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Sandy loam suitability for earthbag

 
Posts: 60
Location: Durham, NC
urban woodworking homestead
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I'm searching for property and it has led me to a question about soil types.  The land I'm interested in has sandy loam listed as the soil type.  I've searched to see if this soil is suitable for earthbag but I've come up empty.  Does anyone know if this soil type is ok? I can't test it in person, at least not easily. Thanks!
 
Posts: 780
Location: Bendigo , Australia
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dog homestead
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Earth blocks, earth bags need soil wiyj clay content, the closer to 50% the better the outcome.
But they good news is that if you dig down a bit suitable soil is often available, even if you need to dig in a few spots to find it.
 
Posts: 114
Location: Tyler Texas
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Dig down and look for a clay containing soil. You might have to have it called in. You can also stabilize it with as little as 3% Portland cement and asuch as 10%.  Then there is water glass, line, and soil glue polymer products.

I know free sounds nice, but it's not often an ideal world and we have to put some money into it or a lot of work.
 
Rob Lineberger
Posts: 60
Location: Durham, NC
urban woodworking homestead
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I hear you guys on the clay.  I dug approximately 12,000 gallons of red clay out of the ground 5 miles from here with a shovel and a wheelbarrow. From 6" to 6 feet down, all seemed like 100% clay. In fact the part I'm surprised about is that there is any sand in the soil.  I'll test it of course but my guess is I'll be amending the soil with sand and not the other way around.
 
Rob Lineberger
Posts: 60
Location: Durham, NC
urban woodworking homestead
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I got my hands on a sample of the soil and did this test.  I'm not very good at interpreting these.  Is this suitable for earthbag building?
soiltest.png
[Thumbnail for soiltest.png]
soil test for sandy loam
 
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