Build a Structurally Sound Cob Wall

| 4/3/2020 9:59:00 AM


Cob wall on stone foundation.

Building with cob is pretty straight forward. Anyone in the family can learn the basic techniques and with a bit of guidance, you can build structures together as a group. (Check out Cob-Building Basics.)

When building a cob wall, you are going to need a solid foundation stem wall, usually made using natural stone or cement. After this foundational stem wall is in place, you can start building right on top with your cob.

Prepare for Building a Cob Wall

But first, before sticking the cob on the foundation, you are going to need a bucket of clay slip. This is made with fine, filtered clay and water. When it is a nice pastey consistency, you can use it to paint on to the stone foundation. It doesn't have to be an exact consistency — just whatever feels nice to paint with and sticks to the wall well. The slip is used almost like a glue between the cob to the wall.

The ideal surface of the top of the foundation wall is jagged and rough so that the cob gets a really secure and strong key to lock in to. This will not only hold your cob wall to the foundations, but will also serve to really strengthen your top layer of rock. Do not build down over the side of the rock as this thin piece of cob will be very weak and will eventually break.

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