Five easy steps in making your own compost - Part 1/2

As seen in our October 1, 2018 article “Tips and Tricks in Starting a Vegetable Garden”, soil quality is a very important component. Here is how to make your own compost in more details!

Sustainable development is very crucial nowadays a lot of things can be done to contribute to sustainable development and maintenance of our ecological systems. There are a lot of activities that is in store for you to be able to contribute to sustainable development. There are activities which you can make in your own backyard. One of which is making your own compost pile!

 Home made compost pile - source

Home made compost pile - source

If you are eyeing on “going-green” one of the most effective things you can do is to begin with your vegetable garden. With vegetable garden, you can be able to supplement your immediate family not only with healthy but with organic food right from your very yard. But what if your soil possesses negligible nutrients and stinks as hell for your organics? To tell you the truth, this is not discouraging. The only answer is to come up with your own compost pile. The most efficient thing in terms of having a compost pile is that all you need is a combination of waste food scraps coming from vegetables and fruits, some dirt, leaves, grass and even sawdust which you can delegate the task to your kids so that it will be a family activity.

In order to achieve an effective, precise and fast decomposition of said materials, you need to pay close attention to five factors that will give you the freedom for the compost loving organisms to thrive; aeration, pile temperature, moisture, the ratio of carbon into nitrogen, and more importantly particle size. If you do not supply an efficient environment for the microbes then it would take you several months for your compost to disintegrate. As soon as you obtain the method in making your compost file, you will be able to supply excellent nutrient-rich soil destined for your backyard vegetables.

Listed below are easy steps in making your own composite pile:

·         The initial consideration of your compost pile is to maintain a fair amount of moisture in order for the microbes to thrive. This does not mean to drown it in water instead, you should only make it wet enough for moisture to be maintained. You have to remember that making the mixture too wet can compact the pile down so much that organisms will not be able to move around efficiently to perform their task.

·         The next crucial factor that you have to consider is its aeration during the period of making your compost pile. Do not forget that there are tiny organisms in that pile that are processing the stuff in there, and they multiply each second. And as they grow, they can practically deplete the pile of the oxygen that is needed which will hinder their reproduction. In turn, it will simply prolong your composting period. So you have to secure either a pitchfork or an auger and begin turning over your pile once or twice every week.

The next part will be the conclusion of the article. Are you excited?

 Reclaim materials composting pit - eco-bali

Reclaim materials composting pit - eco-bali

Our partner eco-bali are specialized in composting and can help you take your planning to reality!

Wood as an Art in Itself - Part 2/2

Majority of wood species has capability of producing a burl (a rounded knotty growth on a tree, giving an attractive figure when polished and used especially for handcrafted objects and veneers). In a so-called burl, there is minimal consistent grain. A wood with this kind of feature can have an array of imperfections from darker portions of the grain up to the heavy knots. Burls are immensely unstable which simply means that the wood has the capacity to easily move on its own. The most effective time to utilize a burl is when the wood is dry. And because wood with burls are a bit unstable, extreme care should be taken in to consideration in order to prevent the splitting of the wood.

Several species of wood can possess different types of grains. Maple does not have a sole type of grain pattern. Bird’s eye Maple, which is curly, has that roller effect infused with bird’s eye pattern. Because burls possess an inconsistent grain, a lot of different types can be found in them. A slap of cherry burl can possess a lot of discoloration running through its grains with some knotting and of course bird’s eye.

One specie of wood that possess an extraordinary type of grain is the so-called snakewood. It has a brownish color that is high in density. It is one of the few species of woods that will sink in water. The grain emulates the appearance of a snakeskin all the way through the wood. No growth rings can be seen on the grain. When finished, the wood turns out to be amazingly appealing.

 African snakewood - source

African snakewood - source

HEART ELEMENT: Wood also has sapwood and heartwood. Sapwood is located at the outer part of the tree. Heartwood is located at the center or the heart of the tree. There is a substantial difference between sapwood and heartwood. The former is lighter in terms of color and a bit softer as compared to the latter. Wooden plates and other ustensils can be made out of heartwood, sapwood, or even a combination of both to come out with a fusion of color combination.

