Archive for category Crafting

Bamboo Trails- Dendrocalamus Stocksii

I learnt about this near solid, iron-bamboo (Dendrocalamus Stocksii) from an article published by Institute of Wood Science and Technology. The interesting feature was its loose-clumping growth habit, along with a near absence of inter-nodal cavity, thereby making it a suitable candidate for consideration of use to replace wood in certain applications in the handicraft industry. Also alluded to, as an iron-bamboo due to its iron like strength, this species is practically non-existent in N. India. Scientists at FRI and various agricultural institutes need to study the viability of introducing Dendrocalamus Stocksii in the TARAI, which is pretty humid and moist, much like the costal area, where this bamboo is naturally found.

Classification

Dendrocalamus stocksii (Munro), synonym Oxytenanthera stocksii / Pseudoxytenanthera stocksiiaabsence (Munro), synonym Oxytenanthera stocksii / Pseudoxytenanthera stocksii

As per the alluded article, Dendrocalamus stocksii is naturally distributed in Central Western Ghats. Locally called - Chivari’, Mes, Konda, Oor-shema, Marihal, Manga etc. D. stocksii has medium sized, stout solid and strong culms. Though the natural distribution of this species is in humid tropics, this species has a wide adaptability and comes up well in tropical humid, sub humid and semi-arid conditions.

MORPHOLOGY

Culms are said to be about 8 to 9m, basal dia 25-58mm and internode of 15-30cm, light green in colour, loosely spaced and without thorns. They are solid at the base upto about half the culm height.

Anatomical and Mechanical Properties of Dendrocalamus stocksii

Specific gravity- 0.691

Fibre Diameter (μm)- 16.6

Fibre Lumen Diameter (μm)- 5.7

Fibre length (mm)-3.4

Fibre Wall Thickness (μm)- 10.9

Modulus of Rupture (MOR) (kg/cm2)- 620

Maximum crushing stress (kg/cm2)- 386

Vascular bundles per cm2- 281

(Source: Rao et al., 2004)

Species Specific gravity MOR (kg/cm2) Max. crushing stress (kg/cm2)
Dendrocalamus stocksii 0.691 620 386
Bambusa nutans 0.603 529 456
Bambusa bambos 0.584 836 572
Dendrocalamus strictus 0.631 734 359
Tectona grandis 0.604 959 532
comparison
kN/cm²   spruce   bamboo   steel St37
elastic modulus   1100   2000   21000
compressive compressive   4.3   6.2-9.3   14
tension strength   8.9   14.8-38.4   16
bending strength   6.8   7.6-27.6   14
shearing strength   0.7   2.0   9.2

Source- http://bambus.rwth-aachen.de/eng/reports/mechanical_properties/referat2.html

The compressive strength of bamboo is roughly situated between 40 and 80 N/mm2 which is twice to four times the value of most timber species. Bamboo with low moisture content has a higher compressive strength than one with higher moisture.

The shear strength of bamboo is often twice the value of popular timber species.

The bending strength of most bamboo species varies between 50 and 150 N/mm2 and is on average twice as strong as most conventional structural timbers

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Bamboo- For Handicrafts and Fiber

Bamboo, genetically, a grass, is proving to be a suitable green substitute to hardwood timber. Its green, because it is one of the fastest growing plants, and under a suitable regimen of agro-forestry, can substantially reduce the burden on our forests.

Needless to mention, that Indian Wooden Handicraft Industry is having to look at alternative resources for raw material, in light of Indian Rosewood (Shisham) having been classified under schedule 2 of the  CITES lists.

Bamboo seems to fit the bill perfectly. 

As a farmer, as well a stake-holder in handicraft business, we have hence commenced planting bamboo for our needs. In quest of elite planting material, I travelled to all corners of the country, as well as parts of Bhutan and Nepal. We collected some interesting genotypes- We also received some good planting material from Agro-Forestry Dept.of GBPUAT. As a result of above efforts, we have now established trial plots of 6 species of bamboo on our farm, which we shall study for suitability for handicraft applications, as well as its agronomy ( suitability as a cash crop).

Bamboo has a long and interesting history dating back more than 5,000 years. The woody stem has various applications- it is widely used in construction industry, handicrafts, paper, furniture and for fiber processing, besides some other applications. 

