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Blog entry by Tim Scoville posted 04-12-2009 05:48 AM 1746 reads 0 times favorited 6 comments Add to Favorites Watch

More pics from our time in Cambodia.

This is a pic of the makers of a very typical woodworking tool in Cambodia/Vietnam. Very few woodworking shops do not have one of these of one size or another. I call it a multi-tool. A single 3-5 HP 220V motor runs to a single shaft that drives a table saw blade at one end, an over-and-under jointer and thickness planer, and at the other end, a drill chuck and positioning table for mortising. Although crude, it works fairly well. Not so accurate but very practical. None of the safety bells and whistles with this either. I’ve nicknamed this one “Big Blue”. It was delivered to our shop next day.

With the jointer table hinged up, you can see the drive rollers and main spindle of Big Blue.

The ladies are putting together the comb assembly after we remade the comb frames in the wood shop. They were all cracked nearly the length of the comb.

The ladies that work at the orphanage are not always so exuberant about their mushrooms. They have just started growing mushrooms for profit and they were showing us what they looked like at harvest. They are selling them to locals in the market and it looks like it will turn a modest profit back to the mission. They tasted pretty good as we had them with our lunches several times.

Some of the kids at the orphanage.

-- Tim S, AZ

6 comments so far

View kiwi1969's profile


608 posts in 3922 days

#1 posted 04-12-2009 05:56 AM

That is a monster machine! Proves how much talent there is in the region if you can tap into it. Have you noticed its often the poorest people who smile the most?

-- if the hand is not working it is not a pure hand

View Todd A. Clippinger's profile

Todd A. Clippinger

8901 posts in 4579 days

#2 posted 04-12-2009 06:15 AM

I just went to your previous blog and then to this one. I was admiring the work that they do with such spartan equipment. They do some great work really.

-- Todd A. Clippinger, Montana,

View Tim Scoville's profile

Tim Scoville

97 posts in 3815 days

#3 posted 04-12-2009 06:45 AM

Thanks. I think they do pretty good work too. Just need to get them going further on furniture because I think they can generate some income in this area in the local market to NGOs and the monied class in Phnom Penh (ie, those that work for the corrupt govt). That’s why a project with doors and drawers is still needed.

I need to find the picks from their latest intarsia work. That was an unexpected surprise. When the missionaries had returned from two months stateside, the guys had made several intarsia pieces having only looked at a amgazine I’d left behind. Once I find it, I’ll post.

-- Tim S, AZ

View Mauricio's profile


7163 posts in 3631 days

#4 posted 05-23-2013 06:32 PM

Wow that machine is pretty cool. You can joint a pretty wide board on that thing. I also like that mortiser. Seem like great people over there. Keeps the posts coming!

This reminds me of another blog I saw where a Woodworker was in Rwanda teaching them woodworking with hand tools. He had some pretty creative solutions, wish I could find the link now…

-- Mauricio - Woodstock, GA - "Confusion is the Womb of Learning, with utter conviction being it's Tomb" Prof. T.O. Nitsch

View helluvawreck's profile


32086 posts in 3346 days

#5 posted 05-23-2013 06:59 PM

Like I said, Tim, it looks like you do some interesting work.

helluvawreck aka Charles

-- helluvawreck aka Charles,

View Mauricio's profile


7163 posts in 3631 days

#6 posted 05-23-2013 09:27 PM

I want me one of those blue machines!

-- Mauricio - Woodstock, GA - "Confusion is the Womb of Learning, with utter conviction being it's Tomb" Prof. T.O. Nitsch

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