 Reclaim teak custom phone cover for Iphone X - Kaltimber work

Reclaim teak custom phone cover for Iphone X - Kaltimber work

Some wooden elements are finished by means of lamination. Laminated wood simply consist of several pieces of wood that are positioned in a particular pattern. These wooden blanks must be prepared prior to being turned into any specific piece.

If it were not for the broad differences and peculiarities between elements and different classes of woods, then all wooden products would practically look the same. From linear-grained type of wood to the most extraordinary burls, the said imperfections of the wood will simply showcases aesthetically appealing impact on its appearance. Primarily, the more imperfect the wood, the more special the work of art can be.

Truly indeed, there is beauty in the wooden industry. One only has to appreciate and give life to what wood has to offer. Not to mention that these species can be immortalized if maintained and dealt with properly. Otherwise, we would simply miss the chance that this beautiful gift of nature has to offer. Look around you and witness all the wooden items surrounding you. Visit our showroom and factory and enjoy that wide range of grain variation, knot and other perfect imperfection.

At the end of the day, the wood itself is an art.

Wood as an art in itself - Part 1/2

While I consider origami as art, maybe the reason why they are aesthetically appealing must be credited to the type of wood from which the papers used came from. So, what, then make a paper art an art? For origami, there is a particular term used to describe how species looks, it is called a GRAIN.

IT RUNS IN THE GRAIN. “Grain” is the primary reason that gives wood its extraordinary features. What determines the grain of wood is how the tree grew prior to its cutting. Any type of tree that has a branch or elbow joint will surely have a substantial change in its grain, running from one direction to another.

There are several pieces of wood that are regarded as linear-grained which means they do not possess extraordinary features. These pieces of wood produce a single pattern that mainly be or monotonous type of shade and color. Some species and types of wood are a lot prone to being linear-grained. Others have an unusual grain. But even though there is no tried and tested formula, there are certain trends. Say for example, walnut possesses a linear or straight-grain pattern. But when it is infused with knots or other pattern, it becomes extraordinary.

 Ulin (ironwood) grain.

Ulin (ironwood) grain.

PERFECTIONS IN IMPERFECT ELEMENTS: Wood that is regarded to as “curly” have characteristics where its grain often curls back and forth. It has an extraordinary appearance when the light hits the surface of the wood. The effect is majestic. The beauty radiates and it is iridescent. When this kind of wood would be hit by a light, there will be angles that would shine. This feature runs all over the piece of wood. Curly Maple is a regular wood that possesses this feature. The wood is mono-tone but the light simply radiates, and bends differently in angles.

Several classes of wood possess a knot in them. This is the point where a branch had been growing and then died. This will create a very dark circle where the dead branch was located. This part of the tree is immensely unstable because of the fact that it changes direction in terms of how the grains would run, but if maintained properly, can simply add beauty and character as a whole. There is also an extraordinary type of knotting in which runs through the grain more commonly known as bird’s eye. A wood with a bird’s eye showcases little knows mixed alongside with the grain which simply looks like a bird’s eye. Bird’s eye Maple is an excellent example of this characteristic.

 Old piece of wood reclaim from a boat.

Old piece of wood reclaim from a boat.

The next installment of this article will go deeper in to the meaning of art embedded in a wood feature. Inevitably, the last part will make you want to dig deeper in to the realm of wood and what is in store for everyone of us.

Tips and Tricks in Starting a Vegetable Garden

If you have never delved into growing vegetables before, you will surely realize that the activity entails a lot of labor, but in the end, it is very rewarding. Basically when you begin knowing the ins and outs of growing a vegetable garden, there is no practical difference between this and growing flowers or herbs.

 Ulin saw dust

Ulin saw dust

But, in the event that you want to attain the proper output, you still require performing it rightly and planning it the very essence of it. To tell you the truth, when it comes to growing your own vegetable garden at home, you need to begin with a comprehensive planning of everything even before tilling your soil. There are certain parameter and guidelines that one needs to mull over and listed below are some of the tips and tricks of growing your own vegetable garden:

·         CLIMATE IN YOUR LOCALITY: You have to be reminded that vegetables vary in terms of required climate in which to grow. Say for example, green leafed vegetables like lettuce, Brussels and cabbage grow better in cool climates while eggplants, tomatoes and potatoes prefer warm and sunny type of climate.

