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Crafting | Bamboo|Cane|Wooden Handicrafts

Archive for category Crafting

Iron Bamboo Walking Sticks and Hiking Canes

Recently, we had a Bamboo Nursery-Specialist, Mr. Abhijeet-visiting us from Agartala, Tripura. He specializes in raising Oliveri Bamboo (An iron Bamboo) and we became good friends.. We had a lot to discuss- regarding this rare iron bamboo, its propagation techniques, and applications for crafting Walking Sticks and Hiking Canes for the international market

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Iron Bamboo is an excellent material to craft Hiking Sticks and Walking Canes. Europeans and Americans alike, love Iron Bamboo, for their Walking Sticks and Canes (Wanderstock and Spazierstock).

Also called The Calcutta Bamboo, this rare species is almost fully solid, yet has a degree of flexibility, thereby qualifying to be one of the best choices, as a raw material for handcrafted Canes, Bo Staff, Escrima and Kali Sticks.

, an agronomist and a bamboo expert of International repute, currently a Senior Professor at GBPUAT, also visit our Bambusetum recently. We have been studying Bamboo as a crop, as well as a raw material for the last few years, ever since Shisham (Indian Rosewood) figured on the C.I.T.E.S list. We have eventually domesticated and short-listed 4 genotypes of bamboo, including 2 of the iron bamboo species- which we have found to be suitable for Terai conditions.

is an ocean of knowledge. I was busy gathering Dr. Tewari's  pearls of wisdom, in terms of learning to spear-head the bamboo mission in Uttarakhand. He was happy to see Stocksii and Oliverii bamboo plants   (Iron Bamboo Species)  domesticated in Terai and performing well in our bambusetum. We discussed the spacing, cultural practices and vegetative propagation techniques for development of these rare varieties.

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Iron Bamboo Nurseries- Guroo Farms

Due to a proposed restriction on export of Shisham, we have, over the last 2 years, established an experimental Bambusetum, of about 8 bamboo species, including 2 of the rare Iron Bamboo varieties, namely, Dendrocalamus Stocksii and Thyrostachys Oliverii at Guroo Farms in the Terai Belt of Uttarakhand and Uttar Pradesh, India. Besides the afore-mentioned Iron Bamboos, we also have planted Nutaans and Balcooa, both being loosely clumped, thick walled and with straight growing habits.

Further, I would like to thank our Prime Minister, Mr. Modi to have taken the initiative of having Bamboo de-listed as a forest-produce, thereby facilitating ease of trade, and thus giving an impetus to bamboo agro forestry systems. We, as a Sovereign Nation have been sleeping over the error of classification which has resulted in bamboo not having been exploited to its optimum potential. Thus, China is way ahead of us, despite the fact that we, as a country, have a considerable bamboo stand in our forests, and also have agro-climatic zones that support bamboo agro-forestry systems. Botanically, bamboo is a grass and not a tree- an anomaly that should have been sorted out, way back.

I am trying to locate a reliable source of Guadua Bamboo, which is said to be an excellent species for Terai. It is one of the toughest TIMBER BAMBOO, ideal for construction.

My aim is to get about 10 to 15 acres under bamboo cultivation over the next 2 to 3 years.

Another issue that plagues my mind is the choice of the under-story crop for the first 2 years, till the bamboo stand establishes fully.

Does Turmeric fit the bill??

 

References

http://www.downtoearth.org.in/news/india-opposes-cites-move-to-regulate-trade-in-all-species-of-dalbergia-56884

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dalbergia_sissoo

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Lemongrass Rhodinol for Bacteria and Fungus

Rhodinol is a term used to describe Citronellol and Geraniol- when they exist together. There are quite a few essential oils which contain rhodinol.

Essential Oils of Geranium, Rose, and a revolutionary new genotype of Lemongrass- are some of the examples- see the table below for a typical GC.

As a grower of bamboo, as well as essential oil crops- I, accidentally discovered an interesting application of rhodinol lemongrass for treating bamboo to protect it against pathogens and fungus, besides imparting a beautiful rosy aromatic note to our bamboo products.

Last few years, I have been experimenting with various oils- I found Oils of Rose and Geranium too expensive for my applications- though they also contain geraniol and citronellol in sizable proportions. I found Citral Rich lemongrass prone to oxidation, and very corrosive- The workers would complain of burning sensation- and hence shelved it too.

Our trials with Rhodinol Rich lemongrass turned out to be a success- and hence we have developed a curing process, where in we add Rhodinol Rich Lemongrass Oil to an oleo-thermal medium. Perhaps it's the anti- pest and anti-fungal and anti-bacterial properties of Citronellol and Geraniol (collectively called Rhodinol)- which get imbibed into the bamboo fiber that saves the bamboo from attack.

