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I will post more pictures of the pipes when it's finished, not quite there yet.  

I did get the barrel mounted.  Even though it has stove gasket, I decided to add a bead of silicone to it as well so it would seal nicely.





My top gap ended up at 2 7/8"  somehow I calculated that wrong.  Easy enough to play with and fix though.  I can always shrink the gap



 
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Great to see an update, I bet this joint's are tight!
What temp is that silicone rated for?
 
Eric Hammond
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Devon Olsen wrote:Great to see an update, I bet this joint's are tight!
What temp is that silicone rated for?



It's hard to say. It's not designed to be a high temp silicone, but I literally use it for everything. I've sealed plenty of catalytic converter flanges with it and its held up fine.  I used it for the burner gasket on an old Coleman camp stove and it did work, but burnt at bit lol
 
Devon Olsen
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Is it actually 2 and 7/8 where the bottom of the lid sits?
(Gasket height not barrell height)
 
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ok so I've gathered materials for my rmh and I'm going to start my build this week... my question is how far can my exhaust be pushed down? I plan on doing mine in my garage and have to repair my driveway anyway so i had thought to run my exhaust down to the end of my driveway and then bring it back up. my intent is to help my driveway stay clear of ice dams. I understand that if I go with a narrower exhaust it will move the air faster which may help with what I'm hoping to accomplish. I know that this is not a traditional build but I figured it may intrigue someone. driveway is about 30' long and drops about 8' in that stretch. my intent would be to push the exhaust that 30' right away and then climb back up the driveway. Los I'm planning on doing a copper line to help with my hot water in my house. any thoughts would be appreciated.
 
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I was inquiring recently as I’m planning my build and I heard 3-4” is fine or even better than just 2
 
Eric Hammond
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Devon Olsen wrote:Is it actually 2 and 7/8 where the bottom of the lid sits?
(Gasket height not barrell height)



Your right, it's probably taller then that even, maybe 3/8s of an inch
 
Eric Hammond
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Aaron Schlief wrote:ok so I've gathered materials for my rmh and I'm going to start my build this week... my question is how far can my exhaust be pushed down? I plan on doing mine in my garage and have to repair my driveway anyway so i had thought to run my exhaust down to the end of my driveway and then bring it back up. my intent is to help my driveway stay clear of ice dams. I understand that if I go with a narrower exhaust it will move the air faster which may help with what I'm hoping to accomplish. I know that this is not a traditional build but I figured it may intrigue someone. driveway is about 30' long and drops about 8' in that stretch. my intent would be to push the exhaust that 30' right away and then climb back up the driveway. Los I'm planning on doing a copper line to help with my hot water in my house. any thoughts would be appreciated.



I don't know about traveling down that far but I do know unless you insulate your entire driveway from the ground, it will never work.  The earth is a GIANT heat sink, and will pull all the heat out of chimney.  When they do radiant flooring in concrete slabs, the whole slab must be insulated from the ground or it doesn't work.
 
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Eric Hammond wrote:Now for insulation of the heat riser, I went with ceramic fiber blanket insulation.  It was listed in the book as really the best thing you can use.  For what its worth I COMPLETELY REGRETthis decision.  Not only is it expensive, It's probably one of the worst materials I've dealt with.  It feels like its going to give you cancer.  Have you ever dealt with fiberglass insulation?  Think of this as about 5 times as bad as that experience.  Way worse itch, plan on throwing your clothes away when your done, and wear a respirator.....unfortunately the little fibers float around your house so its not going to save you in the long run.....




Hi Eric,
 I am doing this fun task today!  Two questions:

1-do you know if the rockwool has to be as tight as possible?
2- does the end of the wrap meet the floor of the manifold? or just above?

Thanks!
Staci
 
Eric Hammond
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Staci Kopcha wrote:

Eric Hammond wrote:Now for insulation of the heat riser, I went with ceramic fiber blanket insulation.  It was listed in the book as really the best thing you can use.  For what its worth I COMPLETELY REGRETthis decision.  Not only is it expensive, It's probably one of the worst materials I've dealt with.  It feels like its going to give you cancer.  Have you ever dealt with fiberglass insulation?  Think of this as about 5 times as bad as that experience.  Way worse itch, plan on throwing your clothes away when your done, and wear a respirator.....unfortunately the little fibers float around your house so its not going to save you in the long run.....




