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Does my cob oven need a roof?

 
Posts: 37
Location: New Hampshire; USDA Z5
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I'm in NH, USA; about 40" of rain yearly, much in the form of snow which is on the ground November - April. Fall and spring tend to be wet periods -- we'll get a week or two of rain/dampness at a time with no real chance for anything to dry.

I'm planning on building a small family-size cob oven. I have no experience with cob. Should I plan on building a roof over it or otherwise protecting it from moisture?

I'd suppose that using it regularly will bake away dampness...
 
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If you want it to last more than a few seasons, it will need a roof in our environment.

Regards,

jay
 
Posts: 310
Location: Seattle, WA, USA
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Dampness isn't a problem, but exposure to driving rain or even steady dripping will quickly erode cob.
Lime wash creates a somewhat weather resistant surface, but doesn't fully replace a roof.
 
pollinator
Posts: 3684
Location: Kansas Zone 6a
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You can get away with a tarp when not in use, but it is a pain. A roof would be much more convenient.
 
Patrick Mann
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Location: Seattle, WA, USA
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Do you want to be able to use the oven during bad weather? If not, you can use a simple solution like a piece of corrugated metal lashed down on top of the oven. Otherwise, you need something more elaborate.
In my oven construction, the roof ended up being the most complicated part of the project.
 
Jay C. White Cloud
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If you are building the Cobb Oven I have several little timber frame plans that would be nice, and within your skill set that you could cut yourself.
 
Pierre de Lacolline
Posts: 37
Location: New Hampshire; USDA Z5
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Patrick - Lashing down anything won't work well here, we frequently get pretty strong winds.

Jay - I'd be interested in seeing plans. PM me or post a link?
 
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