of elasticity 101800 118000 129800 137400 Compression perpendicular to grain (kg/sq cm)         (a) Compressive stress at elastic limit  91 124 86 101 Hardness-load in kg to embed 1.128 cm diameter ball to half diameter         ! (a) Radial  720 824 557 502 (b) Tangential  755 855 551 524 (c) End  671 915 486 488 Shear paralled to grain (kg/sq cm)         (a) Radial  119 168 90 97 (b) Tangent! ial  143 192 100 108 Te! nsion perpendicular to grain (kg/sq cm)         (a) Radial 89 71 68 58 (b) Tangential 107 93 79! d> 66

Working and Finishing Properties
In its green state, It is an easy wood to convert and resaw. However, it becomes harder and tougher when seasoned. It works well by hand machines and finishes to a good surface. Its working quality index based on quality of worked surface and ease of working is 84 compared to 100 for teak.
Timber
The wood is widely used for con! struction as posts, rafters, beams and in door frames. It is one of the most favoured timbers for all types of agricultural implements like ploughs, harrows, crushers and rice pounders, and is extensively used in card building, for yokes, shafts, wheels and body work. Babul wood is also recommended for certain types of sports and athletic goods like clubs, wall bars, parallel bars, etc..

Fuelwood- and charcoal. Its charcoal is considered to be superior to charcoal from other species.

Resources

frienvis.nic.in/WriteReadData/UserFiles/file/pdfs/Babul.pdf! ont>!

 

We have found it to be an excellent raw material for various handicrafts

See some of our Babool/Acacia products on OUR EBAY STORE

HTTP://STORES.EBAY.COM/BAMBOOWOODCRAFT USA STORE

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HTTP://STORES.EBAY.CA/BAMBOOWOODCRAFT CANADA STORE

HTTP://STORES.EBAY.COM.AU/BAMBOOWOODCRAFT AUSTRALIA STORE

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Iron Bamboo Sticks for Filipino Martial Arts

Silat, Kali, Arnis, Eskrima are variations of Stick Fighting Martial Art Form that evolved in Philippines.

Arnis & Eskrima are Spanish words. The term Escrima/ Eskrima, is derived from a Spanish term “esgrima”, meaning ‘fencing’. This art form was more from the central part of the Philippines. Arnis, is derived from a Spanish term  ‘Arnes de mano’ meaning ‘armour of the hands’. It was later shortened to ‘Arnis’. This art form comes from the northern parts of the Philippines. They’re Filipino stick fighting mixed with European techniques of sword fighting

Kali is a Silat style, martial art form- and comes from the southern part of the Philippines. The word Kali is Indonesian, derived from the Bahasia dialect, meaning river. As per certain literature– ! the stick in Kali Stick Fighting, epitomizes the river, continuously flowing, unstoppable, with the ability to consume whatever lays in its path.  Throw a boulder in a river and the water will go under, over, through or around it but it will continue to flow.

For the most part, these are all similar, if not same, martial arts. The masters of these arts influenced each other and thus there are many similarities. The differences usually depend on the instructor.

2017-08-20 20.24.31

We have listed this on ebay-

4421023001 Set of 4 pieces, Iron, Bamboo, Martial, Arts, Escrima, Anis, Kali, Practice, Bo, Staff, Walking, Stick

IRON BAMBOO, is a rare variety of ALMOST FULLY SOLID BAMBOO SPECIES, harder than hardwood. Certain mechanical parameters are comparable to steel. Bamboo has a longer logitudnal fibre- thus does not break easily. It may momentarily yield/bend under extreme pressure, but comes back to its original form- much like an elastic. This helps to reduce the intensity of the impact shock.

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Bamboo as a Crop

Off-late, BAMBOO (Gramineae (Poaceae), subfamily Bambusoideae) has stolen my interest, and I have been collecting commercially viable genotypes. I came across this interesting genotype of Bambusa Balcooa, with almost non-existent inter-nodal cavity ( in the lower 60% of the bamboo- which gradually increased to about 2 to 3 cm in the upper third) . I plan to propagate this particular bamboo for its possible use as a substitute to hardwood for our handicrafts. 

