Knowledge: countertop

A countertop is a horizontal work surface in kitchens or other food preparation areas, bathrooms or lavatories, and workrooms in general. It is frequently, but not only, installed upon and supported by cabinets. The surface is positioned at an ergonomic height for the user and the particular task for which it is designed. A countertop may be constructed of various materials with different attributes of functionality, durability, and aesthetics. The countertop may have built-in applicances, or accessory items relative to the intended application.

Countertops come in a variety of materials such as:

Natural stones, Silicate mineral, Wood (Hardwood & Softwood), Crafted glass, Manufactured materials (Concrete, Compressed paper or fiber, Cultured marble, High pressure laminates) and many more.

Kitchen countertop and its cabinet

Kitchen countertop and its cabinet

Wood

Wooden countertops can come in a variety of designs ranging from butcher block to joined planks to single wide stave. Wood is considered to be the most eco-friendly option when it comes to choosing a kitchen countertop as wood is a renewable resource. Wood countertops must be thoroughly cleaned and disinfected after contact with foods such as raw meat. Although the use of wooden work surfaces is prohibited in commercial food production areas in the EU, and the US Department of Agriculture advises against the use of wooden chopping boards, research by the Food Research Institute at the University of Wisconsin has shown that wooden work surfaces are no more dangerous, and in some cases safer than plastic alternatives. They have shown that while bacteria do get absorbed by the wood, they do not multiply and eventually die. While brand new plastic work surfaces are indeed easy to disinfect, once they have become heavily knife scarred they are nearly impossible to completely disinfect. This is not a problem with wooden work surfaces where the number of knife cuts made little difference.

We, at Kaltimber, produce some custom countertop with three different types of finishing (Smooth, Semi-smooth , Rustic) and two different thicknesses (2cm and 4cm). Feel free to contact us to get your personalized quote today!

Reclaim Ulin countertop

Reclaim Ulin countertop

Wood-decay fungus

Brown rot

Brown rot

A wood-decay fungus is any species of fungus that digests moist wood, causing it to rot. Some species of wood-decay fungi attack dead wood, such as brown rot, and some are parasitic and colonize living trees. Excessive moisture in wood is required for fungal colonization and proliferation. Fungi that not only grow on wood but permeate its fibrous structure and actually cause decay, are called lignicolous fungi. In nature, this process serves to break down complex molecules and return nutrients to the soil. Various lignicolous fungi consume wood in various ways; for example, some attack the carbohydrates in wood and some others decay lignin (structural materials in the support tissues of vascular plants). The rate of decay of wooden materials in various climates can be estimated by empirical models.

Wood-decay fungi can be classified according to the type of decay that they cause. The best-known types are brown rot, soft rot, and white rot. Each produce different enzymes, can degrade different plant materials, and can colonize different environmental niches.

Brown-rot fungi break down hemicellulose and cellulose that form the wood structure. In this type of decay, the wood shrinks, shows a brown discoloration, and cracks into roughly cubical pieces, a phenomenon termed cubical fracture. Brown-rot fungi of particular economic importance (3 main fungi) may attack timber in buildings. Dry rot is a generic name for certain species of brown-rot fungi.

There are very few brown rot fungi in tropical climates.

Soft-rot fungi leads to the formation of microscopic cavities inside the wood, and sometimes to a discoloration and cracking pattern similar to brown rot.

Soft-rot fungi are able to colonize conditions that are too hot, cold or wet for brown or white-rot to inhabit. They can also decompose woods with high levels of compounds that are resistant to biological attack. Bark in woody plants contains a high concentration of tannin, which is difficult for fungi to decompose, and suberin (waterproofing waxy substance) which may act as a microbial barrier.

White rots break down lignin and cellulose and commonly cause rotted wood to feel moist, soft, spongy, or stringy and appear white or yellow. There are many different enzymes that are involved in the decay of wood by white-rot fungi. White-rot fungi are grown all over the world as a source of food – for example the shiitake mushroom, which in 2003 comprised approximately 25% of total mushroom production.

