BAMBOO WORKSHOP MOVES TOWARDS FULL CAPACITY
In recent months, our bamboo workshop has been developing towards full capacity, operating six days most weeks, with our bamboo bike building team now increased to 9, with the addition of 2 EBPP high school graduates from our Cegi School class of 2011.
Below is an overview of the bamboo workshop developments to improve the quality and capacity for producing bamboo bikes and other bamboo products, including new facilities added and additional resources needed.
A key essential for all bamboo poles before use is to ensure that as soon as harvested, they are cleaned and treated to preserve the bamboo and prevent termite infestation, and then dried to a moisture content of 6-8%. Here was where we experienced difficulties due to our often very humid and cloudy days at our Daya Bamboo Workshop area. I should clarify that Daya, at an elevation of about 950 metres above sea level, is in the valley between Mounts Agung and Abang, with temperatures that can range from an overnight low of 12 degrees Celsius to a high of 32 degrees in the same day, and due to its valley location, has quite high humidity and gets more rain and cloud than the remaining 18 hamlets of our mountain village.
To solve this problem, we built a 4m x 6m ‘drying room’ from matt black painted corrugated zinc sheets to absorb the heat, built pallet-type drying racks inside to stack the bamboo and installed a dehumidifier with fans at the rear to absorb the humidity and increase the temperature – resulting in achieving the desired moisture content of the cut bamboo pole