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Hi Campers!

Our civilization was built on a technology so advanced we still don't know everything it's good for. But somewhere along the way, most of us seem to have forgotten how to really tie things together.

Yet, if you can tie things together securely, you can make almost anything from practically nothing.

Consider the golf ball - underneath those dimples, an incredibly long rubber band subjects the core to almost 10,000 pounds of pressure. The secret is in the wrapping - every turn adds pressure, which is the same principle at work in a lashing - the result is very strong, but with a little bit of give.

So, get your sticks and line and we'll tie our first lashing. Relax - this takes a little bit of practice, so expect to start over a couple of times. I’ll walk you through the step-by-step photos and instructions here:

I’ll also be hosting a Hangout today at noon PST, so come tune in and we’ll talk knots and rope.

We can make all kinds of things once we know how to lash. Get creative and post photos of your projects with the #MakerCamp and #TinkeringTuesday hashtag (that way we’ll be able to see them).
Jon Adair's profile photoGever Tulley's profile photoB Bergenstock's profile photo
Any tips on finding a free / cheap source of sapling-sized sticks if you can't cut down enough of your own? I guess stuff like broomsticks could stand in, but not quite the same. I keep wanting to plant some clumps of bamboo just for this sort of thing.
I sort of collect sticks on a near continual basis. Not sure where you live, but I find that most riparian corridors tend to have stick-y overgrowth that can be judiciously pruned without much impact on the tree. When I'm visiting cities, I have contacted tree services and professional arborists to see if I can swing by the job sites and cull good branches.

Here in our part of California, eucalyptus is a rampant weed that pushes out a lot of native species. I have a couple of groves that I go back to (mostly because they have little or no poison oak) to harvest saplings and branches. It is my hope that over the next few years Tinkering School will have eradicated the groves and native trees will get the upper hand again :-)
Also, yes, I too have had the urge to plant bamboo to have a good source of sticks. I tried to buy some dried bamboo, 2" diameter, for a project and was shocked at how much it was going to cost.
I live near Jamestown Virgina, we're still dealing with the bamboo invasion that was brought here in the early 1700s. That stuff never goes away! Beware of planing it! (But the upside for me is I have lots of free bamboo :), just go cut it down from practically any side of the road.).
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