Rates of cobbing

by ziggy on May 21, 2008 -- 0 comments -- Follow

Lately, I have been trying to estimate how long it will take to build the cob walls of my cottage. I haven’t been doing anything very scientific to make my guess, just figuring a number based on the number of batches stomped for Ironweed kitchen (another cob/straw bale structure here at Dancing Rabbit), which took something like 150 total batches (some of which were undoubtedly doubles, however.)

Anyway, the rough estimate I’ve decided on is about 100 batches stomped by foot (rounding up to play it safe), completed in about a month at an average rate of four batches mixed and applied per day. (One batch is equal to three buckets of sand, and two and a half clay.)

Today, we stomped a whopping nine batches. I had the help of three others throughout the day, so we were able to do a lot of work. We also honed our technique to work more quickly – sometimes, it’s very easy to get caught up in finesse when it’s totally unnecessary. You can work quite quickly when the walls are still low to the ground. As they go up, however, it will undoubtedly slow down, what with installing windows, and shaping shelves and nooks and crannies.

Anyway, it’s been four days, and nineteen total batches of cob have been thrown on the wall. I am very happy about the great progress thus far.

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