My interest in essential oils is multi-pronged-

a) -as a farmer and a distiller- our main crops are mints and rhodinol rich lemongrass

b) -as a raw material to treat and cure bamboo- bamboo handicrafts are a product of commerce for us.

c) -as a healing agent. Most civilizations have evolved methods of healing- into specialized activities. In India- ayurved is practiced - which uses dried plants- also called crude drugs. Pharmacognosy and Phytochemistry are related sciences. The West, especially the Americas, have evolved aromatherapy as a healing procedure. 

In this regard, I found the following write ups on Rhodinol Lemongrass by some renowned names in aromatherapy very interesting.

http://www.aromahead.com/blog/2010/10/08/a-great-gentle-lemongrass-chemotype/

http://www.aromahead.com/blog/2011/07/22/lemongrass-that-does-not-irritate-your-skin-really/

http://www.whitelotusblog.com/2011/04/lemongrasscymbopogon-citratus-essential.html

https://www.aromatics.com/products/essential-oils/lemongrass-rhodinol-rich-india

https://www.facebook.com/aromatherapyoils/posts/136220063090506

Typical GC charts of geranium, rose and rhodinol rich lemongrass oils

  geranium-bourbon geranium-india Rose-Bulgaria Rhodinol lemongrass
citronellol 21.38 23.59 including nerol 38.22 30
citronellyl butyrate 1.26      
citronellyl formate 8.37 4.19    
geraniol 17.45 23 14.41 45
geranyl acetate 0.39 0.29 0.74  
geranyl butyrate 1.04      
geranyl formate 7.55 2.66 0.06  
geranyl tiglate 1.34 1.61    
guaia-6,9-diene 3.9 0.09    
linalool 12.9 16.32 3.14  
menthone 1.5 0.54    
menthone 7.2 0.54    
phenethyl tiglate 0.43 0.77    
rose oxide 0.21 0.11 e 1.39 0.15
    0.74 z 0.32 0.02

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Curing Bamboo

Our attempts to switch over to agroforestry of bamboo to substitute wood for our handicrafts took me to , and 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 and Sal. Thus, treating bamboo becomes a necessity. 

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 heated oil / oleo-heat-
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 dissolving cotton and nitrocellulose in solvents.
• Varnish 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.

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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
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) Tangential  143 192 100 108
Tension perpendicular to grain (kg/sq cm)        
(a) Radial 89 71 68 58
(b) Tangential 107 93 79 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 construction 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

http://www.frienvis.nic.in/WriteReadData/UserFiles/file/pdfs/Babul.pdf

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vachellia_nilotica

 

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

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 longitudinal 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.

EBAY CANADA

www.ebay.ca/itm/253106976140

Price: C $27.00

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EBAY USA

www.ebay.com/itm/253106938014

Price: US $22.00

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Iron Bamboo Processing and Preservation

As a person undertaking agro-forestry of bamboo, we process Iron Bamboo for Handicrafts, Martial Art or Medieval Replica Weapons for Self Defense, which involves specialized methods and techniques of processing and preservation, to increase its durability.

Preservation techniques-

The empirical wisdom or popular knowledge, of indigenous people, peasants, farmers and artisans, has been developed through centuries in all the continents and has resulted in well-known methods and techniques to effectively preserve bamboo. 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 early mornings, before sunrise, in winters - on a waning moon.** (This is a controversial topic, scientists argue over the truth behind this “peasant knowledge”. Nevertheless, detailed studies show remarkable differences with untreated bamboo, when harvested at specific hours and moon phases. The starch content is lowest between waning gibbous and last quarter between the 6th and 8th day after full moon due to the higher gravitation of the moon. On the basis of photosynthesis, in the course of the morning, bamboo starts transporting starch from the roots into the leaves.

Soaking- After harvest, bamboo is stored in running water for 3-4 weeks to leach out starch.

Chemical Treatments ( any one -to be done immediately after harvesting or after soaking)-

  • 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. Bamboo products are tanalised, impregnated under pressure or boiled with chromated copper arsenate (CCA) to protect against rot. CCA is effective but toxic/carcinogenic.

  • ACA- Ammoniacal copper arsenate penetration in bamboo is effective against fungi, bacteria and insects. However, ACA is eco-toxic non-degradable.

  • CCB and CCBF  - commercially ASCU.

