We all know that we are
supposed to have a bureau of standards in this country.
Our bureau of standards
was set up by an act no 11 of parliament in 1984, and they receive a subvention
of 35 million dollars per year to ensure that the citizens of this country do
not get ripped off by unscrupulous merchants, manufacturers, importers etc.
They for example go around
making sure that scales etc are calibrated properly, at stores, markets etc.
simple tasks requiring no particular intelligence or skills, they are supposed
to ensure that if we buy anything, we are protected from exploitation by the
sellers of almost any merchandise which comes on the local marketplace.... But do
Last month I decided to
build a Gazebo in my garden. I bought a Ryobi miter saw, and I personally cut
each rail and upright for this structure. I am very proud of my Gazebo since I
built it personally.
It has turned out well,
as the video I have prepared to accompany this comment will show.
But in the process of
doing this project I discovered that every piece of wood that I bought from the
lumberyard had a different measurement. The 4 inch by 4 inch uprights can vary
from 3 1/2 to 3 15/16 of an inch, same with all the wood I bought they all had
varying sizes and none had the size I was charged for....., now quite apart from
the fact that I am buying and being charged for 4x4, 4x2 and 1x3 wood and I did
not get ONE piece of wood which had those measurements, I ended up spending
MORE time shaving and eliminating the differences in the wood, which did not
fit and which looked like hell, than I did in the actual construction. When I
called a friend of mine who is knowledgeable in these matters, he thought that
it was a huge joke, and told me, well Tony you went to get wood, and you got
it! Not a bad joke, but hardly the attitude which will make someone take notice
of the fact that something is seriously wrong with the system.
Now I am the first to
admit that the Timber industry in this country is in some financial difficulty,
I however feel that these lumber yards, all of them, are supposed to conform to
some standard. If you buy a 1-inch by 4-inch piece of wood to replace some part
of your building, you may find that it has a totally different size and
thickness than the one that was there. Creating a huge headache for.... you.
Ladies and gentlemen we
are hiring carpenters to do our work, repairing our house, fixing some part of
our business premises etc, and they can spend more time and therefore our money
shaving down wood to make our construction/renovation look neat thereby
increasing our labour costs substantially. It is better if pay a little more
for the wood at the sawmill or lumberyard and got the right standard sizes.
So I think that the time
has come when our National bureau of standards begin functioning and enforcing
the law since they are taking an enormous amount of our taxes to protect us
from this sort of thing, all saw mills and lumberyards should be required to
sell us wood which has the right measurements.
In addition ladies and
gentlemen you cant go anywhere in this country and look at any new or renovated
building without coming to the realization that we are buying green, un-dried
wood of varying sizes which will shrink and leak almost as soon as the
structure is complete. To say that most of the wood we buy is warped is an
understatement and probably unnecessary. Some of the wood we buy, are so warped
and twisted that it would give a camoodie backache.
On checking why this is
so I have discovered that this is one of the few countries on the planet that
does not have a building code, I have also discovered that our Bureau of Standards
do not police this matter of varying size wood at our sawmills in the interest
of the public but the act of 1984 says that they should.
The sawmillers must be
made to understand that notwithstanding their poor financial situation, selling
varying size wood is a huge inconvenience to the public and makes our assets look
Three years ago I bought
some wood for my living room, there were several leaks that had to be fixed,
the carpenters who did the job could not just remove rotten pieces of wood and
go to the lumber yard and find wood of similar dimensions to replace them, so
rather than have a totally unacceptable mix of different sizes of wood, I had
to buy completely new lumber for the entire living room, and even then, the new
lap edge and the straight edge wood I bought for the job all had varying sizes and
thickness. And two months after completion we had to reputty and repaint the
entire place. Everything shrunk.
All sawmills have huge
piles of sawdust, which to our inconvenience they burn at certain times; can
they not use that fuel to dry some of this wood for an extra consideration? So
that when we buy a dried 6-inch lap edge it does not shrink to 51/2 inches two
months after we install it on our buildings.
Even the men at the
lumberyard tell you that you have to buy the wood and put it down out of the
weather for several months before you even attempt to install it on your
building. And even then you have to buy several heavy-duty clamps to pull this
warped wood into shape so that the exterior of your house does not look like a
So if you want to renovate
your house for Christmas you have to buy your wood in July and store and dry it
for your Christmas renovation, is no one aware of the ludicrousness of such a
I don't want to hear about
Global warming either, I have already questioned the motives behind it. This
un-industralised, HIPC, Developing country of 750,000 people with 83,000 square
miles of forests is a net reducer of hot house gasses on this planet. So those
of our luminaries who are taking grants in US dollars from the UN to do
seminars, to tell us how much damage WE ARE DOING TO THE ATMOSPHERE is such
patent nonsense that it is not worthy of analysis or comment.
At the last international
conference on global warming the third world countries were virtually given
permission to increase their production of hot house gases as of their 1990
levels in the interest of their development, even Russia was allowed to
increase theirs because of the ratio of population to forests, and the poor
financial status of the country, the Americans who produce 33 % of the
industrial nations' pollution only agreed to reduce their 1990 levels by 7 % by
the year 2012. So Let us forget about global warming for awhile, there is
NOTHING that we can possibly do to change anything except to BEG the Americans
to reduce their hot house gases by more than 7% by 2012, and let us look at the
local lumber industry in the interest of our people. But at the end of the
exercise, when we buy a 4-inch by 4-inch piece of wood, it must be 4 inches by
4 inches at a reasonable cost, and, the sawmiller must make a profit.