Tuesday, September 27, 2011

a stack of wood plus some elbow grease gives me...

... quite a lot!

i bought some salvaged timber strips, or known as "kok chai" in cantonese, some months back for some home improvement project. gabriel introduced these timber strips to me and i have lots of fun with them. for a half baked, low skilled nitwit wood worker like me, the flexible kok chai can be used to build just about anything.  have built quite a lot from just a stack of these strips. they are usually sold in bundles of 120 ft, or 10 pieces of 12 ft strips. cost? less than rm50 for such a bundle!

besides, i find wood working to be therapeutic. it is so calming to work with our bare hands. fyi, everything i built here is accomplished with hand tools only. a band saw, wood glue, screws, wood brackets and some clamps.

first thing i built, is this "creeper's aid". the base though is not made from timber strips but rather some bed frame someone in my neighbourhood threw away! yes, during my walks with tonto, we scour around the neighbourhood for rubbish. as the saying goes, one man's rubbish is another's gold.

this fella stands at 6 ft tall but unfortunately the plant is taking so slow to grow. hmm...

also built this compost rack. i'm tired of hearing the excuse of "not enough space" to compost. how about 3" by 1"? this is all the space taken up by our compost rack.

 but the most fun i have, is building this food dehydrator. a year ago, i blogged about making your own food dehydrator. well, that crude thing consists of 4 pieces of wooden plank (salvaged from the neighbourhood) and some L brackets.

since we use this quite often, that ugly piece got to be retired. and so i built this fella. since it is only oiled, you could see the timber strips clearly.

at the lower end, a 100w incandescent light bulb is used to provide heat. 

in case you are wondering,  a 100w light bulb manages to heat up the upper rack all the way till 50 degrees celcius. just nice for a slow dehydration.
the thermometer is a roast meat thermometer. excellent for this purpose here!
oh yeah, among my wood working tools, i could print some letters too. nice eh?

 on the left, drying some pig ears here. tonto absolutely loves this!
 on the right, drying some tomatoes. there's 7 tomatoes here. 8 hours give us some wonderful semi dried tomatoes.

so with some elbow grease, you could accomplish all this from just a bundle of timber strips of less than rm50!

best of all, these are all YOUR handiwork. there's no commercial stuff like this!



  1. I told Nic he had to build me a trellis like yours. Are you using it for your passionfruit vine?

  2. coincidentally you two appeared in my dream last night. can't remember the details though. sucks.

    so it's called a trellis! nope, using it for some veggie, in cantonese it's called "san choy".

    it's really easy to build. you could buy those aluminium types from nurseries but wood is better. metal can get too hot under the sun and no plant like this!

  3. This is so cool? U take orders :) ....btw, where can i buy the wood strips?

    1. oh gosh...wrong exclamation mark....it should be "this is so cool!"

  4. hi anon

    which is cool? the trellis or the food dehydrator?

    either way, sorry, i don't take orders. but show it to a competent carpenter and they should be able to do it for you. otherwise, get a better carpenter. :)

    the wooden strips can be bought easily from many hardware stores. go look for the bigger stores that sell wood stuffs.


  5. Hi bg

    Thanks! Food Dehydrator is kewl! in fact all your posting are interesting. I've been wanting to built a counter top bench so i can utilise the kitchen counter to the fullest. But don't know where to buy wood strips.


  6. hi cv

    thanks for the kind words.

    if you could show the picture of my food dehydrator to a carpenter, i'm sure he has ideas.

    this place has lots of timber strips. you could buy all the plywoods you want.

    Jalan 9/108c, Taman Sungai Besi, 57100 Kuala Lumpur, Wilayah Persekutuan Kuala Lumpur

    use google map to lead you there.


    there are 2 types of timber strips. in cantonese, these are known as "kok chai". they measure 1" by 2" before processing. so after processing, it's 0.25" less on both sides. they come in 12 feet lengths.

    i usually bring a handsaw with me there, then i saw to 6 feet or 4 feet, so that it's easier to manage and put in my car to bring home. if you need the whole 12 feet, then just pay a little and they'll send to your home.

    get the timber strips, some wood glue, some f clamps, a saw and you are in business!


  7. Hi There, I just spent a little time reading through your
    posts, which I found entirely by mistake whilst researching one of
    my projects. Please continue to write more because it’s unusual that someone has
    something interesting to say about this. Will be waiting for more!