New Furniture and The Story of The Halstroms Fridge

I guess it was in need of repairs. Plus, The Legend of The North couldn’t sit on it properly. I’m talking about our bamboo & driftwood seat. Sorry ’bout that.
Yep. It was looking sad. Anyway, The Legend & The Lad rocked up on Sunday with a couple of beers, a few ideas and a treasure.
First the treasure.
I’ve been talking about trying to find or buy an old hand auger. With a hand auger I could dowel together timber, drill holes of most sizes and a host of other things. Well, it happened most serendipitously that The Legend’s father had one lying in an old trailer that was either bound for, or came from, the tip.
It is old and partly seized up. But the two piece sprung jaws and the chuck still work fine. I put a bit of garden hose on the handle with cable ties temporarily, just to make turning it a little more comfortable. I’ll improve on that soon. I’ve already used it to drill holes in some bamboo that will be a new wind chime. Works a treat!
The Idea became the new chair. Four stout lengths of bamboo, four narrower lengths, and a length of timber we found in the treasure trove. The secret place is ‘B’s’ old farm. We can’t tell you where it is though, because then it wouldn’t be a secret. The forest has almost consumed the farm now anyway.
We’re now planning our next bit of new furniture. We know where there are several lengths of timber similar to the new seat base, but about half the lengrh. So we’re gunna grab some and make a table for preparing food and stuff. It’ll have bamboo legs and bracing, with three lengths of plank side by side. It should work well.

The Hallstrom fridge.
Edward Hallstrom was an Australian inventor and philanthropist who made his fortune with fridges. He invented a kerosine fridge that basically replaced the Coolgardie safe (Google it) in the outback. He was also a huge contributor to Sydneys Taronga Park zoo. The one in the photo is an early caravan model that ran on gas or electricity. The coolant is ammonia. That’s the fridge I mentioned in an earlier post that is on loan until The Legend needs it again.
Anyway, that’s enough for now. We promise to post again soon. Maybe even later tonight 🙂

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We Are Geeks Therefore We Shall Google Maybe

Let me tell you. I am in a bit of a quandary.
(Hind sight insert) Oh, and let me also warn you of the plethora of photos at the end of this post.

We have our Bamboo. We have lots of it, and we’ve been experimenting with things. In particular, we’ve created an instrument for one of our daughters. I even lashed out for a saw. A Hacksaw to cut the bamboo easier.
Now, let me lead you to the reason for titling this post as I have.
Both Tina and I are Interweb Geeks. We both know how to effectively use a search engine. Crickey! I’ve been using search engines since before Google was born. I can clearly remember when Google really WAS your friend. Ad free and promising not to cache your searches.
Anyway, getting back to Bamboo for a bit. I bought the hacksaw. It was cheap. I even bought an 18 tooth blade to go with the 24 tooth that came with it.
WARNING. A TRIVIAL TECH TALK FOLLOWS:
Hacksaw blades over here are measured in teeth per 25mm. Which is about the same as teeth per inch. I reasoned that a slightly ‘rougher’ blade might work better. Why? Because both The Legend of the North and his cohort in Legendarianism, ‘The Lad’, had suggested that I just buy a ‘proper’ saw. They warned me that a hacksaw would take ages to cut through the thick stuff. But, I bought a hacksaw. And it works well. For the thin stuff. Of course, to successfully cut bamboo, you need to cut slightly into the opposite side of the tube from where you make your main cut. It’s like ply or laminate sort of. Even though bamboo is round, it has a waste side that can rip and fray as you cut through the bark. To prevent it, make a saw cut on the opposite side of the tube first.
Why haven’t we Googled this stuff yet? I mean I’m a sceptic. I was taught many stories and skills over the years, but always got second opinions. The Internet was my encyclopedia once I learnt how to use it properly. But I didn’t. I relied on my skills. Stuff that has been festering in the far corners of my brain. Just waiting for a chance to have conscious fame for 15 second. But. I was wrong on the saw in part.
So, let me advise you now. A hacksaw is perfect for bamboo up to 30 to 40 mm in diameter. After that, I recommend a good quality, sharp wood saw, with wide teeth. Of course I need to Google that to confirm, but that’s what I reckon 😉 But then, The Legend of the North and The Lad did warn me.
END TECH TALK

