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Storing clay for making cob at a later date

 
Posts: 86
Location: Skokie, IL
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I found a construction site near me with an excavated hole, the exposed sub-soil looks like a good clay source. I'd like to gather some to build an earthen oven, but it probably won't be for a couple months since I need to buy some materials and do the prep work. If the soil has good clay content, could I just keep it in a plastic tub until I'm ready to use it? I'm assuming it would just dry out some and I'd have to rehydrate it when I'm ready to build. Does anyone have experience or advice on this?
 
pollinator
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Location: ALASKA
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That will work.  Not like it will spoil.  When I was growing up there was a pile of red clay that stayed on the side of our driveway for years before my dad used it for whatever purpose was intended.
 
gardener
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Location: Westbridge, BC, Canada
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building solar woodworking rocket stoves wood heat greening the desert
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Hi Nathan,   As Walt stated it will definitely work. I have done this for years. I gather a few buckets worth of high clay soil, add a little water over the top and cover to keep it from drying out. I do this in the fall and keep it in my workshop over winter where I use it to modify/patch my rocket mass heater. Sometimes if there is organic material in there may start to decompose a bit and stink a little like a swamp but goes away when dry. This is why its good not to mix any straw or fiber of your choice in there until your ready to use it.  
 
Nathan Strumfeld
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Thanks for the replies! I filled up a tub and will store in my garage. My lower back will be sore tomorrow!
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Gerry Parent
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Looks like nice clay to me. Best to get it while its still looks fresh and pliable or have to deal with it like concrete. Certainly no fun.  

Good luck with your project and do report back when your on your way with your oven...we like pictures too!
 
Hey cool! They got a blimp! But I have a tiny ad:
Rocket Mass Heater Plans - now free for a while
https://permies.com/goodies/7/rmhplans
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