Sunday, May 1, 2011

7. Mix & Lay 2nd Layer

Materials Used to Mix  2nd & 3rd Layers
I had asked Bob to bring a steel paint mixer that he already owned on the day we worked on the first layer.  I was pretty committed to the puddling method at that time, so put it aside.  Having done my time twisting for that previous layer, I was ready to see whether our workflow could be improved. So we ran an experiment...

First Stage of Mixing Underway
Bob had brought the steel mixer and a powerful hand-held electric drill (Makita 6300-4).  I used these on about a third of a deep bucket of clay and water.  It was fantastic.  Not only did it mix, but it involved minimal effort.  It took some time, but not nearly as long as the puddling method, and without the dancing.

I added some more clay and water, and once I had about 3/4s of a bucket I poured (yes, poured) it over some sand in the wheel barrow.  The sand mixed in with the clay-ey liquid like mixing mortar.  I did some more and invited Bob around to assist in finishing the batch and putting it on as the second layer.
First Stage of Mixing Almost Complete

I used a 40 or 50 litre bucket.  The rough quantities for this layer were:

First Batch:

1/2 bucket of lumpy freshly dug clay
1/4 full of water
about 2 spades of sand (in the barrow)

Second Batch:
full bucket of lumpy clay
2/3 full of water
Second Stage of Mixing
about 4 spades of sand (in the barrow)

Mixing in the barrow, the first batch was probably a little too dry; and the second batch may have been a little too wet.

Overall, this layer was a bit wetter than the previous one.  It would have been difficult to form bricks.  Instead we applied this layer by making snowballs and going around in circles.  It was strong enough to allow me to add some extra clay mix as a slight cowling over the doorway.

Adding the Second Layer
...Geoff the Technology User

Second Layer Complete

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