In an age through which Greens preach extra loudly than Christians it’s becoming that widespread Biblical quotations discover new inexperienced expressions. In Ghana, grassroots engineers have reinterpreted Isaiah’s imaginative and prescient of turning swords into ploughshares by turning worn out band-saw blades into farming cutlasses. Band-saws are utilized in Ghana’s quite a few sawmills to show its mighty forest bushes into wood planks, however making cutlasses from the outdated blades helps small farmers to feed themselves and their village communities. Though this exercise does nothing on to protect the forests it does recycle treasured imported materials and protect it to be used in a greener setting.
Band-saw blades are product of specifically formulated carbon metal that mixes the properties of hardness with flexibility and shock resistance. The metallic can present a pointy and sturdy leading edge with the potential to run bent round metal rollers in a steady loop. Based on veterans of the sawmilling business, all that these blades can not survive is assembly a big rock that has been carried up by the tree because it grew and change into embedded deep inside its huge trunk. For sure, metal of this high quality is right for farmers’ cutlasses used for weed management and clearing scrub.
In casual industrial areas, or kokompes, like Suame Journal in Kumasi, a cutlass maker’s workshop is recognized by a pile of outdated band-saw blades mendacity close by. The conversion course of is de facto laborious work. The fabric is so laborious that it may be reduce solely by a hammer and chisel. The sharp reducing fringe of the chisel can survive only some blows earlier than it wants re-sharpening and that is effected with the help of an electrical grinding machine, normally mounted on an outdated wood bench. By this arduous course of the define of the cutlass blade emerges from the flat metal sheet of the outdated band-saw blade.
The form of the cutlass blade consists of the define of the deal with. Two holes are punched to permit a wood deal with to be held in place by rivets. The 2 wood components of the deal with are normally made by a carpenter and equipped prepared formed to be mounted by the cutlass maker. With a wood half-handle positioned on all sides of the metal blade, holes are drilled by the wooden and the three-part sandwich is held firmly collectively by two metal rivets. The cutlass is completed by sharpening the leading edge on the identical grinding machine used for re-sharpening the chisel. When effectively crafted, as lots of them are, the domestically made cutlasses are of comparable look and effectiveness as imported fashions.
The excessive monks of the inexperienced motion wish to see the whole preservation of the tropical forests. This is able to entail the cessation of logging, the closure of sawmills and the eventual demise of the native grassroots cutlass business. Ghana’s farmers would change into depending on imports, or native manufacturing primarily based on imported materials, for all of their cutlasses. Little question, set towards the bigger inexperienced aspiration, this sacrifice can be simply made.