Bamboo textiles are textiles derived from bamboo fibers, with or without hemp/cotton/spandex blends. BAMBOO Fiber is obtained from the culms- it is lingo cellulosic, made from bamboo timber which has matured for at least 3-4 years (depending on species). The major chemical constituents of bamboo are cellulose, hemi-cellulose and lignin, besides minor occurrence of waxes, resins, tannins, proteins and ashes. Bamboo fibers comprise of 60–70 % holo-cellulose, pentose's (20–25 %), hemicelluloses and lignin. The α-cellulose of bamboo is comparable with that of woods. Cellulose contents in this range make bamboo a suitable raw material for the pulp and paper industry. Cellulose is made up of linear chains of β-1-4-linked glucose anhydride units.

Mature Culms are crushed and submersed in a strong solution of sodium hydroxide to dissolve the cellulose. Carbon disulfide is added to regenerate fibers, which are then drawn off, washed and bleached and dried. The resultant fluff is spun into yarn.

The higher tensile strength and longer staple results in a tough yet soft yarn – This is what gives bamboo fabrics excellent durability. The hollowness of the bamboo fiber makes it highly absorbent. Thus, it takes longer to dry on a clothesline. The hollowness of the bamboo fiber also enables it to hold color (dyes and pigments)-thus it is much more colorfast.

Main methods of producing bamboo fibers-

The culm is crushed and soaked in a solution of 18 % NaOH at 20–25 °C for 1– 3 h to form alkali cellulose, which is then pressed to remove excess NaOH solution. The mass is further crushed, left to dry for 24 h and CS2 added. This causes the bamboo alkali cellulose to sulfurise and jell out. The remaining CS2 is removed by evaporation due to decompression, resulting in sodium xanthogenate.  A diluted solution of NaOH is added to the cellulose sodium xanthogenate, to dissolve it into a viscose solution consisting of about 5 % NaOH and 7–15 % bamboo fiber cellulose.  The viscose solution is forced through spinneret nozzles into a larger container of diluted sulfuric acid (H2SO4) solution which, hardens the viscose and reconverts it to cellulose bamboo fiber which are spun into yarns (to be woven or knitted).

Lyocell process uses N-methylmorpholine-N-oxide (NMNO) to dissolve the bamboo cellulose into viscose solution. NMNO- a weak alkaline-  acts as surfactant, as well as to break down the cellulose structure. Hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) is added as a stabilizer and the solution is forced through spinnerets into a hardening bath (usually a solution of H2O2 and a alcohol like methanol or ethanol), which causes the thin streams of viscose solution to harden into bamboo cellulose fibers. The regenerated bamboo fibers are spun into yarns.

BAMBOO CHARCOAL FIBER  The joints of bamboo are cut out and then split up into pieces of slivers of an inch in width. The shredded bamboo is pickled in a solution of clear lime-water, nitrate of soda and oxalic acid. The pickled bamboo is removed after 12–24 h in order to be boiled in a solution of soda ash. The material is crushed and then combed, carded, or heckled. It is then spun into cordage, yarn or other forms of manufacturing.
LITRAX (NATURAL) BAMBOO FIBER Mechanical extraction of natural bamboo fiber, a Bamboo culms. b Mechanical splitting of bamboo culms. c Rasping of woody parts. d Enzyme bath. e Gray and bleached natural bamboo fibers. f Woven bamboo fabric. In order to turn bamboo into a fiber, first the culm must be crushed mechanically. The crushed bamboo strands are then treated with designed enzymes to separate the fibrous material from the glue-like lignin within the plant. This includes a series of precisely timed alternate steam- washing and enzyme treatment cycles, which also act on the vertical and horizontally aligned lignin of the resulting fiber bundles. The final step is to bleach the fibers with hydrogen peroxide. The resulting natural staple length varies between 70 and 150 mm, but can be cut to shorter lengths for processing, i.e. 50 or 38 mm staple. Litrax provides the LITRAX-1 (L1) natural bamboo fibers with a special DNA coding to protect its vertical supply chain and customers. The DNA coding will guarantee that customers are buying the original, authentic bamboo fiber from Litrax. The fiber is strong and durable.