So. I am creating a couple of instruments for one of our kids. I had  a ‘Moment’ earlier this week. Just for fun I made this thing. I can’t tell you what it is lest the daughter read this post. But she’s clever. She’ll work it out anyway.
I made this thing for fun. It didn’t work. So I experimented with a little fire to harden things up. Now, I can barely play a Blues Harp, let alone a guitar. But Tina is not only artistic, but musical too. So she tested my prototype. It made *music*.
I have rarely had moments in my life where something I’ve created by hand has reduced me to tears. But when this ‘piece of wood’ was coaxed into making a sound, I cried.
I know it sounds trivial. But one of those other special things that were partially created by my hand (and made me cry) will be the recipient of this gift. And I know that she will be able to create music (if she wishes to) from what I’m creating.
It’s trippy. We’ve created three working instruments based on Tinas knowledge, my woodwork and a little mathematics to tune them. We’re learning to tune bamboo wind chimes by listeming to the prototypes we’ve made already.
It’s weird. I’ve thought about Googling for ideas. Especially when it comes to tuning wind chimes. But I know the basics of tuning. You know. Length. Diameter. Where the striker hits the chime. So I’ve just played. And I’m proud to say say some of my chimes just sing. Others need minor mods and they’ll sing too. It’s like Tinas shell mobiles. Some are designed to move in the wind silently. Others are made to connect, make contact and sing as well. The delicate sound of shells kissing is almost like sea, but far gentler.
Googling is good. But remembering stuff you’d forgotten you knew is a far richer experience.
We are sooo happy 🙂

Random pics follow, including one of the HMB Endeavour replica moored at the leads to Cooktown harbour. She was to deep drafted to navigate the channel into the wharf. She also left a day early, due to the 20 knot South Easters blowing strsight into her bow out there. Apperently the crew had a reall rough night on Friday. The decision was made to depart Saturday morning, rather than Sunday. I don’t blame them either. A 2 metre swell would be rough on that old coal carter, let alone having to cater to the wind. Oh, and we scored a tree ripened Red Paw Paw from the markets. We’re going to sprout the seeds. The ONLY way to eat Paw Paw (Papaya) is tree ripened. Otherwise they just taste bitter and you have to add sugar or honey to re-sweeten it. The best standard Paw Paws I ever ate were grown at ‘Top Garden’ in Cedar Bay in the  early Eighties. The trees were on average five metres tall, with large, bulbous fruit. We didn’t have a problem with flying fox. They may have claimed one or two per tree. The rest were ours, picked yellow with a net on the end of a pole. The sweetest things you’ve ever tasted.
If you have an idea, or a link to something unique bamboo wise, or even some advice we could use, comment or tweet us @UnclechilliMan or @OneGreenBusy

Now, enjoy the pics.

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Bamboo Is Too Much Fun

First, a Big Happy Birthday to our third youngest. A post for her is coming soon.
The Legend of the North and his partner in legendarianism ‘The Lad’ popped out Monday arvo with five lengths of green Bamboo for us. They are about 6 metres long on average. The longest is easily 8 metres. Carried atop a Hi-lux 4WD ute through town and out along the narrow track to our place. I wish I’d taken a photo when they rocked up 🙂
So, what do you do with an 8 metre length of bamboo? It’s first use is as a clothes line. Just a temporary use. We have some ideas and will reveal them along the way.
Speaking of Elephants, the photo of the timber is the bundle of firewood I collected on Tuesday afternoon (my Friday this week). I bundle it using one rope, with two loops about 30cm apart. The rope pulls up tight and keeps the bundle stable as I carry it on my shoulder. That bundle was about 40 odd kilos. But it’s only about 100 metres or so that I have to carry it. Between Tina and I, we generally collect enough wood in one trip to last us a few days.

I promised shipwrecks in my last post. There is one on our favourite local beach. Apparently it’s been there for ten years or more. However, the wreckage was more exposed back then. Nowadays, only the bow of what was once a barge remains above the sand. Sometimes the wreckage is completely covered by sand except for the top of the bollard. I’ll do some research and dig up a name for the vessel and how it came to grief.

UPDATE

Check the latest lengths of bamboo that The Legend of the North and The Lad delivered late Tuesday afternoon. We’re just hanging to hit the hardware and buy a decent saw!

We’re thinking big chimes, plant hangers, xylophones and maybe some drums. We’ve spent much of Wednesday playing with driftwood and cutting bamboo with our rudimentary saws. See the ones we’re currently using in the pics. We’re going to get a proper one soon. We’re also hunting a hand auger to dowel some joints in timber.
Anyway, we’ve experimented with a few narrower lengths and the sound and airflow characteristics are excellent. Roll on big bamboo drums!

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