Hi Eric,
 I am doing this fun task today!  Two questions:

1-do you know if the rockwool has to be as tight as possible?
2- does the end of the wrap meet the floor of the manifold? or just above?

Thanks!
Staci



The tighter you make the insulation, the less insulated it becomes.  It needs to be tight against the heat riser but don't get crazy with it.  I ran the insulation down all the way to where it meets floor.
 
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Greetings Eric,

I just wanted to express my thanks for all your detail and pictures you've shared of your build so far.  I'm preparing to make one myself and have gotten a better understanding and useful tips from your information.  The effort you've put into documenting is much appreciated.
 
Eric Hammond
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David Huang wrote:Greetings Eric,

I just wanted to express my thanks for all your detail and pictures you've shared of your build so far.  I'm preparing to make one myself and have gotten a better understanding and useful tips from your information.  The effort you've put into documenting is much appreciated.



Glad you like it.  I promise I will get back to this and finish before winter.  Back to school time came, I'm teaching a full load plus we got a new textbook, so I've been building curriculum like crazy. My time as of late has been short.
 
Devon Olsen
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Thanks for the update, time sure is a valuable commodity
 
Eric Hammond
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I made a little more progress.  The chimney is done.  I was fretting the whole situation.  The step by step pictures were kind of lost.  I needed to hammer it out and get it done.   Like everything I researched and researched.  I decided I just absolutely could not come out my roof.  Not that is wasn't physically possible.  It's just that, I a sane person, cannot cut a whole in a perfectly good roof that doesn't leak. I just can't and will not do it.  The price of the kits to come through a roof are ridiculous and the roofers I talked to said they have to be resealed every five years.

Go ahead and add another $730 dollars on to the cost of this project so far.  I went with stainless double insulated pipe.   For the simple fact that I want a very reliable stove, my wife if going to run it sometimes, so I want an easy operational stove and it seems the most reliable draft can only come from a well insulated pipe.  



Also take note that if I came through the roof, my internet would have to get relocated.  I didn't want trouble with that.



From above



I went overkill and ended up with 6 cleanouts, I purchased several different handles to attach them.



I had to shorten the screws for the handles



I secured 3 caps that will not come off often with clear kitchen silicone so that it's not super secure







I wanted to test the draft, lit a small piece of paper......we have good draft!




 
Eric Hammond
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Crap I already forgot how to post pictures.....give me a bit
 
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Erik, a hole in a roof is nothing, if you know what to do. Roofers who talk about resealing every five years, are not worth talking to imho. I admit, it is easier with square chimneys for me. But round can be done too. With a square chimney, it's matter of going under the corrugated steel on top, in the corrugations  on the sides, and above those bellow, in form of a raised box with a cut for the corrugations.

Here there is acrylic sealant, but that's belt and braces, because the chimney is meant to be rendered afterwards.

 
Eric Hammond
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Satamax Antone wrote:Erik, a hole in a roof is nothing, if you know what to do. Roofers who talk about resealing every five years, are not worth talking to imho. I admit, it is easier with square chimneys for me. But round can be done too. With a square chimney, it's matter of going under the corrugated steel on top, in the corrugations  on the sides, and above those bellow, in form of a raised box with a cut for the corrugations.

Here there is acrylic sealant, but that's belt and braces, because the chimney is meant to be rendered afterwards.



Satamax, I just can't do it.  When the building was finished, there was no holes anywhere.  My first hole was through the side for a plumbing vent. It took several days of planning and a couple beers to work up the courage to cut a 2 inch hole through the wall. The next was the vent for my hot water heater. I cried.

When I installed the windows in the picture, I think part of my soul was crushed and was lost for days.  It truly hurt me inside.  The only thing that kept me going was knowing that if I screwed up, I could buy a whole new sheet of metal and replace it.

While I understand a hole can be put in a roof, I personally don't think I could survive the mental anguish that would go along with such a feat.
 
