Win a copy of Straw Bale Building Details this week in the Straw Bale House forum!
  • Post Reply Bookmark Topic Watch Topic
  • New Topic
permaculture forums growies critters building homesteading energy monies kitchen purity ungarbage community wilderness fiber arts art permaculture artisans regional education experiences global resources the cider press projects digital market private forums all forums
this forum made possible by our volunteer staff, including ...
master stewards:
  • Nicole Alderman
  • r ranson
  • paul wheaton
  • Anne Miller
  • Mike Jay
  • Jocelyn Campbell
  • Devaka Cooray
  • Burra Maluca
  • Joseph Lofthouse
garden masters:
  • Dave Burton
  • Greg Martin
  • Mike Barkley
  • Shawn Klassen-Koop
  • Pearl Sutton

How Long Earthbags Need to Cure: Avoiding frost.  RSS feed

Posts: 11
Location: Montana, USA
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Hi everyone,

So I'm caught in a bind... I've got a rubble foundation near ready for an earthbag shed in eastern Montana, but it's almost mid August. Here, most years we get at least a few nights in October that are a few degrees below freezing. Right now days are anywhere from highs 93-103 and lows in the high 50s low 60s. October will have days with highs between 45-75, and the one or two light frosts at night. November is just plain downhill into miserably painful icy doom.

Anyways, the shed will be absolutely all I do sunup to sundown, but I'm mostly doing it alone. Thoughts about me moving forward? We are a hot and desert-dry climate right now. September is usually less hot, but still warm. How long approximately will a standard earthbag between 10-20  percent clay take to dry in the wall? Was planning to use a wetter mix, as the clay here squeases concrete hard when heavily wetted,  but will I have time? If I do, when should I set my deadline approximately? Like I said, nothing I've found says how quick the bags cure in a similar environment. Please help!
Posts: 5725
Location: Vilonia, Arkansas - Zone 7B/8A stoney, sandy loam soil pH 6.5
books chicken dog duck fish forest garden fungi homestead hugelkultur hunting pig
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Normally you do not "wet" the mix for earth bag construction you tamp it tight. What you are describing is more like cob.
Also lifting and setting bags of wet mix would be a bear for two people, you want to be able to set the bags tight to each other, then you pull the slide sheet to the next bags positon and work your way around, that's how the barbed wire works to hold the courses together.
Keep in mind that wet clay in an enclosed environment will take 4 times as long to dry out as the same shape would out in open air, so if a block of your wet mix takes a week to dry completely in the open air, a bag of it will take a month in the same conditions.

The moustache of a titan! The ad of a flea:
permaculture bootcamp - learn permaculture through a little hard work
  • Post Reply Bookmark Topic Watch Topic
  • New Topic
Boost this thread!