  • Boric acid, borax and boron are cheaper than CCA and less poisonous. This is used at a concentration of  2.5 per cent each, to be dissolved in hot water. The preservative, (disodium octaborate- which forms as a result of the reaction), is easily soluble in water. This process is only recommended for bamboo culms that would not be exposed to water or rain. Boron salts are effective against borers, termites and fungi (except soft rot fungi), and is widely recognized to be environmentally acceptable and safe for the mammals.

  • Other alternatives methods:Treatment of bamboo with limewater.

  • Drying of bamboo before use is necessary since dry bamboo is stronger and less susceptible to biological degradation than moist bamboo. In some experiments carried out it was found that Acetic acid (Vinegar), completely prevented moulds/fungus incidence during the drying process. (Tang et al., 2009).

  • Following the drying, the bamboo is TRADITIONALLY smoked by storing it above a fireplace, to blacken the culm. This, however, may not be necessary if chemical methods are used.

  • Fire Retardant Preservative- This treatment is intended to protect materials against fire as well as decay and insect attack. A mixture of boric acid / copper sulphate / zinc chloride / sodium dichromate in a ratio of 3:1:5:6 is recommended at 25% for indoor and outdoor use

  • 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

https://www.guaduabamboo.com/preservation/chemical-bamboo-preservation

https://www.guaduabamboo.com/preservation/durability-of-bamboo

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Iron Bamboo Collectible Police Baton Night Stick

We have listed a set of 4 (Iron Bamboo Collectible Police Baton Night Stick) on ebay for $ 90.

Iron bamboo is a very rare variety of bamboo that is almost solid. Its strength is comparable to steel, and is much stronger than any hardwood. See our post for more details

4421029901 vintage tire thumper mixed lot set of 4-1Tire Thumper-1

http://www.ebay.com/itm/Set-4-Iron-Bamboo-Antique-Tire-Thumper-Vintage-Bat-Collectible-Police-Stick-/253098336228

http://ebay.com/itm/253098336228

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Iron Bamboo Tire Thumper Antique Vintage Police Stick

We have started to list our own grown IRON Bamboo Tire Thumpers, Antique Vintage Police sticks on ebay.

Tire Thumper-1

 

 

Picture-

Description- 19 inches, made of iron bamboo or Acacia hardwood

Product Code- 4421020211

Ebay Item No.-253078211704

Ebay Link- www.ebay.com/itm/253078211704

 

Visit our ebay store

http://stores.ebay.com/bamboowoodcraft USA Store

http://stores.ebay.ca/bamboowoodcraft Canada Store

http://stores.ebay.com.au/bamboowoodcraft Australia Store

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Iron Bamboo- Thyrsostachys Oliveri- Kanak Kainch

Thyrsostachys Oliveri, another of the few "Iron Bamboos", is native to the Thailand, South China and N.E India (Tripura area). It is one of the most important bamboo species, because of its near solid structure and fiber quality. Locally called the Kanak Kaich, its a fairly straight growing mid sized bamboo, with a small spread. Farmers in Katlamara in West Tripura cultivate this bamboo at close spacing of about 2.5 m x 2.5 m.

I found this IRON BAMBOO species interesting, due to its vigorous growth at a Nursery close to Dehradun. I have, thus planted a few in my little bambusarium, due to its possible applications in the handicraft sector.

Thyrsostachys oliveri is a short rhizomed, perennial, evergreen, clumping/sympodial tropical bamboo, with persistent culm-sheath, which is an identifying feature.

thyrsostachys oliveri consistent culm sheath

The almost straight/erect culms are about 15 - 25 m long; 50 - 70mm in dia and about 40 - 60cm internode.

Thyrrsostachys_oliveri

As an iron bamboo, its valued as an excellent material for house-beams and miscellaneous applications in construction. The culms are used for reinforcing concrete blocks. Local craftsmen use this bamboo for handicrafts- mat-making, basketry, broom handles etc. Its fiber has a dark brown lustre, which makes it a material of choice for handicrafts. In Thailand, the young shoots are harvested for the production of steamed bamboo shoots.

Habitat : This species originates on the low hills forest, open areas at an altitudinal ranges of 500–700 m.

Distribution : Thailand, Myanmar, China - introduced and cultivated in tropical / subtropical Asia (Gamble, 1896; Wu, 2006).

Silvi-cultural management techniques Propagated through air-layering, culm cutting or offset planting.

Local Names :

Thailand;Phai ruak dam

Burma-Thanawa. Thyrsostachys Oliveri is a Native of Burma. (Nayagarh & Ganjam Districts)

Manipur- Keirakwa

Tripura- Kanak Kaich, Busai, Nusai, Nala Bauns

 

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