Staci Kopcha
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Eric Hammond wrote:


While I understand a hole can be put in a roof, I personally don't think I could survive the mental anguish that would go along with such a feat.



Eric,
 Your skills/work are impressive.  I can understand the trepidation of cutting through that lovely roof.  Ours' was a nearly zero pitch torch down roof.  It had 2 skylights when we moved in, that ended up leaking horribly.  We had to remove them and have some guys re do that area of the roof.  My husband cut a hole in it for the chimney.  The chimney is not quite complete.  I bought a chimney kit last year, and ended up not using it and having to get new parts.  I do fear some leaking, especially here in the PNW.
Staci
 
Eric Hammond
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I wanted to make sure that everything was good before starting on the bench.  I wanted to burn a test fire.  Today was 85 degrees.....not ideal for building a fire indoors.  I used just a handful of wood.



Wadded up some newspaper and burnt the wood.





It seemed to run best with the intake closed about half off.

There was some visible smoke out the chimney.



Some initial impressions....I had zero smokeback issues.  Was not a super strong draft.  You could start to hear the rockety sound, but it wasn't quite there.   I feel like it really needs a full load of wood to get the stove rippin and roaring, I could still touch all of the flue pipe and even the barrel wasn't that hot.  I assume the dense firebricks pull a lot of heat out of the fire until the warm up.

What do you guys think of my sort of lame initial test?  I know it wasn't a great one.... but it was far from failure.  I just didn't want a major fire when its so hot in here.  Proceed to build the bench?
 
Eric Hammond
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I said what the hell and loaded a lot more fuel into it!  It rips!  She came to life and started roaring.....all my coconut oil on my barrel started burning off and filled the house with smoke lol.   It became dark so it was hard to tell what was coming out the chimney outside, but it appeared to be all steam.  I have a successful stove!
 
Satamax Antone
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Erik, as well, if it's 85 outside,  you haven't seen nothing.

When it's -20 celcius outsider, ad 20c° inside, my batch seems crazy. Even scarry.

Here, as well. You have the bare pipe shedding heat faster than when it will be cobbed, so your draft will be stronger when the bench is dry.
 
Devon Olsen
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Woohoo for your success!
What're you into it so far? ($-wise?)
 
Eric Hammond
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Eric Hammond wrote:Its about time I update the money involved in this project so far.  

Initially I spent $138.52 on firebrick at ACME brick.
I went back and spent another $49.22 on more bricks and at 15 lb bucket of refractory cement
The cost of the fireclay $9.89
The mortar from lowes $4.28
The perlite from MFA  $20.00
The 2 55 gallon barrels $40.00
One section of black flue pipe $10.00
All the flue pipe from lowes $195.55
Wood stove gaskets  $33.58
Ceramic Fiber blanket  $99
Tie Wire  $4.59

Total so far roughly:  $ 604.63 dollars........that's rough to see.

Items I had on hand but would assign a value to

Chicken wire  $5 dollars worth
Fuel costs for torches and welding equipment, probably close to $30
Cutting discs/grinding wheels $7
Beer total $30

Misc $72 dollars

So realistically I'm in this around $675 ish so far.   It does hurt, but I bet I spent $800 on propane last year and it was a very mild winter and my propane heater was $900 dollars itself.  I have ten acres myself, but 30 combined with my neighbors that I could harvest from for wood and have been considering my options for establishing coppice wood.  This is a project that potentially could pay for itself the first year, but definitely by the second.

and to be honest, I was going to drink the beer anyway....



To get a total so far, everything from above

Plus

$733 for the insulated pipe.....I did get a 58 dollar rebate on the insulated pipe to bring the amount down to $675 for the insulated pipe.


I'm really sitting about $1350.40 so far..........which now seems like an incredible amount of money!  I always have to justify spending money to myself.   I keep telling myself that a good wood stove would be $1000 dollars plus, and would still need the double insulated pipe.  Also, this stove should last forever, all the double insulated pipe is lifetime warranty.....it's just a tough pill to swallow in the immediate.

As you can tell, I really don't go cheap on things and really just want the best most reliable I can get, so I'm not sure how much more I could have shaved off costs.