 

 

 

 

 

Source wikipedia

 

Wall panel

A wall panel is single piece of material, usually flat and cut into a rectangular shape, that serves as the visible and exposed covering for a wall. Wall panels are functional as well as decorative, providing insulation and soundproofing, combined with uniformity of appearance, along with some measure of durability or ease of replaceability. There is no set size limit for a piece of material fulfilling these functions, the maximum practical size for wall panels has been suggested to be 7m by 2.5m, to allow for transportation. Our panels are made of either 50x50cm or 100x100cm reclaimed Kalimantan Ulin or Javanese Teak fixed on a 6mm plywood. Variable thickness, width and length of the wood creates a beautiful and decorative pattern.

Use of wall panels can reduce construction costs by providing a consistent appearance to the paneled surface without requiring the application of paint or another finishing material. Wall panels may be finished on only one side, if the other side is going to be against a brick or concrete wall, or a comparable structure. Alternately, the panels may, if assembled to an appropriate framework, substitute for having any other kind of wall at all. Holes may be cut or drilled into a wall panel to accommodate electrical outlets and other devices coming out of the wall.

There is a new type of eco friendly 3d wall panel made out of the fibrous residue of sugarcane. This fibres of crushed sugarcane stalks, remaining after raw sugar is extracted from the juice of the sugarcane by shredding it, is now the raw material, called bagasse, that forms the base of this easily installed eco friendly product. The raw material used for these 3d wall panel is 100% recycled, compostable and is therefore 100% biodegradable. In addition, the use of reclaim wood provides yet another 100% eco-friendly solution.

50x50cm wall panel made of 2x3cm reclaim Ulin

50x50cm wall panel made of 2x3cm reclaim Ulin

Forest to protect cities from earthquake

The deflected waves to protect a building can destroy the neighbor and, among the famous surface seismic waves known by seismologists  as Rayleigh waves, some have wave lengths large enough not to be affected by the already envisaged seismic invisibility systems. Fortunately, these problems seem to be able to be overcome using ... trees!

Experiments carried out in France with a small pine forest not far from the campus of the Université Joseph-Fourier in Grenoble, together with numerical simulations, confirm that the trees can behave as resonators rebroadcasting the waves of Rayleigh in a certain frequency band in response to the arrival of these of an earthquake. In the end, they are sent deep into the ground, even for large wavelengths. Oddly enough, the most effective protection is obtained with trees planted in a dense and random way. It improves again by covering a larger frequency band if the trees are arranged with decreasing heights.

Yet there is a problem: at the moment, the concept only works if the waves arrive from two directions only. But the researchers are confident. They'll blow up that lock.

Earthquake damaged road

Earthquake damaged road

Joinery, what is a mortise and tenon?

The mortise and tenon joint has been used for thousands of years by woodworkers around the world to join pieces of wood, mainly when the adjoining pieces connect at an angle of 90°. In its basic form it is both simple and strong. Although there are many joint variations, the basic mortise and tenon comprises two components: the mortise hole and the tenon tongue. The tenon, formed on the end of a member generally referred to as a rail, is inserted into a square or rectangular hole cut into the corresponding member. The tenon is cut to fit the mortise hole exactly and usually has shoulders that seat when the joint fully enters the mortise hole. The joint may be glued, pinned, or wedged to lock it in place.

This joint is also used with other materials. For example, it is a traditional method for stonemasons and blacksmiths.

Mortise and Tenon joinery technique

Mortise and Tenon joinery technique

Types

A mortise is a cavity cut into a timber to receive a tenon. There are several kinds of mortise:

Open mortise: a mortise that has only three sides (usually open on top of the wood)

Stub mortise: a shallow mortise, the depth of which depends on the size of the timber; also a mortise that does not go through the workpiece (as opposed to a "through mortise").

Through mortise: a mortise that passes entirely through a piece.

Wedged half-dovetail : a mortise in which the back is wider, or taller, than the front, or opening. The space for the wedge initially allows room for the tenon to be inserted; the presence of the wedge, after the tenon has been engaged, prevents its withdrawal.

Through-wedged half-dovetail: a wedged half-dovetail mortise that passes entirely through the piece.

