Glorifying my two dogs.
Tale of the two Yellow Beasts of blood and bones.. and guts and liver. Inside them is love which is exchanged occasionally with bites that seldom hurt….
Swallows on electric wires near our house.
Labour effective bamboo lamination technique
We are conceptualising a major project which deals with researching the potential of locally available, sustainably acquired materials to replace petro-plastics, other toxic and limited resources. This project is considered in the context of Northeast India. We are yet to finalise the details of the project; but we have started working on it already!
Using bamboo as a replacement of wood (esp. hardwood) has many benefits to the ecology, as it will directly reduce the rate of deforestation. Most hardwood takes around 20 years to mature as compared to 3-5 years for bamboo. Northeast India is home to various types of bamboo and its usage as a building material is a traditional practice. However in the last few decades, we see a trend of plastic products replacing the time tested sustainable products people of the region has been accessorising their lives with. This causes serious harm to the environment, health of the life forms (including humans), and the economic sustainability of the region.
The challenge is to explore new (and old) alternatives to these unsustainable and/or toxic materials; and upgrade them if need be using modern appropriate technology.
There is already a popularly used technique of laminating split bamboo culms to make solid regular timber, which can be used as a replacement for wood or in various other products. We were very interested in this technique as we were toying with the idea of introducing a line of lifestyle products including furniture (pssst!). Luckily, we found one person who has been using this technique to make furniture in Imphal. Khwairakpam Ibomcha was fascinated with this way of using bamboo, esp. in Taiwan. He started work on replicating this technique here using basic machineries, some of which he designed by himself.
He is using the popular method where the bamboo culm is split and each strip is planed on four sides and then laminated to form sheets. We learnt through him that this process is very labourious as each strip is fed through hand in a crude 2 sided planing machine he made, and the remaining two flat surfaces planed by hand. Each strip is planed this way before laminating to get flat boards used in building furnitures. In an industrial setup this process is mechanised using a four-sided planing machine which consumes lots of energy/fuel and is not affordable for most small scale industries operating here.
↑ Conventional bamboo lamination technique
Due to the amount of labour his process needs, Mr. Ibomcha is not able to sell his products at a reasonable price in spite of bamboo being much cheaper than the wood used in conventional furniture.
We were in a bind. We were not interested in producing sustainable ‘luxury’ products for a niche consumer base. What we wanted was a real alternative to hardwood, which can compete with it and surpass it. Identifying the problem as one concerning the method of processing the bamboo, we proceeded to research on other methods relevant to our situation.
We came up with this method illustrated in the accompanying pictures. Here we use a bamboo species with a thin walled culm. We cut the nodes out and split it into strips of roughly the same size. After scrubbing the strips clean, we glued the strips together under pressure as such without planing. This is possible because the strip is thin and the difference in the curvature of the concave and convex surfaces is negligible. The resulting board is leveled using a band saw and then sanded. This method dramatically reduces the amount of labour needed as leveling is required only once on the resulting board, hence solving out problem. We have already made some prototypes using this technique and it sure looks great! We are now working on extending the size of the timber by employing a running bond pattern while laminating the strips. Then we will put it through some tests to measure its strength and compare it with wood.
Once finalised, we will be releasing all the details of this method under a copyleft license for all to use! In fact it will be part of a database of open-source sustainable and responsible design and techniques we are working on.
We are working on this and hope to take it forward. It’s mostly Korou’s project though. He is the techie one among the two of us.
Setting out on an adventure very soon :)
“I would love to believe that when I die I will live again, that some thinking, feeling, remembering part of me will continue. But much as I want to believe that, and despite the ancient and worldwide cultural traditions that assert an afterlife, I know of nothing to suggest that it is more than wishful thinking.
The world is so exquisite with so much love and moral depth, that there is no reason to deceive ourselves with pretty stories for which there’s little good evidence. Far better it seems to me, in our vulnerability, is to look death in the eye and to be grateful every day for the brief but magnificent opportunity that life provides.”
— Carl Sagan
MY OH MY!
This is someone dying while having an MRI scan. Before you die, your brain releases tons and tons of endorphins that make you feel a range of emotions. Tragically beautiful.
Sad and surreal. Sometimes I get too obsessed with death and it upsets me.
- white people: I wish I lived in the forties! Everything was so much COOLER back then, you know?
- japanese people: nope
- walking people: nope
- thai people: nope
- black people: nope
- latin@ people: nope
- cuban people: nope
- korean people: nope
- desi people: nope
- jewish people: nope
- queer people: nope
- vietnamese people: nope
- chinese people: nope
- disabled people: nope
- indigenous people: nope