Wednesday, September 26, 2012

The Snake Test

When constructing an earth (clay/cob/mud, all basically the same) oven, probably the trickiest part is your clay/sand/water mixture. I like 2 parts all-purpose sand to 1 part clay and enough water to get the right texture. It's the texture that poses the problems. Your can write about it, but you really have to get your hands into the mud to know what it feels like.
If you add too much water, then your oven will slump as it's being built, and that's not good.
If you add too little water, then your mixture will be too dry and not clump together properly.
To determine if you actually are working with clay, perform the snake test as shown below.

 Abbott Meader

If it's clay, then it should hold together

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