Thursday, 22 January 2015

Cob oven. Part Two.

Day 2 of the cob building weekend.

All twelve members of the Veg Group turned up last night and our gathering went on until quite late into the evening. But I was up before the sun as temperatures again sunk below freezing overnight and there was more rotavating to be done.

I managed to get an hour done before the soil started clogging in the tines of the rotavator.
At least there'll be plenty of clay in the soil when I decide to make my own cob structures on the smallholding.

We turned up at the Green Backyard only to be involved straight away in a hunt for a lost wedding ring. The guy had taken his ring off the day before and put it in his pocket. You can guess the rest. We didn't really know him well enough to joke, but mention was made that maybe it was embedded into the walls of the oven! Anyway, we explained about washing machine filters and sent him home to explore. We set to work mixing more cob. Today the cob was to contain straw, which is more normal. This gives it strength but it meant that we had to stomp and twist and stamp and dance even more to incorporate it into the cob.


The outer layer of cob on the oven was made thick, very thick. On the plus side, the oven will be well insulated and retain its heat. On the other hand it meant that we had a lot of cob to make. I danced more today than I have in the past twenty years!
After yesterday's painful lesson, I wore gloves today to pack the cob onto the oven. It took five barrowloads of cob in the end and we didn't get it finished until gone 3 in the afternoon. A communal meal of soup and bread was much needed and much appreciated.

The oven still has one more layer to go, but this will have to wait a while now. It will be a fine layer of cob, containing cut straw, more as a decorative layer than anything else.
Oh. The wedding ring. Well I'm happy to say it was retrieved from the rubber seal of the washing machine, unscathed.

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