TECHNICAL DATA OF LITRAX L1 BAMBOO FIBER L1 fiber characteristics Dimensions Fineness 5.7D Fiber dimensions 38 mm from (natural 70–150 mm staple)

END USES OF BAMBOO FIBER Bamboo fabrics are made from pure bamboo fiber yarns which have excellent wet permeability, moisture vapor transmission property, soft hand, better drape, easy dying, splendid colors.

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Gandalf Hobbit Churchwarden Tobacco Smoking Pipe

We have listed Gandalf Hobbit Churchwarden Pipe on ebay at $ 12 per piece, with International Shipping Options, $ 12 for the first, with $ 8 for every additional.

It's a bowl pipe, 10 inches long, handcrafted in hardwood.

wooden 10 inch bowl pipe

Smoking pipes of various types have been in use since time immemorial. There is a description by Herodotus of Scythians inhaling the fumes of burning leaves in 500 B.C.
Native Americans are known to have smoked tobacco in ceremonial pipes. The tobacco plant is said to be native to South America, which spread into North America long before Europeans arrived. Tobacco was introduced to Europe from the Americas in the 16th century and spread around the world rapidly.

History- According to Alfred Dunhill, Africans have had a tradition of smoking hemp in gourd pipes. It is said that by 1884 the King of the Baluka tribe had established a "riamba" or hemp-smoking cult in place of fetish-worship.

Pipes have been fashioned from an assortment of materials including briar, clay, ceramic, corncob, glass, meerschaum, metal, gourd, stone, wood and various combinations thereof, most notably, the classic English calabash pipe.
The size of a pipe, particularly the bowl, depends largely on what is intended to be smoked in it. Large western-style tobacco pipes are used for strong-tasting, harsh tobaccos, the smoke from which is usually not inhaled. Smaller pipes such as the midwakh or kiseru are used to inhale milder tobaccos.

The customs, vocabulary and etiquette that surround pipe smoking culture vary across the world and depend both on the people who are smoking and the substance being smoked.
For example, in many places in Europe and North America, tobacco pipe smoking has sometimes been seen as genteel or dignified and has given rise to a variety of customized accessories and even apparel such as the smoking jacket, and the Pipe Smoker of the Year award in the UK, as well as the term kapnismology ("the study of smoke").[4]
The ceremonial smoking of tobacco or other herbs, as a form of prayer, is still practiced in a number of Native American religious traditions.

Tobacco Smoking Pipes are manufactured using a variety of materials, e.g. Briar, Heather, corn, meerschaum, clay, cherry, glass, porcelain, ebonite, acrylic etc.

Tobacco Smoking Pipe Designs-

Bowl 
Bong, also known as a water pipe
Ceremonial pipe, used by some Native American peoples
Chibouk, a long-stemmed Turkish tobacco pipe with a clay bowl, often ornamented with precious stones
Chillum (pipe), conical smoking pipe originally from India
Hookah, tall stemmed pipe in which the smoke is cooled and filtered by passing through water, also known as a water pipe
Kiseru, Japanese pipe traditionally used for smoking finely shredded tobacco
Midwakh, small smoking pipe of Arabian origin
Opium pipe, designed for the vaporization and inhalation of opium
Sebsi, traditional Moroccan smoking pipe

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Tobacco Smoking Pipes-Cross Border Trading

As an entrepreneur, associated with handicraft industry (wood, horn, metal and stone), one of our product lines that we wish to develop FOR OUR EBAY/AMAZON ONLINE MARKET PLACES is SMOKING PIPES.

I see whole lot of them being offered, sold/traded on ebay and amazon- yet I also hear about CROSS BORDER SHIPMENTS being impounded by US Customs.

I wonder, if somebody can offer help/guidance with regards to labeling and packing of Tobacco Smoking Pipes, to facilitate a smooth pass through US Customs.

I had written to US Customs, seeking a clarification- I have received a perfunctory response, which, at best, is a mere formality.

The relevant statute, 21 U.S.C. Section 863 provides

(a) In general It is unlawful for any person—
(1) to sell or offer for sale drug paraphernalia;
(2) to use the mails or any other facility of interstate commerce to transport drug paraphernalia; or
(3) to import or export drug paraphernalia.