A tenon is a projection on the end of a timber for insertion into a mortise. Usually the tenon is taller than it is wide. There are several kinds of tenon:

Stub tenon: short, the depth of which depends on the size of the timber; also a tenon that is shorter than the width of the mortised piece so the tenon does not show (as opposed to a "through tenon").

Through tenon: a tenon that passes entirely through the piece of wood it is inserted into, being clearly visible on the back side.

Loose tenon: a tenon that is a separate part of the joint, as opposed to a fixed tenon that is an integral part of one of the pieces to be joined.

Biscuit tenon: a thin oval piece of wood, shaped like a biscuit.

Pegged (or pinned) tenon: the joint is strengthened by driving a peg or dowel pin through one or more holes drilled through mortise side wall and tenon. This is common in timber framing joints

Tusk tenon: a kind of mortise and tenon joint that uses a wedge-shaped key to hold the joint together.

There are other types of mortises and tenon, feel free to add in the comments and/or share pictures.

Generally the size of the mortise and tenon is related to the thickness of the timbers. It is considered good practice to proportion the tenon as one third the thickness of the rail, or as close to this as is practical.

History

This is an ancient joint dating back 7,000 years. The first examples, tusked joints, were found in a well near Leipzig - the world's oldest intact wooden architecture. It has also been found joining the wooden planks of the "Khufu ship",a 43.6 m long vessel sealed into a pit in the Giza pyramid complex of the Fourth Dynasty around 2500 BC. The oldest known use dates from the Early Neolithic Linear Pottery culture, where it was used in the constructing of the wooden lining of water wells.

It has also been found in ancient furniture from archaeological sites in the Middle East, Europe and Asia. Many instances are found, for example, in ruins of houses in the Silk Road kingdom of Cadota, dating from the first to the fourth century BC. In traditional Chinese architecture, wood components, such as beams, brackets, roof frames and struts, were made to interlock with perfect fit, without using fasteners or glues, enabling the wood to expand and contract according to humidity. Archaeological evidence from Chinese sites shows that, by the end of the Neolithic, mortise-and-tenon joinery was employed in Chinese construction.

The thirty sarsen stones of Stonehenge were dressed and fashioned with mortise-and-tenon joints before they were erected between 2600 and 2400 BC.

 

 

 

 

Source Wikipedia

 

Why you should listen

tree forest life

A professor of forest ecology at the University of British Columbia's Department of Forest and Conservation Sciences in Vancouver, Suzanne Simard studies the surprising and delicate complexity in nature. Her main focus is on the below-ground fungal networks that connect trees and facilitate underground inter-tree communication and interaction. Her team's analysis revealed that the fungi networks move water, carbon and nutrients such as nitrogen between and among trees as well as across species. The research has demonstrated that these complex, symbiotic networks in our forests -- at the hub of which stand what she calls the "mother trees" -- mimic our own neural and social networks. This groundbreaking work on symbiotic plant communication has far-reaching implications in both the forestry and agricultural industries, in particular concerning sustainable stewardship of forests and the plant’s resistance to pathogens. She works primarily in forests, but also grasslands, wetlands, tundra and alpine ecosystems.

 

https://www.ted.com/talks/suzanne_simard_how_trees_talk_to_each_other

Wooden nail

Hardwood nails

Hardwood nails

There haven’t always been iron and steel nails to use in construction. Long before nails and screws were widely available, most construction – whether it was furniture, ships or building construction – made use of wooden nails and pegs. Even now, construction using wooden nails, dowels and pegs is a hallmark of quality.

Wooden joins like those that use wooden nails are preferable to metal nails and screws in construction that will be exposed to the elements. The reason is a simple one – a rusted nail contributes to rotting wood, weakening the construction. A securely fastened join using wooden nails is stronger and lasts longer than most metal and wood construction.

There are a number of construction firms that specialize in timber frame construction of cabins and cottages, using all wood joins, including wooden peg and wooden nails as fasteners.

The idea of fastening wood together using wood may seem strange to anyone that’s not a woodworker or cabinet maker. After all, what else is a hammer and nails for? Or a screwdriver and drill and screws? Any fine furniture maker can tell you different, though. The use of mortise and tenon, dovetail and wooden nails joining methods are all common methods that go back far into history – and are still used NOT for historical accuracy, but because they are simply the better way to hold wood together.

