You can make A-Frame with only a bolo right in the farm using available materials. The frame should be light enough for easy handling by one man.
- 2 relatively straight wood or bamboo poles about 2 meters long each with thickness that can be easily grasped by hand;
- 1 straight wood or bamboo about 1 meter long;
- tying material such as nylon line, plaid rope or any substitute such as strips of abaca leafsheath or any pliant vine;
- plumb bob substitute (i.e. rock); and
- plastic sheet or substitute (i.e. coconut, abaca or banana leafsheath). In Cebuano, the coconut leafsheath is called ginit.
Two of the wood or bamboo poles about 2 meters or 6 feet long are intended to be used as legs of the frame. The one about 1 meter long or one-half of the length of the legs is to be used as crossbar or connector of the two legs.
There is no need actually to measure exactly the length of the poles. It is sufficient that the two legs are relatively long and the crossbar is approximately one-half as long as the legs. The crossbar, in fact, can be longer and only cut after tying it to the legs. This will allow adjustment of the leg-to-leg distance to any desired distance, for example 1 meter or 2 meters.
When the A-Frame is finished, you can decide if its size will be convenient to use. If not, you can discard it and make another one with longer or shorter poles. Experience will teach you, however, that cutting of the legs and crossbar can be done after tying in order to produce a frame that is convenient to your physical size with any desired leg-to-leg distance.
1. Mark one leg at about the middle of its length. Use it as guide to mark the other leg;
2. Tie the legs at one end but not so tightly to allow parting of the untied ends. You may have to notch either or both ends to secure both legs tightly later;
3. Tie one end of the crossbar to the middle of one leg and the other end to the second leg. To prevent the crossbar from moving up or down the leg when in use, it is better to slightly notch the middle of the legs;
4, Wrap the stone with a plastic sheet (or substitute) then connect it to a string (tying material);
5. Tie the string to the top of the frame such that the wrapped rock at the tip hangs below the crossbar. This weight serves as plumb bob (tonton) substitute.;
6. Tighten the knots; and
7. Calibrate the A-Frame
To calibrate the A-Frame, stand it upright over flat ground. Mark the crossbar at the top in line with the weighted string. Reverse the A-Frame so that each leg is exactly on the same spot previously occupied by the other. Again mark the crossbar. Then mark the midpoint. Notch both sides of the crossbar in line with the midpoint to serve as permanent mark.
The midpoint mark is your reference point in using the A-Frame to find the contour lines in your farm. When the string crosses this reference point, it means that the two legs of the A-Frame stand on spots at more or less the same elevation.
Note: The above procedure is modified from Bamboo Production and Propagation Methods in PDF format published via cropsreview.com by the herein author in 2010.
(Ben G. Bareja, June 22, 2018)
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