Today I will go purchase the sand for building the bench.  I think by the time this is all said and done, I'm going to be close to $1500
 
Devon Olsen
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Wowza! That's quite a bit,  though im sure one could manage a cheaper build if they sourced materials right... I hope anyway for my sake Haha
 
Eric Hammond
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Add another 53 dollars to the bill......I just trucked in 2 tons of sand.  I got the coarsest concrete sand I could buy.  This was kind of a multipurpose purchase.  I needed sand for the rocket mass heater, but I also needed sand for a mist propagation bed for trees and to use as a bedding for ducks.

4000 Lbs on an 18 ft trailer



My propagation bed I built is 7 inches tall, 4 ft wide and 10 foot long.......   I've got alot of sand now.... I intend to use clay from the driveway/pond to mix with the sand to build my cob for the bench.

 
Staci Kopcha
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Eric Hammond wrote:[quote=Eric Hammond
Plus

$733 for the insulated pipe.....I did get a 58 dollar rebate on the insulated pipe to bring the amount down to $675 for the insulated pipe.


Today I will go purchase the sand for building the bench.  I think by the time this is all said and done, I'm going to be close to $1500



Hi Eric,
 Holy smokes! What was the insulated pipe for? (sorry to be dense)

 My running tab keeps ticking as well.  I lucked out with free sand (though heavy on labor!) , but have no clay, so am now 6 bags of fire clay in (probably more to go).
Chimney pipes and kit cost a bit, and then had to get a different one (too long to return the first).
 So far for mine roughly:

(free : barrel, sand, full fire brick, red brick, chicken wire, avocado oil)

Cost: fire clay @ $8.00 = 48.00
      barrel lid:  $10
      gasket: $15
split fire brick: (can't remember... $4.20 each)...$100?
 ceramic tile (heat shield)= $20
 heavy tile mortar= $20
Chimney kit (not used mostly) = $175
triple wall class A Chimney = ~$80
Supplemental chimney pieces = $100 +
rock wool blanket = ~ $100
ducting, t's, caps, elbows =  (honestly can't remember)... ~$100?
straw = (over bought) 4 bales= $20
guide book = $30
video rental= $20
roof tar = $10
silicone= $3
diamond blade = $30
angle grinder= $30
face mask= $10

(Help from Permies...priceless!)

________________________________________  $821

   
 
Eric Hammond
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Staci Kopcha wrote:

Eric Hammond wrote:[quote=Eric Hammond
Plus

$733 for the insulated pipe.....I did get a 58 dollar rebate on the insulated pipe to bring the amount down to $675 for the insulated pipe.


Today I will go purchase the sand for building the bench.  I think by the time this is all said and done, I'm going to be close to $1500



Hi Eric,
 Holy smokes! What was the insulated pipe for? (sorry to be dense)

 My running tab keeps ticking as well.  I lucked out with free sand (though heavy on labor!) , but have no clay, so am now 6 bags of fire clay in (probably more to go).
Chimney pipes and kit cost a bit, and then had to get a different one (too long to return the first).
 So far for mine roughly:

(free : barrel, sand, full fire brick, red brick, chicken wire, avocado oil)

Cost: fire clay @ $8.00 = 48.00
      barrel lid:  $10
      gasket: $15
split fire brick: (can't remember... $4.20 each)...$100?
 ceramic tile (heat shield)= $20
 heavy tile mortar= $20
Chimney kit (not used mostly) = $175
triple wall class A Chimney = ~$80
Supplemental chimney pieces = $100 +
rock wool blanket = ~ $100
ducting, t's, caps, elbows =  (honestly can't remember)... ~$100?
straw = (over bought) 4 bales= $20
guide book = $30
video rental= $20
roof tar = $10
silicone= $3
diamond blade = $30
angle grinder= $30
face mask= $10

(Help from Permies...priceless!)

________________________________________  $821

   



Sorry so late in getting back to you.  I went with double insulated pipe because I want the most reliable stove I can possibly make.  It's going to be the primary heatsource for my home and I will not be the only person to use it.  I didn't want the risk of a finicky stove that may be troublesome for my wife to use.  Apparently single was stove pipe out the roof getting cold can cause issues.