Whereas, 21 U.S.C. Section 863(d) and 21 U.S.C. Section 863(e) try to define the term “drug paraphernalia”

THERE ARE EXEMPTIONS TO THE RULE VIDE 21 U.S.C. Section 863(f):

(1) any person authorized by local, State, or Federal law to manufacture, possess, or distribute such items; or

(2) any item that, in the normal lawful course of business, is imported, exported, transported, or sold through the mail or by any other means, and traditionally intended for use with tobacco products, including any pipe, paper, or accessory. (Emphasis added).

Since these items are being sold on amazon and ebay, does the above exemption apply – and if our labels indicate its intended/likely use to be “Smoking Tobacco” are we in the ambit of the law to dispatch these via courier to fulfill our ebay/amazon orders ?

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Exporting Wooden Handcrafted Smoking Pipes to USA

Handcrafted Smoking Pipes, Hookahs, Bongs and such related goods are a product of the handicrafts industry clustered in Uttar Pradesh and adjoining areas. It caters to niche markets in Americas, Middle East, Europe etc.

However, due to its potential use as an accessory or an equipment for consumption of drugs, United States Customs scrutinizes, reviews and examines shipments of these products in a very comprehensive way.

Due to my affiliation with the handicraft industry, I took up the initiative of browsing the relevant laws, which I am reproducing below, with comments.

The HS classification is as follows.  

96140000 (SMOKING PIPES, INCLUDING PIPE BOWLS, CIGAR OR CIGARETTE HOLDERS AND PARTS THEREOF),

44201000 (Wooden Handicrafts)

68029900 (Handicrafts of Stone)

Ref- http://customsesq.com/blog/smoke-shop-importing/

The relevant statute, 21 U.S.C. Section 863 provides,
(a) In general It is unlawful for any person—
(1) to sell or offer for sale drug paraphernalia;
(2) to use the mails or any other facility of interstate commerce to transport drug paraphernalia; or
(3) to import or export drug paraphernalia.

Pursuant to 21 U.S.C. Section 863(d), the term “drug paraphernalia” is defined as:

Any equipment, product, or material of any kind which is primarily intended or designed for use in manufacturing, compounding, converting, concealing, producing, processing, preparing, injecting, ingesting, inhaling, or otherwise introducing into the human body a controlled substance, possession of which is unlawful under this subchapter. It includes items primarily intended or designed for use in ingesting, inhaling, or otherwise introducing marijuana, cocaine, hashish, hashish oil, PCP, methamphetamine, or amphetamines into the human body, such as—
(1) metal, wooden, acrylic, glass, stone, plastic, or ceramic pipes with or without screens, permanent screens, hashish heads, or punctured metal bowls;
(2) water pipes;
(3) carburetion tubes and devices;
(4) smoking and carburetion masks;
(5) roach clips: meaning objects used to hold burning material, such as a marihuana cigarette, that has become too small or too short to be held in the hand;
(6) miniature spoons with level capacities of one-tenth cubic centimeter or less;
(7) chamber pipes;
(8) carburetor pipes;
(9) electric pipes;
(10) air-driven pipes;
(11) chillums;
(12) bongs;
(13) ice pipes or chillers;
(14) wired cigarette papers; or
(15) cocaine freebase kits. (Emphasis added).

Further, to determine whether an item is considered drug paraphernalia, 21 U.S.C. Section 863(e) provides that:

[I]n addition to all other logically relevant factors, the following may be considered:
(1) instructions, oral or written, provided with the item concerning its use;
(2) descriptive materials accompanying the item which explain or depict its use;
(3) national and local advertising concerning its use;
(4) the manner in which the item is displayed for sale;
(5) whether the owner, or anyone in control of the item, is a legitimate supplier of like or related items to the community, such as a licensed distributor or dealer of tobacco products;
(6) direct or circumstantial evidence of the ratio of sales of the item(s) to the total sales of the business enterprise;
(7) the existence and scope of legitimate uses of the item in the community; and
(8) expert testimony concerning its use.

Lastly, 21 U.S.C. Section 863(f) lists exemptions:

(1) any person authorized by local, State, or Federal law to manufacture, possess, or distribute such items; or

(2) any item that, in the normal lawful course of business, is imported, exported, transported, or sold through the mail or by any other means, and traditionally intended for use with tobacco products, including any pipe, paper, or accessory. (Emphasis added).

