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wood ash and soil cement  RSS feed

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Location: northern northern california
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does anyone know about this???

i've been reading about ash, making soil cement mixes, and lime mortar for a couple of weeks now. its just come to me thats its a good idea, to put wood stove ashes in there, though i never thought about it before ... i am trying to understand what the ash is about, different ashes, and research about making old school simple cement/concrete. ah and the moisture barriers, when and where to use.

i've already been using the search feature here, and google - and located some good stuff that cleared up some ideas for me...well now i got a lot of ideas stewing in my head anyway, i think i got a grip on what i am doing =) or at least enough research for now, sun is shining.



(plus i just learned about gabions, thanks permies!)

of course its all about the local soil, if it contains lime already, sand or clay - so you have mix a totally different mix for each place and add some purchased stuff.
i am thinking to stretch a couple of bags of cement and lime mortar really really far by making some soil cement and experimenting with adding wood ashes.
my small project, well its kinda amorphouos atm. but i got the area prepared and that took a long time of digging and making berms.

basically i am making a patio kind of space, with a a sink area and some water hoses. and putting up some privacy screens and such.....

i want the bottom and the sides to be cement like...but without using cement. or at least not using much cement.
i am going to use soil cement, sand and gravel, and a tiny bit of lime, with a good amount of ashes and experiment.
and to make some forms too.... then put all the blocks together into a soil cement mix....

also found this in a search, which has a reference to making cement with wood ashes, as well as a whole lot of interesting recipes.


i figure i would just ask anyone who might be inclined to share some info- if they tried this, working with soil cement- or at least thought about it.

and what does anyone think about using wood ashes for an earthen plaster?
i'm gathering now that you need the lime, to mix with the ashes...so the lime is more of the key thing than the ashes.
but it could be a very very small amount of lime for it to be effective, and make the material more cement like?
alot of building mixes that you can buy have a small amount of lime, as well as lot of other things in there....

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I found an extract of a study which examines using wood ash to make concrete material: http://www4.uwm.edu/cbu/abstracts/03-513.pdf
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Sorry for the resurrection of this old post.

I too have been looking into wood ash as a clay substitute and mortar binder.

Here is a video by Primitive Technology on wood ash bricks:


Ok, here's my thought...

Sift the ash for fine particles and much less organics. Wet it and mix, and drain like in the video. Instead of refiring it, add straw for a cob-like mix. You could also make the mortar out of it to build a stone based rocket mass heater and the ash-cob as a covering.

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