·         LOCATION OF GARDEN: Another parameter that requires thinking is the position where the vegetable garden is going to be positioned. Preferably, it needs to be in a place that obtains right amount of sunlight on a daily basis but where the soil is perfect and water can be discharged easily. To add, exerting some kind of protective fencing on the perimeter to be able to prevent animals like dogs and rabbits from getting access and damaging the vegetables you are growing. You can consider doing above ground gardening with structure made out of our special anti rot and anti termite reclaim Ulin.

·         GARDEN TOOLS AND EQUIPMENT: It is very crucial that you ensure that you maintain all the tools and equipment you need within easy reach where your garden is located. Do not forget that garden is hard work and you do not want to shell out substantial amount of time to walk to gather all the equipment you need to work on yours.

·         SIZE OF THE PLANTS: After mulling over on the location, the next thing that you need to decide on is the types of plants that you want to grow. Again, the size of your garden will specify what types of vegetables you need to grow. If you have a small area, then you have to select vegetables that do not require large amount of space to be propagated. Plus the taller vegetables like sweet corn, beans and the like can be placed at the back while the smaller ones can be positioned at the front. This will give insurance that all plants are getting right amount of sunlight everyday to aid them in growing.

·         PLANTING ALL YEAR ROUND: If you want to make sure that you have fresh vegetables on a yearly basis, then you have to make sure that you plant those vegetables that grows during particular periods of the year. If you have an idea what type of vegetables grows best through specific time of the year, there are a lot of books that will help you.

·         SOIL QUALITY: We don't all have the same luck in regards to the soil quality. Some of us can plant anything and it will grow easily, but sometimes, we need to boost the soil. To do so, compost is a great addition for your garden. Most of us know that weeds, food scraps, leaves and grass clippings are the usual suspects for a great compost, but do you know that sawdust is the ideal friend to balance the nitrogen from the “green” composting materials (like food)? Indeed, it is used to add carbon to the mix and increase the overall quality of your compost.

Above, we have discussed about some of the most crucial factors to consider before you begin growing your won vegetable. If like other, you are just a newbie in the field, internet is the best way for you to get effective results. However, you need to take a lot of patience as results do not come fast.

 Vegetable garden - Structure can be made out of anti rot Ulin ironwood - source

Vegetable garden - Structure can be made out of anti rot Ulin ironwood - source

Woodworms – The Definitive Wood Foe

 Sunbathing woodworm… - source

Sunbathing woodworm… - source

When talking about wood preservation, the most frequent cause for treatment and considered to be one of the most complicated would have to be on how to defeat woodworms. These scary insects not only bore in to the wood but lay eggs inside. They start a whole cycle where a larva emerges to be a one destructive wooden beetle. Think of it as a cycle which keeps on repeating over and over again on your different wooden panels, doors, fixtures, and other wooden elements.

Basically, there are three kinds of woodworms that are prevalent on the list of culprits, and they can penetrate in to everything from your ceilings, wooden floorings, and practically any type of wooden items inside. They are the regular beetle, the Death watch beetle, and the long horn beetle.

 Damages left over by wood pest including woodworms - source

Damages left over by wood pest including woodworms - source

The method to treat woodworm will depend on the type as well as the extent of damage done to your property. If the woodworm infestation is only relatively at the initial stage, then it will be probable to treat the issue with topical application of preservatives and chemicals. On the other hand, the most complicated damage will need deeper penetrating applications and strong chemicals. However, exact application should be strictly followed and the product will naturally come in a paste or gel to be able to reach the deepest grain of wood.

For bigger, wooden elements, it may be required to specify which regions have been totally or partially affected and need treatment. This is because of the fact that the treatment is not a trial and error type. That would be a total waste of money. In cases of large woodworm damage, it is probable to sound out the bigger voids or weak regions with the use of a hammer or other boring tools which will give way for the workers to apply the said preservative in just the right place.

Application of different treatment for woodworm with practically any type of wood preservative will need that the house be cleaned and vacated for at least one whole day afterwards, and practically when we say  evacuation, meaning, all of you. You have to abide by the safety parameters to make sure that caring for your wooden elements does not mean putting your own health at risk.