The U.S. Supreme Court examined the meaning of “drug paraphernalia” pursuant to 21 U.S.C. Section 863 in the matter of Posters ‘N’ Things v. United States, 511 U.S. 513 (1994), and considered the phrases (1) “primarily intended for use” and (2) “designed for use” in such case.
The Court concluded that “primarily intended for use” is to be understood objectively and refers generally to an item’s likely use. Posters ‘N’ Things, 511 U.S. 513, 521 (1994). Moreover, the Court noted that this “is a relatively particularized definition, reaching beyond the category of items that are likely to be used with drugs by virtue of their objective features.” Id. at 521 n.11.
The court stated that “items ‘primarily intended’ for use with drugs constitute drug paraphernalia, indicating that it is the likely use of customers generally, not any particular customer, that can render a multiple-use item drug paraphernalia.” Id. at 521 n.11. Therefore, items having possible multiple uses may constitute drug paraphernalia for purposes of 21 U.S.C. Section 863 if the likely use by customers of the seller of the items is for use with illegal drugs.

Customs will make the determination on a case-by-case basis about whether your product falls within the context of drug paraphernalia.  Accordingly, one should take into account the relevant factors that CBP considers when publishing its rulings on such products.  Further, one should speak with an attorney who focuses on Customs law to ensure that the best arguments are presented to CBP for clearance of their smoke shop products into the United States.

Further References

Tobacco Control Act.

In accordance with 26 U.S.C. § 5702(c), "tobacco products" means cigars, cigarettes, smokeless tobacco (snuff or chewing tobacco), pipe tobacco, and roll-your-own tobacco. For pipe/loose tobacco products, contact the Ports of Entry.

https://www.ecfr.gov/cgi-bin/text-idx?c=ecfr&sid=c81f78d8fa752e578c91dd25d3c1c6f2&rgn=div5&view=text&node=27:2.0.1.1.2&idno=27#se27.2.41_11

§41.75 Exemptions.
The provisions of this subpart requiring that tobacco products and cigarette papers and tubes be put up in packages and that proper notice be placed on such packages shall not apply to imported tobacco products and cigarette papers and tubes authorized to be released from customs custody, without payment of internal revenue tax, pursuant to §41.50, and shall not apply to tobacco products imported in passengers' baggage, or by mail where the value does not exceed $250, where such products are solely for the personal consumption of the importer or for disposition as his bona fide gift.

(72 Stat. 1422; 26 U.S.C. 5723)
[T.D. 6871, 31 FR 41, Jan. 4, 1966. Redesignated at 40 FR 16835, Apr. 15, 1975, as amended by T.D. ATF-232, 51 FR 28085, Aug. 5, 1986; T.D. ATF-243, 51 FR 43194, Dec. 1, 1986. Redesignated and amended by T.D. TTB-16, 69 FR 52424, 52425, Aug. 26, 2004]

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Medieval Viking Bearded Axe with Bamboo Handle

Viking Axes and Weapons are considered collectors items, invoking reminiscences of the Viking age.

Vikings (In local vernacular- vikinger, vikingar, víkingar), were Nordic seafarers, primarily speaking the Old Norse language. They raided and traded across wide areas of Europe, during the late 8th to late 11th centuries.

20170221_114556-1

One of their axes is popularly called the Bearded Axe or the Skeggöx (from Old Norse Skegg, beard + öx, axe), which was in vogue around the 6th century AD, a time period associated with Viking Age. The lower portion of an axe extends out like a beard, and hence the nomenclature. There are many variants of this design, in use by foresters, even today.

Our Bearded Viking Axe head is HOT FORGED in 6150 Steel. Equivalent grades- 735A51 50CrV4 50Cr4V2 EN47 6150 SUP10). Analysis Carbon 0.48-0.53% Silicon 0.15-0.35%, Manganese 0.70-0.90% Phosphorous 0.040% max, Chromium 0.80-1.10% Sulphur 0.035% max, Vanadium 0.15% min

The haft/handle is in bamboo. Bamboo has longer fiber and is said to be stronger than wood. Some of its mechanical properties are comparable with steel. Additionally, the species of bamboo that we use ( Dendrocalamus Strictus) is ALMOST FULLY SOLID, with a very small inter-nodal cavity. Because of its unique anatomy, bamboo has the quality of absorbing the shock, much as a shock absorber, thus making it a better material for hafts and tool handles. In India, most farm tools have bamboo hafts/handles

MEASUREMENTS:
Overall: 24 inches
Weight: 1 kg alloy steel head, 300 gram, self locking SOLID bamboo handle

HOT FORGED

HRC 48 to 50

Surface Protection treatment- as per the color choice

Buy on

On ebay.com  (America)

(Australia)

(UK and EU) 

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Rattan Cane and Bamboo for Handicrafts

Rattan Cane and Bamboo are often confused with one another, despite them belonging to entirely different families.