The past two days here it's gotten colder, around 41-50 degrees, I've been burning my stove even though the mass isn't built yet, I must say, I love it!!! This is the best wood stove I've ever had!  Today I've had a fire for about 4 hours, It's flat out awesome!

I saw you lit yours up!  Isn't the feeling of all that hard work actually coming together a great thing?
 
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Eric

I think perhaps we have somewhat similar work habits: Plan everything, front load the costs, get the best materials possible, be as careful as one can while still moving forward. In my experience the longer you do it, the better you get at all different types of projects. It's called investing in the future and stacking the deck for a good return. From what I can see, over the medium and longer term it works well. As you get more experienced, you'll get a feel for when it's possible to go cheap w/out hurting yourself. All projects have a rhythm, a life cycle. You get so you can feel that. Also, you get to tolerate only-chance-on-$$$$ materials lots better as you do stuff more often. There's no choice and you know that if you screw up, you're just going to fix it and that's all there is to it. Couldn't be simpler - what's the problem? <GG>

When I was plumbing in San Francisco, we did many "white-glove" remodels on the $5-10M mansions and condos there. You develop "rituals of respect". For example: Cleaning the work area meticulously vacuum dustless clean; assembling tools and materials in a certain position, always the same place relative to the work itself; _nothing_ on the floor between the tools, materials and the work; protective covering on everything;  _two_ hands for anything you can get two hand onto; etc. Each one of us had their own way of centering and letting the body and soul know it was time to be one with everything and do our best. Bathroom basins could top $4000, faucets $3000, toilets $3000; occasionally stuff was double or triple that. Crazy. Often from Italy, Germany, somewhere it would take literally months to get replacements or parts. You got no choice, you pace yourself to slow steady progress, you cut no corners and you do the job and you build understanding and commitment.

So don't feel silly to develop your own centering moves to deal with the "Got-MY-Attention" type jobs. It works and helps a lot. Just start from a reverent totally respectful attitude, knowing you're going to do this job and you'll do whatever it takes. You'll create you own personal rituals and end up moving confidently on any job.

Thanks for sharing your experience. Looks great and I bet you're going to have fun all winter tuning and enjoying natural warmth.


Cheers
Rufus
 
Eric Hammond
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New update.  I've been firing the heater at least once a day for awhile now.  I decided it was time to start building the mass.  My first attempt at cob was horrible.  I was swearing greatly at all hippies and that cob was the stupidest building medium in the world.  Turns out my issue was that I just didn't have enough water in the mix.   After adding a tremendous amount of water, cob really isn't bad to work with at all.  Here is the process I have been using:

First I needed to source some clay.  When I had my pond built, they used a track loader, so it doesn't really grade edges well.  The edge of the road/pond bank on the east side has been pretty terrible very steep and hard to mow.  I decided I could clean that up and drag the edge out a ways and harvest clay at the same time with my box blade on my tractor.  Kill a couple tasks at once.  There's so much clay there taking a little won't hurt.  Here in SW Missouri clay is ORANGE!



It's easy to see the color difference where the soil is and where the clay pond bank begins



High clay contents almost smears with pressure from tools



Here's the recipe I'm going with.  1 Bucket of clay with rocks, worms and whatever else happened to be in it.



1 Tarp



1 bucket of clay on a tarp



1 bucket full of sand







 
Staci Kopcha
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Looking good! I have clay-envy!!
 
Eric Hammond
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More water added then you can possibly imagine



seriously.....a lot of water




I'm not kidding about the water......



Then it's as simple as lifting the tarp over and starting to "dance"



This is where the tons of water came into play.....I tried it pretty dry before and it was too hard to mix.....it almost needs to completely squish to the ground to be effective.  I would continue to flip and stomp.....removing any large rocks as I came to them, I wouldn't pull them out at first because a ton of clay sticks to the rocks, after mixing a bit it comes off and gets ground in.









Completed soupy mix






 
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Now with my soupy mix I start adding shovels of sand to thicken it back up.  This took about 6 shovel fulls to thicken it back up, which netted me about 3 buckets of cob.





finished mixture



 
Eric Hammond
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Here's how much I have gotten done so far while I was learning the technique.  Now I pretty well have it figured out.






