Getting close to completion and my wife is still hanging on - barely. Almost halfway done with bench. Sealed up the bench platform seams and manifold exhaust with hi-temp sealer and triple taped all joints with 350degree duct tape. First course of block laid,starting on second. Will not be quitting my day job to lay block anytime soon. Scored big on my mass! A guy I know gave me a yard of high quality CA6 for free. Everything here is frozen, but this guy had it inside. High clay content and packs really tight. Was able to fill up almost half of my bench. Hooked it up this morning and fired it up as I was laying the mass. It was hard to start, but within 10 minutes had it roaring. I was surprised how much hotter the duct was with mass surrounding it. Kind of exciting! Hopefully I'll be able get my hands on more CA6 with the thaw coming this weekend. Going remix some cob today and start filling in around the barrel base. And with the thaw coming, hopefully my roofer can come this weekend and I can finish my stack. Will keep updating!
You know you don't have to use pure clay/cob, right? You can add as many rocks or broken concrete chunks, etc., as will fit and use the clay to fill tight between them. That can reduce the work considerably, or stretch limited supplies.