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Green4Equity's primairy manual is under construction.

Textile Loop
Tibor Stolz

As a means for transporting water, the cloth pump uses a loop of textile material, which soaks up water at the bottom and is squeezed at the top of the pump.

We take pieces of soft cotton yarn from an old rug and braid them together to form a closed loop. The resulting strip should be rather thin, making it easier to squeeze and reducing the amount of material required. Therefore, the basic 3-strand braid pattern is a good choice. The making process also includes inserting new threads when the threads in use become too short, and finally joining the two ends.

Tools needed: two screw clamps, fixing pins, self-made "needle" (piece of wire)
Material: Soft cotton yarn, e.g. from a rug (total length about four times the desired length of the loop)
Time needed: 3-4 hours (experienced worker: 2 hours?) for 5.5 meters loop length

Start of braiding

      Three threads are mounted together on a table using a screw clamp. Their beginnings should be placed with a distance of 7-10 cm, such that their ends are well separated.

Braiding steps

      The braid pattern is created by repeating these simple steps:

      • Take leftmost thread to the middle (leaping over the other thread).
      • Take rightmost thread to the middle (in the same way).

      See also the picture on Wikipedia.

      When the braid grows, one can loose the clamp and remount it at a position closer to the working thread ends.

Inserting a new thread (1)

      When a thread runs out (5 cm of loose thread left), take a new one and place it on the other such that they overlap along that distance. It is most convenient to do this when the short thread is in the middle; the next braiding step then makes the threads hold together.

Inserting a new thread (2)

      After a new thread has been inserted, braiding continues as usual. Simply treat the overlapping threads as one and move them together. When the end of the short thread is reached, nothing special needs to be done; just continue braiding with the remaining three threads.

Preparation for closing the loop

      When the distance between the braid's start and the longest thread's end is near the desired total loop length (here: 5.5 m), we must prepare for closing the loop. Mount one end of the braid on the table using a screw clamp. Measure a point close to the other end of the loop but still on the braided part (e.g. 5 m apart from the start). Put that point on the table such that the distance (e.g. 50 cm) between the point and the already mounted end of braid adds to the previously measured distance giving the desired loop length. Fix the point with a second screw clamp.

Closing the loop

      We now have to connect the remaining six thread ends. The shortest thread from the left (1a) goes with the longest one from the right (1b), and the other threads are similarly matched by their length. Each thread group (e.g. 1a/1b) must have an overlap of at least 5 cm; it is even better to have four threads on each place.

      Now attach thread 1b to thread 1a (you may have to use a fixing pin) and continue braiding with 1a/1b, 2a and 3a until you can reach the left braid with thread 2b. Attach 2b to 2a and continue braiding with 1a/1b, 2a/2b and 3a until 3a ends. This works (i.e. there is no twisting of 1b and 2b on the right side) because a braid gets completely disentangled when one removes only one strand.

      Braid from right to left (using threads 1b, 2b, 3b) until you reach the end of the left-hand braid. Thread 3b then has to be spliced into the braid using a piece of steel wire as a needle (see next step).

Splicing the remaining thread (1)

      The remaining thread (3b) has to be spliced into the braid, preferably in a way that follows the course of thread 3a. You can use a "needle" made from a piece of metal wire bent to a narrow U shape. Push the needle through the braid (just beside thread 3a), place the loose thread in the needle...

Splicing the remaining thread (2)

      ... and pull the needle back. Repeat this until thread 3b is used up. The textile loop is now complete, you can remove the clamps.

Square plant pots for G4E-trays

This manual is made for Crowd Workshopping. A complex make-task is done while the workshop participant is guided along a number of tables or Workstations. At each workstation an easy to learn- and then to do task is taught by a teacher, who is specialized in that special small task. Easy for that teacher to do a good teaching job, easier for the participant to learn in this one-to-one teaching environment.

Starting at Workstation 1, the workshop participant receives the material needed to actually do what is needed. With that result, she or he moves on to Workstation 2 to perform the next step in the process of making. After passing all the Workstations, the participant has actually made the product, has understood the why and how of each step, has make a note of what was actually done, has got expert advise that fitted her or his special abilities or preferences.

For participants that really go for it, this crowd workshopping offers a fast way of getting complete command and ownership of the process of making the product itself and has learned many special tricks that can be applied elsewhere.

In this manual each page relates to the task to be done at one single workstation.

Step 1, cut out the plastic
      • Place the hard board template on the white/black plastic strip accurately, but without wasting plastic.
      • Take the knife and cut along the edges of the wooden form to cut out the plastic.
      • Pressing lightly on the knife should suffice, do not use force! If the knife is dull, ask someone to exchange it or sharpen it.
      • Write your first name on one of the four legs of the plastic with a marker.
Step 2, perforate plastic
      • Put the plastic sheet on the floor cloth with the black side up
      • Take the wooden tool with truncated small nails (image D).
      • With some force bang down on the square middle part of the plastic (image E). It should look like image E.
      • Check against the light that there are plenty of holes, only in the middle part, but plenty so when in use, water can easily enter from the sandbed.
Step 3.1, learn welding
      • You can weld plastic with an iron or a smooth piece of hot metal. Experiment to find out the right temperature for a good plastic weld.
      • Start with welding a sample, then pull if you can loosen the weld. Easy? Then press harder or use a hotter iron.
      • Did the plastic melt? Then move faster with the iron or set it less hot.
      • Make the tricky sample as needed for the edge of the plant container.
      • Fold three times half a centimeter, apply the tool and try to make a good weld.
      • Keep making samples, until you get a good result more often.
Step 3.2, make the edge
      • Fold the four extensions of the plastic shape each three times (image F).
      • Always fold about half a centimeter wide. Then take the welding guide with wax baking paper, that does not stick to plastic (image G).
      • Place the guide over the fold you just made, so it covers the fold for the bigger part. Just leave a strip that can be welded. (image H)
      • Now use the iron to weld this small strip (image I). The baking paper should point inwards, to protect plastic against heat.
      • Pressing with only the side the iron, move it fast along the guide, multiple times for narrow strong welds.
Step 4, welding the container
      • Now this you have made, image J.

      • To make a container from it, fold up and weld the sides. Use the weld guide with non-sticking baking paper (image G).

      • Now press together a small strip at the sides A and B, weld that joint, using the weld guide (image G).

      • Be careful to use only the side ridge of the iron. Do this four times to finish your plant container. Use the tile shape of your container to make best use of available space on plant trays.

Step 5, prepare a plant for the container
      • Select a plant to your liking, as you can take it home after the workshop

      • Use the garden scissors to cut open the thin plastic flower pot and carefully peel it off from the roots. Handle the plant with much care.

      • For the larger plants, remodel the plant clod, make it wider and more shallow to fit the container.

Step 6, add your plant to the Green Wall
      • Find out about how your plant fits with many others compacly on a Green for Equity tray.
      • Place your plant on the wet sand layer. Water will migrate through the holes in the plastic to the roots, while over time roots will grow into the sand.
      • Understand that you now can start 'farming' your own Green Wall. You can move plants around, use containers for seeding, move plants to trays that you give more water or that receive more light.
      • As the containers are so easy and cheap to make, you can give away or sell your grown plants together with their container. Stable and attractive looking!