These types of pests will need serious treatment and these pests are wise in their own way. You might think that after a single treatment, all of them will be swiped away. You may be wrong. There are woodworms, especially larger ones that play immortal and stay inside your wooden elements. Specialized treatments and application are needed for this type.

At the end of the day, your peace of mind and the safety and health of your family members is at stake. So, there is nothing wrong in consulting pest control expert to address and assess your impending issue at home. Care for your wood, care for your family. After all, you are doing this for each of them.

For any type of wooden construction make sure your material is free from any kind of pests by pre treating them. Natural products are available such as Freemite.
Other solution such as ironwood are a great option for a fully natural construction and the peace of mind that woodpests will not come and destroy your “precious”.

Woodworking Joinery: Basic and Beyond

Woodworking joinery simply means fastening of different wooden pieces to come up with a fine structure like toys, furniture, and other fixtures. The dependability and strength of the item is dependent on the consistency and quality of the material utilized in the process of joinery. The item can be of several varieties of materials and these wooden elements vary extensively in terms of the requirement of joinery work. There are some common classifications and styles used in the joinery works like:

·         RABBET JOINERY: This type of joinery has a mark highlighted in the edge direction of a wooden element to make it double sided and leaving it open at the end surface. This appears like a slit that is cut into the edges of the surface wood. You can witness rabbet joinery in cabinets and it is basically utilized for the back panel to make it a lot sturdy.

 Rabbet joints - source

Rabbet joints - source

·         BUTT JOINERY: This type of joinery is utilized when there is no requirement of strong joints. A heavy stroke with the use of hands is enough to break the joints. Further, the butt joint is done when you meet the two ends by means of fastening agents like glue or wooden epoxy. To be able to get a better texture, the board should be in perfect squares. Hence, you should apply more than the desired amount. You can utilize the screws or nails hammered for efficient board dependability since the glue fixing may not be a bit sturdy.

 Butt joint - source

Butt joint - source

·         LAP JOINERY: Lap joinery is a complicated type of joinery mainly utilized in the prototype of cabinet frames. There are a lot of lap joinery modifications like the cross lap, mitred lap, end lap, dovetail lap, and half lap. Among them, the half lap is more commonly used in the construction industry. In this class of joinery, the material is taken out from every piece to be able to give a same thickness at the end of the joint accumulated. In other words, both wooden pieces will be joined that are of similar thickness. The half joinery is constructed with a fastener or dowel pin.

 Half lap joint - source

Half lap joint - source

·         HOUSING JOINERY: A housing joinery is constructed when two wooden elements are bonded at desired angles by cutting a die in one piece and putting the other one by means of insertion in the slit. This is commonly appreciated as the strongest modification of joinery. Further, the housing joinery can be witnessed in furniture shelves, bookshelves, and drawer types. In such pieces, the wooded front edge will cut perpendicularly and the other wood piece will be put inside the slit. Its thickness is just one-third of the entire wooden element joint.

 Housing joint - source

Housing joint - source

It is regarded that joinery is a type of art that enhances the beauty of wood. Wooden products and other wooden furniture will boost the appeal of your office or house. To be able to achieve the desired utility of any wooden items, you have to talk to an expert who can produce the product with precision and accurate masterful work.

At Kaltimber, all of our joinery are hand made by master carpenters with many years of experience.

How to Get Rid of Wood Pests

You might not have an idea that your home might be a pest colony! Does it entertain wood-eating insects? If your answer is yes, then you are in a bit of a trouble because these wood-dependent insects can supply you a great damage and serious injury, not only to your precious wooden panels and antique wooden furniture but your entire home and wood products as well. Worst case scenario, they may even cause serious structural issues to your property, often needing substantial amount of money for repairs.

It is a known fact that a man’s home is his castle and the family’s  pride. It is considered to be a treasured kind of investment - the culmination of years of hard work, meticulous planning and attention even to the smallest detail. But, this pricey and beautiful home can literally come in to pieces any minute because of neglect to these wood pests.

Without you knowing it, your home could be a colony of wood insects and pests that is consequently ruining your priced property. These wood insects could eat up your home and your money savings in a matter of time -thereby inflicting large damages to your wooden doors and windows, panels and other wooden ornaments.

