August 25, 2011

Clay/Straw Walls Hold Strong After 12-inches of Monsoon Rains

Artistic Note: Regarding the photo below, check out the clouds in the background.  My camera's imaging chip seems to have made those clouds look 3-dimensional and painterly - a cool effect!  To get a larger-size view, click on the photo.

The cob walls have held-up well, with little erosion, over the course of this year's summer monsoon season.  The rainfall tally (so far) is over 8". It's quite amazing how cob holds up to the pounding monsoon downpours.

The walls are now about 8-feet tall on the southeastern room of the studio.  Therefore I need to establish the final height for this section of the building, which will be lower than the (adjacent) room, that will have a higher wall height wall height that is adjacent to the north of this room.  I used a surveyor's level to assist in establishing final height.  I'm there in the background holding a ruler (this one too big to take to school) that I'm using in conjunction with the survey level.

I struck a line on the scale at a point on the wall that I considered final height.  Then at intervals along the wall where there was vertical re-bar sticking up, I moved the ruler up or down until the line I made on the scale was in the cross-hairs of the surveyor's level (My wife was attending the level - Thanks honey!!).  Then I made a mark on the re-bar at the height of the line I made on the ruler.

Next I ran a string (as shown in above photo), tight along the mark made on each piece of vertical re-bar along the wall.  The string now represents a uniform height. Now I can build-up the wall with cob to the height of the string and be confident that I have a "level height" along that section of the wall.

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