Monday, January 5, 2009

Kenyan Woodworking

In August 2008 I had the opportunity to try woodworking with no power tools at all, certainly not my first choice. We were in Wongonyi village, Kenya. We had discovered that everybody walks everywhere and it is rarely more than a few dozen yards in any direction before you are going up or down. We had ordered sand and gravel for making concrete Biosand water filters. After the stone is crushed by hand hammers and sorted to the correct size, it would be carried in five gallon buckets on the strong backs of local workers.

This seemed like a good time to build some wheelbarrows. Wheels were ordered for the next shopping trip in town and the local wood supplier has some 3 by 4 lumber that was closes enough for our needs.
With Eddie doing the hard work and me doing the planning we set to work. The generosity of several stores in Bracebridge provieded many tools that we needed. A Fiskars pruning saw with Japanese style blade cut quickly and cleanly through the lumber. Chisels and hand plane from Muskoka Lumber came in handy when shaping the handles and cutting mortises. New spade drill bits from Home Depot were teamed with a yard sale brace for drilling holes.

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