Wooden nails are made from dowels, generally a hardwood. They’re often pre-shaped with a rounded or tapered tip to make insertion easier. They may be smooth or grooved to hold glue better, and they are available in many different lengths. The finished quality of your furniture can’t help but be affected by the quality of the wooden nails used in its construction.

Keeping the Natural Equilibrium

DusunBambu

In areas where nature is the key selling point, the design is often made not only to copy nature but is done in such a way as to respect it. This kind of approach can be seen in many ecotourism establishments in Indonesia. Bandung, where the mountainous landscape is one of its greatest attractions, has seen a significant growth in ecotourism. The DusunBambu Family Leisure Park located in the outskirt of Bandung is a great example of where nature and design can live in perfect harmony.

Leisure Park – DusunBambu

According to Lindberg and McKercher, a great ecotourism concept should recognize its responsibility towards the nature and culture of the surrounding areas. It should not only conserve the environment but also sustain the well-being of local people. DusunBambu Family Leisure Park that was founded in late 2013 by CEO Ronny Lukito understands this definition and it reflects all across their 15-hectare establishment.

Out of their entire land, DusunBambu actually only uses around 5,100 square meters, about 3%, for their needs, leaving the rest of the natural space untouched. In this 3% area, they have built a range of interesting facilities such as villas, a restaurant and café, a food court, a childrens’ playground, and a camping ground with a design approach that pays tribute to the traditional Sundanese culture. DusunBambu, which means ‘the bamboo village’,makes wide use of different types of bamboo in its design elements.

We saw the use of bamboo for making furniture and as part of the broader design concept at KampungLayung, which is the villa area of DusunBambu. Offering an au naturel concept, KampungLayung really has that Sundanese village charm where the villas are built in the traditional Sundanese semi-permanent house style, mixing wood and rattan with a roof that is partially covered by dried palm leaves. There are 5 villas in this village, having either one or two bedrooms, and each villa is accompanied with a nice terrace to unwind. At the end of the village lies the open and communal fire place overlooking the rice paddy fields. It is interesting how the landscape design has incorporated the indigenous vegetation from that area such as the giant fern trees and the bird’s nest ferns to create that authentic village feel.

Another design highlight at DusunBambu is the artificial lake called Purbasari that is surrounded by 12 little and long wooden houses. Functioning as a family restaurant that serves great traditional Sundanese cuisine, all these long wooden houses only have one area inside with a long table in the middle. Here they apply the traditional Sundanese eating concept known as ‘lesehan’, where we sat on the floor and the food was served on a low long table made of local wood. All these houses have a trapezium shape with a little porch and a wooden staircase that leads to a small wooden deck. You can reach these houses either along a nice walking path or with one of their colourful canoe boats via the lake.

In the main public area of DusunBambu lie two more interesting restaurants : the two floor Burangrang café and restaurant overlooking the Purbasari lake and the LutungKasarung restaurant which is situated on the raised skywalk and has been made to look like a bird’s nest with each ‘nest’ covered by living tree branches. Still in the same area there is the PasarKhatulistiwa food court that has various renowned food vendors from Bandung as well as mini souvenir stores located in a two floor building. On the left side of the food court is a large open air childrens’ playground that is covered with artificial grass rugs and comes with mini playhouses as well as a petite ‘Labyrinth’ garden maze and where the children can play with cute rabbits or just run around with their friends.

Another special feature of DusunBambu is the fact that they also have a beautiful camping site known as the Eagle Camping Ground. They have around 10 camping pitches with some having room for two family size tents. Each tent has a nice view of the hill, an open barbeque grill for alfresco dining and a semi-permanent bathroom that is situated below the tent site. The tents themselves are made by Eiger – a well known outdoor supplies company from Bandung that already has a worldwide reputation. The tents have a 6 meter wide space separated into a sleeping area (with two separate sleeping bags) and a living area. Following the current ‘glamping’ trend aka glamourous camping, this Eagle Camping Ground is definitely perfect for such an experience.

DusunBambu really has all the right elements to be the leader of ecotourism establishments in Bandung. This is definitely the place where nature and design have achieved a great equilibrium.