Cap Stones on, and the final smear coat of linseed oil adobe soil mix and mortar sand
It looks pretty good all in all. I think it will hold up well.
I have about 150- 200 man hours in to this. It cold be done a lot faster. I did most of the mixing by hand alone, and hadn’t taken in to consideration of the shear size of this thing.
Next time I will:
Not work alone, (THIS IS A BIGGY)
Use a mixer from the beginning (get a good one)
Shred all the straw with a chipper shredder
set up a better filter station
Fit the straw bales more snugly even if that means cutting back and shaping then retying the bales.
Or preferably mix all the straw into cob form and do the whole structure as a piled hand sculpted wall.
Be a lot more careful about keeping early coats close to the shape of expected end result and thicker in the initial cob layers.
It probably took an extra 40 hours to accommodate the blocks for cap stones. The bales are about 14″ thick the blocks needed 21 ” as a platform. Joe and I were sitting on the curved sections and talking about finish layers and then I tried to put the cap stones on.
Next time we will have wooden templates if we need a boxed end of a specific dimension, Also matching the cap stones to the dimensions of the wall was an option and in hind sight it may have been the best bet.
I think I’ll try doing the whole wall to near finish before adding the bench, it’s in the way and adds a lot of work to getting to the wall and cap from that side.
On the next wall we are going to do one continuous bond beam out of mortar maybe with some tiles and bird watering features
I ended up doing about 8-10 layers of progressively finer adobe mix and straw, the last layer being adobe mix sand and linseed oil.
I have to admit I kind of obsessed over it. Even if everything went super smooth I can’t see one being done in less than 100 work hours. This bench seats about 10-12 does a nice job as a visual break and should last a very long time if maintained.
I had fun , learned a lot, and used the in between time to get a little bit of a hold on Tucson and how I might live here.
The next project is an hours ride away so at least I’ll get some time away from it not to mention the ride, the help, the mixer, the view.