The Cobber’s Thumb
What’s a cobbers thumb?
It’s an ancient thumb passed down from master to apprentice.
An object with special powers to metaphysically tune the mystical material – cob. An electronic device that samples the ratio of water, clay, sand and straw. Then chimes when the mix is suitable for building.
It’s a stick!
One that will fit well in your hand. I use anything that I can get my hands on, but a broom handle or wooden dowel will work.
I like to have a stick thats pointy on one end and dull on the other. Long enough to press new chunks of cob into existing cob.
Building with cob requires you to sew the straw from the new cob into the existing cob. The straw holds it together, especially when it is wet. I use the dull end of thumb for this. The magical wand can get really far in there. They are also helpful for piercing the wall, creating drying holes. This isn’t always necessary though.
The great thing about the cobbers thumb is it saves your hands, namely your thumbs, from being destroyed after days of work. Another must for me is those dipped-in-latex gardening gloves.
You lose some of the sensation, but you gain fearlessness; rocks or other stuff in the mix can’t hurt you.