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Can we make cob in Brazil?

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Please try to help me. I live in a mountainous area of Brazil where it does get pretty chilly. I want to do away with the fireplace which uses lots of wood and build a rocket heater and stove. I am very curious about the cob. Before I buy the instructions, etc. for building the heater and stove and having a friend bring them down here from the states, I want to know if there is anything in the cob that I might not be able to find here in Brazil. That's what I need to know. Many thanks to anyone who helps. Clydia Davenport
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Location: Northern New York Zone4-5 the OUTER 'RONDACs percip 36''
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Clydia Davenport : Cob Is easy ! We say about Cob that it will not burn, it will not rot, insects will not eat it and it is as cheap as dirt !

It can be a very frustrating long distance communication for both of us to talk about how we (in the states)build Rocket Mass Heaters RMHs,out of the junk we
have lying around, and then to find that you do not have a local equivalent, and that it must be special made or imported ! Good Luck !

Much is made of the fact that Cob and Adobe are very common, Immediately try and locate a local worker in adobe and start a conversation! The same goes for
your local potter. In place of a co-located Fellow member with Cob or RMH experience these people will be very valuable ! I hope your Portuguese is very good!

You can Goto, to download a PDF Copy of the Brand New 3rd Edition of Ianto Evans Great Book Rocket Mass Heaters, this will
immediately put a copy(s) in your hand. Ianto also wrote a very good book on building with cob and probably should be in your library !

I have asked that this Thread be also posted in the Building Forum in the Cob/adobe section.

You should find the Rotating Permies Sun in the upper left corner at the Top of this page, click on the word Forums just below, then scroll down to find the 'Cob threads'
in the 'Building Forum' by clicking on Cob you will bring up a list of recent threads posted to that forum. I am sure you will find the combined forum threads helpful and
you can post any questions you want there 24 / 7 and expect to talk to someone who wants to talk out what you want to talk about !

Scrolling a little deeper within the 'Forums' You will come to a Regional section. Yours is Mexico/Central/ South America, you want to post a thread there, who knows-
you may well have a near neighbor with Cob/ RMH experience !

Again, Good Luck! If you get stuck you can always come back here for more help, just remember that we will not have a clue as to where you can source stuff
locally ! For the Good of the Crafts !

Think like Fire, Flow like Gas, Don't be the Marshmallow! As always, your comments and Questions are solicited and welcome !Big AL
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Location: Western Kentucky-Climate Unpredictable Zone 6b
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Clydia - I know nothing about Cob , but I found this Q+A on the web :

There is a question there about Brazil in particular .

Also a blog called "Cob in the Tropics":

Hope it helps !
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Hello Clydia, et al,

Sorry for the delay, I will do my best to assist you in your questions. I would point out that Wayne's links are an excellent place to start learning...Do be warned...that much of what many (not all) are doing is on there own DIY stuff and experimenting so really compare advice and try to find the commonalities of each recommendation in "means, methods, and materials."

So to your question:

Clydia wrote: I want to know if there is anything in the cob that I might not be able to find here in Brazil.

YES you can find everything you need to make "cobb." In every location...that is the question? So, in most areas of Brazil, you can probably find or adapt the resources available to manufacture Cobb. The base is a clay, sand, and a fiber. The soils in your area that you will be building is your starting point. You must check these for suitability and there are countless online sources, books, videos, etc that will show you these methods.

At this juncture, the other key element that I can share, which you may find useful is to perform your "web searches" in the primary language of Brazil...Portuguese. So I would have started my search with "clay architecture" which is..."argila arquitetura" and from there looked for vernacular forms.

Here is another link that you may find helpful:

Arquitetura de Terra

Taipa is a vernacular form of Cobb in Brazil, and many architects there are turning to a more modern version called "taipa de pilão." As I often tell students..."look to the vernacular forms" of a style or modality and this will often lead you to the best system to use for a given area. Adobe too, is a common practice in Brazil.

Hope this all helps and gets you moving forward......I will do my best to answer further questions.


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Location: Southern alps, on the French side of the french /italian border 5000ft elevation
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Hi, I do have some (a bit) of experience with Cobb here in Brazil. As already posted, the materials are locally available, all you have to do its start experimenting the dirt around you and you will be touched, never to stop!

In my area, Minas Gerais, there is plenty of brachiaria grass "capim", the very hard working African immigrant that constantly annoys local governments and is to be found all over.

The deal is simple: watch for roadside mowing (roçada). After the rainy season is really common, but you can always use pretty much any fibrous brown material to start with. Wet down your dirt and step on it.

Good luck.
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