Rattan Cane is a creeper-palm. The word "Rattan" ( Malay rotan) is a family of about 600 climbing palms belonging to subfamily Calamoideae (Greek 'kálamos' = reed).

Synonyms for Rattan- manila, or malacca (named after the ports- Manila and Malacca), Manau (Malay rotan manau, which is the trade name for Calamus manan canes). The climbing habit is associated with the characteristics of its flexible woody stem, derived typically from a secondary growth, makes rattan a liana rather than a true wood.

The largest rattan genus is Calamus, distributed in Asia and Africa.

Daemonorops, Ceratolobus, Korthalsia, Plectocomia, Plectocomiopsis, Myrialepis, Calospatha, Pogonotium and Retispatha, are found in Southeast Asia.  Laccosperma (syn. Ancistrophyllum), Eremospatha and Oncocalamus are found in Africa.

The bamboos are grasses- evergreen perennial flowering plants of subfamily Bambusoideae, family Poaceae. Bamboos have hollow inter-nodal regions, though some are almost solid, e.g., Dendrocalamus Strictus and Membranaceous.  The vascular bundles in Bamboos are scattered throughout the stem instead of in a cylindrical arrangement. The dicot woody xylem is also absent. The absence of secondary growth wood makes bamboos columnar rather than tapering.

Bamboos include some of the fastest-growing plants in the world. Giant bamboos are the largest members of the grass family. Bamboos are of notable economic and cultural significance in South Asia, Southeast Asia and East Asia, being used for building materials, as a food source, and as a versatile raw product. Bamboo has a higher specific compressive strength than wood, brick, or concrete and a specific tensile strength that rivals steel.

Bamboo and Cane agro-forestry systems, thus offer a sustainable option to save our forest cover, which is the backbone of human existence on earth.

Bamboo and Cane are an excellent raw material for handicraft industry. 20160527_194924_resized71KXC7vxZ4L._SL1500_12_Seater_setty2-Asian-Moderne51tPjGFv8zL._SL1500_81K0QD9NwRL._SL1500_640c4c0063bc04bd7c1dd76f2dd4bc80800px-Baseball_bat-Louisville_slugger_construction

The word bamboo comes from the Kannada term bambu, which was introduced to English through Indonesian and Malay.

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Handcrafted Weapons for Self Defense

As a grower of bamboo, we have now launched a range of self defense products, which are delicately handcrafted, yet strategically brutal weapons.

Some of the Bamboo Species at our farm are almost solid, thereby facilitating making of walking and hiking canes.

Dendrocalamus Membranaceous and Strictus are some of the nearly solid bamboo species.

 

Walking or Hiking Canes, besides being a prop, are a formidable weapon too.

History of Stick Fighting

Stick-fighting, is a class of martial arts which employs blunt bamboo 'sticks' for fighting; such as a staff, cane, walking stick or a baton.

Stick-fights are an important part of the anthropological heritage of various cultures, such as the Surma and  Nyangatom tribes of Ethopia/Africa. Traditional European systems are mentioned in numerous manuscripts written by masters-at-arms, but have somehow become became extinct.  Portugal's jogo do pau, the related juego del palo of the Canary Islands, France's canne de combat or la canne, and Italy's scherma di bastone are some examples.

Giuseppe Cerri's 1854 manual Trattato teorico e pratico della scherma di bastone is influenced by masters of the Italian school of swordsmanship, Achille Marozzo and perhaps Francesco Alfieri.
The French system of la canne is still practised as a competitive sport. A self-defense adaptation of la canne developed by Swiss master-at-arms Pierre Vigny in the early 1900s has been revived as part of the curriculum of bartitsu.