With the shortage of excellent quality woods at this point in time, there is no telling what would be left after such damage. Or even, there is no idea if your house is still standing. Are you in for this issue?

 Termites feasting on wood

Termites feasting on wood

Two of the most ordinary wood-destroying pests are powderpost beetles and drywood termites. They are social pests that comprise a large colony. The queen lays tons of eggs that hatch in a couple of months. Winged termites later leave the pest colony to begin a new community but the worker termites reinforce large tunnels looking for food, of course, with your house as the main entrée.


Powderpost beetle is the term used to describe some species of wood-boring pests that diminishes wood to a flour-like element. Similar to termites, they build tunnels in the wood as they feed and can settle for a long period of time without people knowing; resulting in significant damage to your home and furniture.

Having said that, listed below are some guidelines and parameters on how to save your wooden properties, real and personal:

·         You need to seek help from experts to save your home. Try to mull over different types of treatment methods and their warranties. Know each feature and the effects of it. You also have to know the duration of treatment. In this regard, you can be able to obtain the most efficient and effective service.

·         Another important thing is the cost and duration of services. We all know that services can be a bit pricey nowadays, but having an efficient type of service that can promise you a lasting solution can be totally worth it even though you spend significant amount of money.

·         We, at Kaltimber, recommend a natural product called Freemite for either pre and post installation treatments.

By following these simple advices, you can be able to sleep soundly without thinking of your wooden insect friends that might possibly ruin your future.

Last but not least some termite resistant wood exists, chemically treated or natural. Ulin ironwood, as we supply in Kaltimber, is an excellent example of naturally termite resistant hardwood.

A Closer Look at Sustainable Development in Forests - Part 2/2

On the first part of this article, we discussed a bird’s eye view of what sustainable development is, and what difference can it bring to the entire humanity today, and tomorrow. With the conclusion of this article, we focused mainly on how we are going to help propagate and nurture sustainable development so that we can be able to savor it together with the generations of tomorrow, and even the days after it.

 Sustainable forest

Sustainable forest

Truly indeed, the world is facing a serious dilemma of the rising industrialization, but nevertheless, we cannot do anything about it as a person. We cannot deny the fact that industrialization as the years pass by will be inevitable. And I will not be surprised that one day when we wake up we are faced with an unwanted environment - an environment that is not ideal not only to human race, but to all living entities.

But, that is too far. It is very early for all of us to take our worries and scared the soul out of us. Don’t worry my friend. Instead of mulling over and crying about what “might” be the outcome of these inevitable consequences, we will try to help in our own little way. As a person or an individual, instead of wasting resources which are not replaceable, we reuse it. We give another meaning to it.

Now, what I am talking about here? Let’s focus on one specific element on earth – Wood. Do not tell me that wood is not bordering towards extinction? Recent studies have shown that wood production all over the globe has decreased by nearly 6% for the last twenty five years. Imagine a quarter of a century, and a significant decline in wood production has been tallied. It simply means that we use more than we plant. While it is true that it can be replaced, if we do not take care of it or if we do not do something, it will simply die a natural way.

Now, what can you do? Aside from planting from your backyard, the easiest and most practical way of helping a sustainable development is to re-use old reclaimed wood and immortalize it. Your old reclaimed wood can be an accent to your house, or office for that matter - as simple as that. All we have to do is to be creative and resourceful.

Giving another chance for an old wood to be used again is one way to help sustain wood. By not using a new wood element, utilize what is in your backyard or in your barn. There is no restriction. All you need is an imaginative mind and you will realize it is limitless.

Sustainable development after all, is where society can enhance and supply sufficient resources for everyone without the need to use irreplaceable and toxic resources to maintain it. A great challenge to almost eight billion people all over the globe – I have given you some options. Gather your old wood and use it to the fullest!

 Hardwood harbor ready to be dismantled and given a new life!

Hardwood harbor ready to be dismantled and given a new life!

A closer look at sustainable development in forests - Part 1/2

Close your eyes and imagine a pristine forest, unadulterated by man’s hands, the natural ecological system regenerates automatically then sustaining all forms of life inside the extraordinary environment, without damaging the living ecosystem. This, my friend, is regarded to as sustainable development where the ecological system regenerates without damage.

