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Monday, September 12, 2011

when the opportunity knocks, knock down some bamboo

This past weekend was "Fall Fellowship" weekend for the Order of the Arrow in scouts.  Now that sounds like alot of mumbo jumbo stuff (and it is).  Basically the Order of the Arrow in scouts is an honor camper program that has a native american theme to it.  Now, fall fellowship is where the chapters of a lodge get tother, play some games, elect new lodge leaders, and have a couple of ceremonies.  This is one of the best scouting weekends out there.  I tell the boys you can do as much as you want or as little as you want.  It is up to you.
My buddy Paul and I were hanging out most of the day saturday because our boys were off doing who knows what and our other friend Russ hung out with his son and they did a little rappelling and climbing.  While we were watching Russ' and his son climb the tower a scout we know comes up to us and strikes up a conversation about he spent the morning over at the other side of the camp gathering a couple 25 foot bamboo poles.  This grabbed my attention right away and I was playing 20 questions with him about this bamboo and what he is going to do with it.  Paul tells me to stop the talk and lets take him over and get some for ourselves.
Here is where when I talk about having simple items around that can help you out.  Connor mentions that he spent 30 minutes to cut down each pole with his 10" sheath knife.  He also was trying to figure out how he was going to cut the poles to a length he could get home.  The lightbulb went off in my head because I keep my loppers , hatchet, full size axe, and a hack saw in my truck for situations just like this..
Connor shows us these bamboo poles and I am amazed by how big the diamater is and the length.  We pick up a fourth person who was napping the day away and headed over to the bamboo forest.  The picture above is of myself and Connor and his third bamboo pole which he feels was his best so far.  Who knows what will become of this amazing specimin.
Here is Paul and Caleb cuting the poles into truck size pieces.  Notice the pole is thinner in diameter.  I wanted a variety for different projects.
Caleb and the amazing lopers as they referred to them as.  They cut down the bamboo with ease.  The issue we did find with the lopers is that they spintered the larger poles when cutting them to length.
Here I am next to the bamboo forest.  If you had something like this in your backyard every kid from miles around would be playing in it all the time.  It was so neat to get into the thick, dense, parts and just walk around.
The bamboo is cleaned, cut to length and loaded.  I have been searching the web for things to do with all this bamboo but it seems that the ewok village or killer spears websites are not on the web or something.  Maybe I can stain one and make a fancy lamp or something?  Connor let me know I needed to dry them first in the garage and not outdoors.  He said the sun makes them crack or something while they dry.
Above is my handy dandy hack saw.  So small and yet they do so much.  This is what we used to cut the bamboo into the six foot long sections.  If you do not have a five dollar hack saw like this in your car you are not prepared.  These saws cut metal, stuff, and of course bamboo.  What other saw do you need in your trunk? 

Now once I get home from the weekend and run into the house to tell my wife all this cool stuff (bamboo) to do some art projects with.  She looks at me like "what in the world kind of art can I do with bamboo."  I was a little deflated but more for me and my son!  Ewoks look out.  There is a diabetic with bamboo coming to build a better tree village!  Or just make some walking sticks and flutes or something.  Either way it will be fun!

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