Here's the process I've been using.  The three buckets of cob I made mixed with about 1.25 buckets of rocks.  I have found the smaller the rocks the better, big rocks did not work well for me, about 2 inches and smaller is best.

First I'd scoop some cob out on the floor



Then I would add lots of rocks





Mix it up and smoosh it into place



I then continued to build like a lasagna.  I scoop of cob, add as many rocks on top as I could fit,  add another scoop of cob.  That one tarp made 3 buckets and made this much




I've been making at least one tarp load a day, that way it will get finished, but doesn't seem like an overwhelming amount of work.  
 
Eric Hammond
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I plan to build the bench to a height of 17 inches and have marked it on the wall.  Let me know of any tips comments or questions you might have....I'm going to continue to build 3 buckets a day until completion/ time for a finish coat.
 
gardener
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That is exactly how I made my cob . Big tarp, bucket of clay (mine was very dry and hard) 3 buckets of sand.Bust up the clay with a sledge. I flipped it around dry , pulling out any larger rocks. And then you add water and more water and then you add water ...  The dance is the fun part. Then I just bundled up the whole tarp packed it indoors and made lasagna. I started out putting it back in buckets and carrying it in. After a few trips I gave up on that step and went for the most expedient method. It didn't make any more mess than the bucket method.

Your building a beautiful RMH Eric.  You should be proud of what you have built ! Sit down and have a few cold beers and admire your accomplishment. Before mixing another batch of cob...
 
gardener
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One tip I recently read was to make sure the surface is actually comfortable to sit on, which is rarely a flat surface that meets the wall at 90 degrees. Instead they suggest that there be a slight slope down as you go back, about 5 degrees, so your butt is a little lower, and then have the angle from seat to back rest be greater than 90 degrees, more around 100-110 degrees. If you aim for 17" high, test that with a chair to be sure your feet can sit flat on the floor and your legs don't have a gap under them. You also want the bottom of the bench to be several inches further in (closer to the wall) than at the top, so you can scoot your heels in to aid in standing up.

I've really enjoyed watching your progress, mentally building my own vicariously through you!
 
Devon Olsen
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This has been a great thread to follow, thanks for showing the cobbling process as well, getting close!
 
Eric Hammond
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Mark Tudor wrote:One tip I recently read was to make sure the surface is actually comfortable to sit on, which is rarely a flat surface that meets the wall at 90 degrees. Instead they suggest that there be a slight slope down as you go back, about 5 degrees, so your butt is a little lower, and then have the angle from seat to back rest be greater than 90 degrees, more around 100-110 degrees. If you aim for 17" high, test that with a chair to be sure your feet can sit flat on the floor and your legs don't have a gap under them. You also want the bottom of the bench to be several inches further in (closer to the wall) than at the top, so you can scoot your heels in to aid in standing up.

I've really enjoyed watching your progress, mentally building my own vicariously through you!



This is a good idea.  I'll sit in as many chairs as possible and figure out the best slope.  The width of the bench I got from measuring half a queen size bed, because I fully intend to take as many naps as possible on it.....a little slope might keep me from rolling off as well
 
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This is where the tons of water came into play.....I tried it pretty dry before and it was too hard to mix.....it almost needs to completely squish to the ground to be effective.  I would continue to flip and stomp.....removing any large rocks as I came to them, I wouldn't pull them out at first because a ton of clay sticks to the rocks, after mixing a bit it comes off and gets ground in.



Just a suggestion... if you make a clay slurry first in a barrel or other large vessel, then filter it through a coarse mesh, you can achieve 2 things. 1)Your clay will be fully hydrated and consistent (no lumps) which will make it easier and faster to mix into cob 2)The larger rocks will already be removed that you don't have to pick out as you go...easier on the tarp too. And don't throw away those rocks, reuse them when your building the bench.
Looks great by the way!
 
master steward
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Some days I'm really glad I have infinite apples. Today is one of those days! Thank you so much, Eric, for this awesome, detailed, helpful and informative thread!
 
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