Description
Bamboos are giant woody grasses, with about 1300 species in approx 180 genera. Bambusoideae are distributed in tropics.

Bamboo plants, usually perennial, consist
of an underground root system and rhizome mat from which culms grow. These (culms) are usually hollow, primarily made of cellulose, hemicellulose and! lignin. Diameter of up to 20cm or more has been seen in some species, with a height of 10–40m, which is achieved in about 3–4 months.

Bamboo has long fibre- 1.5 to 3.2mm in length, comprise 60–70 per cent of the culm’s weight, thus a desirable raw material for paper production. Bamboo provides a high biomass yield, is strong and its calorific value is comparable to wood.

Bamboos can be-sympodial or monopodial. The flowering cycle can be anywhere from 15 to 120 years.

Ecological requirements
Most species need warm and humid climates. There are drought-resistant strains, such as Dendrocalamus strictus which can survive on a minimum of 750–1000mm annual precipitation.

Bamboos prefer light, well-drained sandy loams, with abundant organ! ic matter. The optimal soil pH range is between 5 and 6.5.! >

Propagation
Conventional propagation is done by: seeds or by vegetative methods (the planting of offsets, culm cuttings or branch cuttings).

Crop management
Planting density tests of Dendrocalamus strictus in India suggest that the high density populations, something like sugarcane, could yield as much as 27t of biomass/ha- measured over 18- month period.
Fertilization- has been shown to lead to an increased number and weight of rhizomes. A nitrogen-rich, fast-release compound fertilizer should be used in the spring, a month before sprouting. Studies in China have concluded that for every 1000kg of bamboo vegetable matter produced, 2.7kg of nitrogen, 3.6kg of potassium and 0.36kg of phosphorus must be added to the soil.
Suggested fertilizer levels for bamboo resulting from tests in India

! Fertilizer Amount (kg/ha)
Nitrogen (N)-  100 (kg/ha)
Potassium-  (as K2O) 50 (kg/ha)
Phosphorus – (as P2O5) 50 (kg/ha)

Production, Processing and utilization
Bamboo is harvested manually with knives.

It was previously believed that clear felling was harmful to bamboo stands, but tests in India have shown that clear felling of the stand led to vigorous growth.

A farmer’s blog on Bamboo Agro-Forestry http://bamboowoodcraft.com

Iron Bamboo Processing and Preservation

Processing Iron Bamboo for Handicrafts, Martial Art or Medieval Replica Weapons for Self Defense involves specialized methods and techniques, to increase its durability.

Preservation techniques-

Traditional methods- are generally cheaper to implement and can be done without any special equipment. For proper Preservation of iron bamboo, it must be harvested/cut in winters – when the starch content is low. After harvest, the bamboo is kept in flowing water for a few days to run off the starch. They are left for several weeks and then dried over a full week, preferably in shade. Following the drying, the bamboo is Smoked by storing it above a fireplace, to blacken the culm.

Chemical Treatments! g>-

  • CCA (copper-chrome-arsenic composition, in the proportion 3: 1:4) is good for bamboo, but has associated health hazards. Thus, it has to be used judiciously, if at all.
  • CCB and CCBF  – commercially ASCU.
  • Boric acid, borax and boron are cheaper than CCA and less poisonous. Commercially sold as Octabor. This is used at a concentration of  2.5 per cent each, to be dissolved in hot water.
  • For Termites– 1% Dieldrin may be added to the preservative. However, Dieldrin is dangerous, and use is illegal in several countries.

Further information
• Non poisonous Timber Protection Practical Action Technical Brief
• Designing and Building with Bamboo by Jules J. A. Janssen

A farmer! ‘s blog on Bamboo Agro-Forestry http://bamboowoodcraft.com