Nivkh people from Sakhalin used long sticks called z'ar t'ar for sacralized ritual fighting.

Similar

Kendo is a Japanese martial art, having probably descended from swordsmanship (kenjutsu). It uses bamboo swords . The introduction of bamboo practice swords is attributed to Naganuma Shirōzaemon Kunisato during the Shotoku Era (1711–1715).

Please write to us for bulk inquiries at guroofarms@gmail.com or use the contact form

Show-casing a few below

Bamboo Canes

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Bamboo Agroforestry

As a farmer, I have been studying the prospects of bamboo as a plantation crop ( agro-forestry), to substitute Poplars and Eucalyptus. Few bottle-necks exist, for bamboo agro-forestry systems to be successful in India.

To my mind, bamboo can be a very lucrative plantation crop, PROVIDED that

  • Farmers are educated with the technical skills- both, for growing and primary processing.
  • Primary Processing and some value addition is done at the farm- by the farmer himself. In other words, the farmer has to evolve into an agro-entrepreneur. Necessary knowledge-systems, infrastructure and Capital Expenditure would be required by the farmer, for the said evolution.
  • Market linkages are established between the growers and the processors and a cluster model is developed (see below).
  • Good planting material is made available. Different genotypes of bamboo have different mechanical properties. Thus, choice of planting material, has to be market oriented, besides its suitability to the local agro-climate. Thus Bambusa Balcooa is a good choice where fiber and pulp industries exist. Likewise, Bambusa Nutans is more suitable for the handicraft industry. A self sufficient cluster model, where the raw material is grown in the vicinity of the industry consuming it- would go a long way in promoting the bamboo agro-forestry system.
  • Bamboo is de-classified as Forest produce and it is allowed to be transported, un-hindered, without any interference from the forest department.
  • Market oriented novel applications for bamboo need to be explored and related processing capabilities/facilities developed.

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Bamboo for Handicrafts Market

Bamboo, especially if it is fully solid, is an excellent raw material for various kinds of handicrafts. Though most bamboos are hollow, there are a few rare genotypes, which are not hollow, thus, being suitable for wood working and even turning on the lathe.

In comparison to other engineering materials, bamboo fiber has a tensile strength (650MPa) similar to steel (500-1000Mpa) and much higher flexibility (~50Gpa) than steel (~200Gpa). The bending strength of bamboo increases with age, the top of the culm being more flexible than the bottom. The compressive strength of bamboo increases with age, 3-5 year bamboo being the strongest. As a biological material, mechanical properties of bamboo  is subject to variability, within and between each species (Leake et al., 2010)

India has around 24 genera and approx138 species of bamboos (Subramaniam, 1998. About 58 species belonging to 16 genera are represented in the North Eastern states.

Dendrocalamus strictus is the most widely distributed species and predominantly found in the dry deciduous forests all over India. D. sikkimensis, D. hamiltonii occur in Eastern parts of the country.

Bamboos show diversity in stature and form, some are an undershrub, while others are climbers (such as Dinochloa andamanica). However, most of them have woody stems, which is the item of commerce.

The woody stems are called culms, which arise from underground rhizomes (monopodial, as in Melocanna and Phyllostachys, or  sympodial, as in Bambusa and Dendrocalamus). Most bamboos have hollow internodes.

The fiber strength of bamboo, its straightness, light weight, combined with toughness / hardness, lustrous, shiny/waxy finish, a multitude range of available sizes, abundance, easy establishment and short-crop cycle, make them useful for numerous purposes.

Bamboo is indeed a useful, multi-purpose resource, its application largely dependent on the age of the culm. Bamboo harvested within 30 days is suitable source of food; When harvested at 6-9 months of age, it is suitable for basket weaving, when harvested at 3-6 years cycle, it is ideal for building construction and floorboards. In addition, bamboo can be used to make clothes, furniture and bicycle frames.

The World Bamboo Handicraft market was around  3000 Million Dollars in 2007, and is projected to touch 4200 Million Dollars by 2017. Comparing the figures for ALL BAMBOO APPLICATIONS (handicrafts, shoots, furniture, flooring, panels, blinds, chopsticks, charcoal and carbon) the total market in 2007 was about 6825  Million Dollars, and is projected to touch 16830 Million Dollars by 2017.

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