This is the smaller of the 2 benches made of 6 bales. This is nearly finished awaiting minor touch ups and possibly a linseed oil plaster coat.
Frank a photographer and straw bale builder does some detail work on the smaller bench
The Second day of workshop went smoothly like the first.
This week we will do test coats to get the sand clay mix right, we are getting a lot of surface cracking. It’s hot and dry and windy which makes it a challenge to slow the drying down enough.
We had a good crew all day and a shift change around lunch like the first day.
Next weekend promises to be as much fun as this weekend come by any time after 9:00 e mail for directions etc
The next steps will be prepping for the cap getting the final shape, and level, to the top of the core and smoothing out irregularities on the sides. The closer to finish the shape of the core the better. The scratch and finish coats require sifted materials, we want to use as little of these as possible.
Joe came up and helped a day, and learned how to do the mixes, and build up the core.
Having a third person to help with mixes made all the difference. The pace is much smoother and we got to catch breathers. This is the first day we got to the one foot of lift per day pace I wanted to be at from the beginning.
straw bale project at Joes slide show on Flickr
The yard is full of gravel so we are using that for footers and the soil has a lot of clay so we are using that for cob.
The Straw bales are spiked with rebar down in to the gravel footer, then sewn together with bailing wire to bond the whole structure together. All the gaps and seams are packed with chips of straw or loose straw.
Core form of straw bales is anchored and sewn together ready for cob.
First Layer of filler cob applied where the bench meets the wall