Instructables
Picture of Building a Cob Wood Shed
IMGP1789.jpg
IMGP9835.jpg
To build a cob wood shed you will a supply of clay rich soil and some form of fiber reinforcement.
       The soil I dig up from my back yard and for fiber I use either shredded wood fibers that I get free from a local tree service or I buy a bail of straw and use my lawn mower to chop the straw. These are typical wood fibers.


 
Remove these adsRemove these ads by Signing Up

Step 1: Make Test Brick

Picture of Make Test Brick
IMGP1816.jpg
This is long straw being converted to short straw.

The next step is to mix a handful of straw and some clay and water to make a test brick which you will test for strength. Make a 4"x4"x4" brick and dry it completely and see if it will support your weight then try to scratch it with your fingernail or break it up with your hands. If it supports your weight and does not crumble when scrapped or twisted by hand you have a suitable building material.

There are several ways to mix mud and fiber. I prefer to do it with a rototiller by simply tilling the soil adding water and fiber and tilling to form a thick mud. You can also do this with your feet, or you can put the mud on a small tarp and mix the soil, water and fiber with your feet and roll the mud by pulling the edge of the tarp to put the dry soil on top of wet mud.




TimmyMiller3 years ago
where did you get the bamboo?
i am very curious about your waterproofing ,how long has this roof endured so far? have you had to recoat later to cover cracks formed from weather conditions? i have plans to make a shed with several stalls from papercrete and would love any hints or tips thrown my way . your shed is very much like what i wish to construct
Cob can actually be quite weather resistant. There are cob homes in the UK that have stood in a very wet climate for centuries. These homes, however, do not have earth plaster roofs. I think that such an arrangement would not work in an environment that get much rain at all. For the only cob building that I have constructed, I used some free cedar shake for the roofing.

From these pictures though, it seems that the author does live in a moist environment. I think we would all like to hear how his roof is holding up.
In my town there is a adobe castle. It was made by the moors and has been there since the XI century. So this kind of construction is very durable, at least in not-very-rainy climates.
Forgive my intrusion, but the bricks made in this way (Spanish "adobe", I can't found the translation) last for centuries. Many years ago I was in Santiago de Chile after a major earthquake that destroyed modern buildings, near which were some of 19th century, whose plaster had fallen and revealed adobe bricks.

The oldest part of my father's house was large normal bricks, only mud settled (sticked?), we realized that on the occasion of an extension.
. Adobe in English is ... adobe. :)
Thanks, Nacho!

Now I understand, what happens is that when the word does not exist in the other language, Google translator repeated it, as it is the same word, as in this case. Translator should mark it in some way, to differentiate one case from another. It's like the difference between a zero and a null value, which are often confused.
lemonie3 years ago

That is a nice shed.

L