River Ma. This chopstick factory sits on the banks of the River Mã in Thanh Hóa Province Factory Area. One of the four chopstick factories that line the banks of this stretch of the river Perched above the River Mã, Go to another site. beside the main road (National Highway 15) in the north west corner of Thanh Hóa province, a series of workshops fill the air with the noise and smell of pounding engines. These are chopstick factories, catering for the nation's inexhaustible demand for this essential product. Cutting the bamboo. (2) A lethal looking circular saw cuts these stems into short cylinders Chopsticks Go to another site. come in many forms, one of the commonest is the disposable bamboo variety. The bamboo from which these are made are well grown trees cut when the stem is 20 feet/6 metres or more in height, and then dragged, pushed or rolled into the river. Corralled into rafts, they are floated downstream to the vicinity of the factory, and left in the river for some months, this cures the wood, seasoning it and rendering it unpalatable to insects. Feeding the Bamboo into the cutter. (1) The long stems are brought up to the factory and fed to an operator Splitting down to chopstick size. (4) This machine cuts the half cylinders down to chopstick sized slithers The Halved Cylinders. (3) These cylinders are split in two and taken to the key operator The stems are then taken from the river, dried out and dragged up the bank to a large kiln to remove any residue moisture. Next these hollow trunks, each some 5 inches/12 centimetres in diameter, are cut into chopstick length tubes. Chopstick cutter. The chopsticks come out below the cutter and are packed up into bundles by the next worker These cuts are made on either side of the nodes of the stem and the discarded node is then used as fuel for the kiln. The resulting hollow cylinders, which are chopstick length, are then halved lengthwise, and can be seen in the hands of the man to the left. Above the resulting half cylinders can be seen being placed on the bed of a machine which splits them lengthwise into a couple of dozen squarish sticks. The sticks are gathered up and taken to the final machine where they are placed en masse and aggitated against a gritted surface to rub away the corners. This gives the square common square chopstick with rounded corners. Collecting up the chopsticks. Taking the chopsticks from the machinist Kiln. The kiln burns the trimmings and dries out the wet bamboo Packing Chopsticks. Bags of chopsticks packed ready for dispatch to Hà Nội Finally the chopsticks are made into 33 kg bundles for transporting to restaurants - these ones are bound for Hà Nội. Chopstick Bundles. Bundled chopsticks waiting to be finished and packed The next page is about a birthday celebration Vietnamese style - my 68th. Birthday meal. line
Saturday 16th January 2016 Murphy

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