One of the most pleasant surprises waiting for me in Fiji was the Giant Timber Bamboo (Bamboosa Vulgaris). I’ve developed a great passion for bamboo over the past decade or more, and leaving my collection to come to Fiji was a difficult thing for me to do.
I was quite surprised to see so little being done with this plentiful resource. Because of moth infestation, the locals were only depending on it for river rafts, temporary structures and clotheslines.
Laminated bamboo foot bridges is probably the first project I will undertake, as there are cure times involved. In trying out our new splitter, I opted to build some trellises in my new garden space. There wasn’t any large pipe available in Fiji, so I took a post, drilled a hole, put the end of the re-bar in it and bent the bar around the post to make a hoop. Welded some pipe handles on and some blades and wall – a “magic bamboo splitter”.
By splitting the bamboo and drying it rapidly, the moth is deprived of habitat (internode chambers) and soft starchy surfaces; problem solved.
Besides the splitting tool in the photo, I will be fabricating a rounded chisel out of a 2″ metal pipe for removing the internode surface. Once the surfaces are smoothed out, the 10′ pieces will be treated, bent and laminated together on a frame. When dry, the rough surfaces can be planed and a durable finish will be applied to each piece prior to assembly.
One of the more obvious things to me in Fiji is that there is a lot of rain and a lot of ditches to cross. There is also a lot of locals that need training and work. Since there is a lot of timber bamboo, I believe arched laminated bamboo foot bridges would be a good project to engage in. I look forward to sharing progress in this area with you soon.