StoneHouse #4 Selecting The Wood

For those of you who may be curious about the complete building process we have included this part called selecting the wood. Now remember there are no ‘Home Depots’ or Lowes within 11, 000 miles so selecting the wood for a project can be a bit different in Kenya.
First of all, there are basically two kinds of wood materials available. Wood called ‘timber’ is mill cut in sizes 2 x 3 or 3 x 4 etc. and unlike American timber is actually the size they say it is. From the two U. S. companies I mentioned above a ‘2 x 4’ actually measures somewhere around 1and1/2 inches x 3 and 5/8 inches, as any carpenter can testify. Here in Nakuru a 2 x 4 is a full 2 inches by 4 inches and comes in a rough cut finish unless you go and have it planed. Although like wood stores in the U.S. you have to go through stacks and stacks to find straight ones.

Second are poles, which are purchased in a …pole lot. These poles are usually from the eucalyptus tree which grows all over Kenya. They are used for low cost buildings and scaffolding when putting up multistory buildings. They are inexpensive and very strong. An 8 foot 6 inch thick pole cost around 200 shillings or $2.20 American dollars.

Like the timber, when selecting poles you must search through stacks to get the ones you want. This can take quite some time as one pole lot usually doesn’t have enough in stock. So you can expect investing a half a day in this process so you might as well take your time and enjoy it. The Kenyans call that Hakuna Matata we call it taking it easy!

We decided to have our poles stripped of their outer bark so we could sand and varnish them to bring out their natural beauty.

For two hundred shillings ($2.20) you can usually find someone willing to take half a day and debark all of them for you. The wood beneath the bark is beautiful.

 The result of the extra effort has been amazing. We have people stop everyday and ask us where we got the beautiful materials we are building with. When we tell them the same local stores they buy from they can’t believe it. We learned years ago while building Rose Creek Village that it’s not the amount of money you spend but the love you put into what you’re doing that makes something beautiful.

Next you have to find a hauler and negotiate a price for delivering the poles to the work site. This can take 10 to 15 minutes to work out an agreed price. The haulers themselves are made from the rear axles of old cars and are usually pulled by one man. I was amazed at how far they would haul hundreds (sometimes thousands) of pounds of wood for such a little amount. We have had poles delivered two or three miles away that weighed over a half a ton for  little over 2 American dollars.

 The next section and the last of this series is called ‘Building’ and although we have already skipped ahead and showed you where we are with the main sanctuary today, this page will show the process of putting up the first pole and erecting the two small rooms.

Yesu ni bwana  (Jesus is Lord)  




Chavvah said...

That is so cool! And how beautiful! Your writing is great, Abba! Thank you ALL for your hard work....thank our brothers and sisters there and tell them we love them! I wish I could give them all a hug!

David Noah Taylor said...

They wish they could hug you too. We all miss you .... Amma and I who know you and all those I tell about you. Much love abba