Sunday, December 24, 2006

project cambodia field tools

so, we're in cambodia at the water dam site, and we need to collect some technical information. we're talking about soil sampling, soil properties, and surveying.

it's not that we didn't have the equipments, they were just expensive. it's not that they didn't have the equipments, it was just never available for our use. we needed simple soil sieves and we needed simple surveying scope and meter rods. so we made best of what we gathered at the local hardware store.

tripod mounted compass and scope:
taking three sticks and binding one end with a rubberband or tie, i made myself a natural tripod. place a compass on top, or mount my camera's mini-tripod on it, i can have the ability to move and adjust more freely. the compass was used to measuring bearing angles, the scope to eye a straight line down the field and stake out over 450 meters of stakes, and the level (never really helped) was to make sure i was looking reasonably horizontal.

soil sieves:
a #10 sieve is nothing but a screen with 2mm openings. fair enough, buy this big wooden screen used for sieving rice grains from other debris would just do. a #40 sieve is 0.425mm. say roughtly 1/2 a millimeter. manage to find just that with the red sieve, most likely originally intended as a baking measuring utensil. now, a #200 sieve (0.075mm) is a little more tricky to emulate. so tricky, in fact, it was not possible to fabricate accurately at all, so i insisted on buying it. cost a whopping $120, but well worth its use.

soil permeability test:

auger extension rod:

knee deep in dirt...and data. gathered so much information, it'll keep us busy for months.
project cambodia field tools: PASS!

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