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Making Cob Video

Making Cob

Watch the Making Cob video:

Quicktime version
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Cob = clay-rich soil, sand, straw, water + human energy!

People often forget to mention the human energy when speaking of the ingredients of cob! It’s either human energy or some other mechanical method of mixing. Electric mixer cob, tracker cob, tiller cob, cattle trodden etc. I mixed it up on a poly-propylene tarp. What’s nice about using a tarp is you can toss the material around, pulling the edges towards you while you mix. A basic mix might be 70% sand and %30 clay, with straw to ‘taste’. The ratios change from site to site as different sites have different soil content. In this video I was using a 2 clay-rich soil to 1 sand. I probably could have used more sand, but the batch worked fine for me.

Experiment!

If you are looking for a way to experiment; try gathering a bag of sand from a home center and some clay from a local ceramics outlet. If you can, dig a hole and find out what type of soil you have underneath you. You’ll want to go down below a foot to avoid the organic sub soil material. Mix it up. Make a few small test batches… really clay rich, half-n-half, more sand… more straw. You want something pliable, solid, a little chunky and (with straw) tough to separate. There’s nothing like playing in the mud!
What does each batch feel like?
What do they look like after they sit out for a couple of days?

Resources

There are many cob resources on the web. If you are interested in a good, comprehensive book try the book ‘The Hand Sculpted House’, by Cob Cottage members; Ianto Evans, Michael G. Smith and Linda Smiley. Or if you’d like check out part of Becky Bee’s ‘Cob Builder’s Hand Book’ online:
http://www.weblife.org/cob/cob_043.html »

Making Cob water

Making Cob

Making Cob

Making Cob

Making Cob

5 Responses

  • ailaine neff says:

    It is really amazing that people are sharing this info free of charge…it is much appreciated! I am a single mom and moving soon and am going to build a cob house-and I am so looking forward to this way of living….without spending a fortune and BEING IN DEBT. Even in the bible it says not to be in debt. This is the way to go

  • Larissa says:

    Very nice. We’re moving to Bangor, Maine & will be building our dream green home out of cob, so this info is very valuable to us. Thanks so much. Good karma to you for sharing.

  • Scott Dano says:

    Nice Video, we are going to make cob to chink our log cabin

  • Rex Rose says:

    Sweet. I just linked to it from my video page. R