 Pristine forest

Pristine forest

In the present realm, this basically means what we utilize is reusable or recyclable without needing to cause harm the true environmental equilibrium. Bottles are recycled, car parts are reused for other purposes and in economic state, a sound monetary system guarantees sufficient for all, but within specific limits. Energy is the key to building a sustainable community because fossil fuels are not reusable, and as soon as it is extracted and utilized, it is not replaceable. In a world which is practically dependent on these fuels, communities cannot be sustained in due time, and in the long run will surely face dilemma and drastic change, unless there will be an alternative resource. One primary factor sustainable development involves the utilization of energies that are recyclable or reusable or simply infinite and abundant like wind or solar energy.

Our way of living, accept and work the restrictions of the resources, are also main contribution to sustainable community, like a living forest that adapts with nature, instead of rapidly developing but quickly deteriorating. This practically means that the characteristic of a sustainable community are of one that savors natural energies, while modifies around the environment it settles.

Evidence of sustainable communities are very prevalent in our rich history, the plain Indians survived the immaculate plains of North America, together with the wolf and buffalo packs. This so-called ecological balance was upset with the destruction of these tribes in the early 19th century, and coincided with the extinction of the wolf and buffalo populace. Some experts say this extinct community was primitive. However, evidence has shown that it survived for thousands of years and generations. Hence, the community that replaced it presently experiences a crisis in sustainable development, only about less than two hundred years later.

There are several sustainable societies in the 21st century, but some nation like Brazil is a lot more sustainable as compared to other nations. Brazil imports a small amount of oil, but it operates a gigantic transport system on alternative resources like palm oil. They are very resourceful in using reclaimed wood, giving life to an old wood which in some countries are considered garbage or thrash. Ecological friendly communities slowly developing around nurturing the surrounding instead of exploiting it with a dilemma of rising industrialization – this is the problem we are facing right now.

The second part of this article will focus on the balance between industrialization and sustaining the nature’s ecological system. Ecological balance is at the edge of the cliff. How do we contribute, as a person in sustainable development without restricting the industrialization of the world? How can we be able to take part in preserving the natural gift?

Ways on How to Stack and Season Apple Wood as Fuel for Wood Stoves

apple wood

Apple wood is regarded as an efficient wood burning fuel. It is tagged as a hardwood which simply connotes its heaviness and will burn for a longer period of time as compared to softwoods. But, if your apple wood is not yet seasoned or dried, then it will be a bit of a complex to burn it the right way.

Success with seasoning apple wood is extreme heat and low humidity. Seasoning apple wood is not a bit of a complex per se. Just simply cut your wood stack and throw it in piles and dry it. Cure it for at least ten months. But if you are eyeing on seasoning your wood at a slower pace, do not be frightened to run a sprinkler over the top of it during summer time. By sprinkling the wood, it will aid you in regulating bugs that might damage your wood.

Apple wood is prone to these small bore mites that drill small holes in to the wood. Your wood will still burn, but you need to take a closer look at your stack so they will not overrun it. It is best recommended to burn this wood as soon as it is seasoned. Apple wood can be a bit of a complex to stack because it has several sizes and the shapes are irregular. But, as you start to stack your wood, you will immediately be able to fill in the holes with several other smaller stacks.

Wood burners who are located in a town or city should put their wood in a place that will not acquire water from yard sprinklers. The wood that will get wet can take up to maximum of two years to get dried completely. As for maintaining your wood covered, that is a personal choice. The advantage of covering wood during cold months is that it will season fast, but out west with our dry season, that is not a big deal.

If you are uniform with cutting wood and each year you cut more wood that you need it, it will only take you a short period of time to stack wood for the next three years reserve. It simply means that during one cutting season you will not worry because you have a stack for the next couple of years.

On the other hand, if you want to purchase a cord of apple wood, there are places that will charge at about a hundred dollars per cord that is all limbs. These small limbs burn efficiently, but they can never be relied to burn all night.

At the end of the day, it is really a matter of planning and close coordination. You will realize your effort and significant savings in no time. Just have a free time and energy in doing such kind of task that will surely save you big bucks.