Building an earth oven at Saffron Acres (part 3.5)

Want to continue building an earth oven with the lovely people at Saffron Acres? (next session Saturday 26th July – are you available?)

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What is that, some kind of sacrificial altar? But, for bricks?

This only a little update but read on, dear reader!

Previously, on LESSBIG…

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So, mini update here. We finished the base but weren’t able to do the dome.

(See Part 1 here)
(See Part 2 here)
(See Part 3 here)

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I was able to patch things up a bit and add some white wash / lime wash. This is very nearly as cheap as dirt to make (which is convenient given that our other main material IS dirt). More to the point, it seems to apply very well to the finished material and will help weather proof it.

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Here’s the mini dome, bright as anything. Went back more recently after some bad weather and it’s still good. (left uncovered)

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Well, I’d made more than I really needed so started out on a wooden fence for the new sensory garden going in. When I revisited, this finish had weathered more noticeably than the earth oven, I guess it’s not as porous. Probably should sand it a bit more before applying.

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The other thing I tested out was a bit of rammed earth. Here’s a quick formwork I bashed together, just tied up. The next version will have proper bolts as the amount of pressure you put it under is considerable.

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Is it possible to build a rammed earth wall in an hour? Not really, but I am impressed with the general proof of concept. With better formwork and more care, I can see this being a really nice material to work with, almost like manufacturing natural stone.

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It’s more of a step than a wall but hey, gotta start somewhere! It was tough enough to stand on. Wonder if it will still be there next time?

Get in touch (rfletcher@dmu.ac.uk ) if you want to help out with the next stage on the 26th of July, when we will probably be able to finish it off and give it a test fire at least.

For those of you who don’t know where Saffron Acres is, it is fairly central, on Copinger Road, just off Saffron Road. Near the Aylestone Leisure Centre. If you don’t fancy the oven, they’ve got tons of other stuff you could get involved in!

 

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