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This is a badge bit (BB) that is part of the PEP curriculum.  Completing this BB is part of getting the sand badge in Natural Building.

Adobe bricks are very useful objects. Adobes are essentially cob building blocks, where a large portion of the drying time (which can be significant) is done, before the building process is begun. They can be used to build a large list of items very quickly, including RMH, built in furniture, ovens and even whole houses.

To make adobe bricks you need an adobe form. Typically made of wood; they are a frame, open at the top and bottom for forming cob into adobes. A good size is 12 inches by 6 inches by 3 inches.
Find a flat piece of ground with no growing things on it large enough to hold a number of bricks. (in this case, 12) Rake the area of all organic matter, rocks branches etc.
Wet the adobe form by dipping it in water, place it on the ground and toss in a wet-ish cob mix (literally tossing in handfuls, throwing it down hard will eliminate air pockets). Level the mix off to the top of the form, then pull the form away, leaving the wet brick behind.
Wet the form between bricks
Repeat
When dry enough to move without deforming, flip brick on the narrow edge to finish drying through.

To get certified for this BB, do the following:  
- Make 12
- Show images of your mix and tools
- action shot
- Show image of drying bricks, on edge
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master steward
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Kirk,

Might there be two or three decent youtube videos that you like that we could embed in this BB?
 
pollinator
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paul wheaton wrote:Kirk,

Might there be two or three decent youtube videos that you like that we could embed in this BB?



Dunno.  I'll search around.
I might have images too.
 
Kirk Mobert
pollinator
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I don't have any good images (or at least haven't found any) of making adobes in my stuff.

There are a few videos,

I think this one is one of the better ones:


This guy is always excellent. I think he makes it hard on himself with an overly dry mix. (and yes, he's making a kiln to fire stuff, the process is pretty much the same)


 
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Knocked this one out at the 2019 PEP1 event at Allerton Abbey.  Sifted soil to remove rocks.  They had clay slip and chopped straw in barrels already on site.  Used 3 pails of sifted dirt, 1 pail of straw, 1/3 pail of clay slip and some water to make a wheelbarrow full.  Please note that the recipe is site specific so your soils may vary.  That filled 8 molds at 6" by 12" by 3.5".  

Put some water and slip in the wheelbarrow first.  Then added the dirt and mixed with a hoe.  Added water slowly (Don't do too much!!!).  Then added the straw and mixed it in.  Then shoveled it into the forms and poked it in with fingers and used a board as a screed to level them.  Left them sit overnight and popped the form off in the morning and stood them up to dry.  My bricks are the closest row to the wheelbarrow.

I'd humbly suggest changing the requirements to be 3-4" thick so that a 2x4 can be used to make the forms.
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Sifting station (with tools)
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Filled form (mine is on the right)
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Flipping up my bricks
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Clay slip (rehydrating more for next time)
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Chopped straw
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Stacked to dry. Aren't they prettier than Jeremy's and Baylee's?
Staff note (paul wheaton):

I certify that this BB is complete!

 
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Made some adobe bricks. The sandy dirt was screened and mixed with a bit of clay, straw, and water. It was pressed into the mold. Since the mix wasn't too wet, I could remove the mold fairly soon after and place the bricks on their sides to fully dry.
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Staff note (Mike Barkley):

I certify this BB is complete.

 
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