Monday, May 31, 2010

Further progress on the pocket door

Not only have we got the door to the bedroom on wheels and in position:

We got one side of the plywood up, which will eventually have plaster over it, so it will look like the other walls:

Some Details

Here's some quick shots of details of the interior (I've been offline for a few days, so I've got to catch up)

at the (east) end of the built in bench, we're going to have a little cabinet where you can stash your shoes when you come in the front door. Here it is, without the top that has yet to be made.

Here's a shot of the small built in bench, on the north side of the living room. the woodstove will go right where the hay bale is now

Here you can see the bottles above the bedroom door, and the bottles in buried in the outside wall, repeating the pattern

The cover of the 'root cellar' was a real bear to get halfway right, as I wanted to use some live oak boards that I had milled long ago. Parts of this will be covered by the future shelving wall, so it's not all planed as smooth as the exposed parts will be.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Planning the threshold

After a lot of work getting one side smooth and flat, we wanted to put in the threshold of the bedroom door, as we need to have that in place before we can build the rest of that wall - that holds the pocket door.

We need the threshold to be flush with the finished floor, so it needs to sit 2 inches off the current subfloor. So, after cutting channels in it for the future radiant heat tubes, I used the level and a 2 inch block and put screws in to be ''feet" that would hold the board at the right height within the cob.

Here it is mudded in place, with the half that will be within the wall a piece of doug fir. (the threshold piece is madrone) It's got one coat of linseed oil on it so far. I'll put a fresh coat on for the next three days.

Monday, May 24, 2010


These are the proof photos of the day we finished cobbing the walls. It was so frustrating because we could only do one batch a day at the end, as we only had so much surface left to cover.

I had to wear a hardhat since I was always bashing my head against the rafters as we put the last of the stuff up on the highest points.

more descriptions tomorrow. we're celebrating tonight.

Friday, May 21, 2010

Planning out the kitchen

We started getting serious about where things will be in the kitchen area today. Laying out templates for the stove, sink and fridge, and how much counter we'll need.

One thing we're thinking about is a big chunk of granite on the end of the counter, on the other side of the stove. check out this one, in place:

The dog however, was not impressed.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Pizza and window

We had guests this last weekend, but we used their camera more than ours... so no good photos yet, except we did get the earth oven up and running, and baked for the first time this summer. Pizzas were great, as usual.

Here's the decorative window in the north wall made of wine bottles - our tribute to Chuck Shaw - it actually looks pretty good!

Friday, May 14, 2010

Window progress

Melissa got the supports in for above the south windows, and the plywood on. These areas will get insulated with rigid foam, then lathe and plaster inside and out.

I've been trying to shape the arched and circle windows in the northwest. They're getting closer:
Electrical Boxes going in

As we're frustrated by the small amount of cob we can put on the walls at a time, we're starting in on the next steps. I've been carving out the holes that will allow the electrical boxes to sit inside (we'll plaster them in once we get the wires attached and poking out the front)

Generally, I take about 10 minutes and a crowbar to make the hole in the wall, but on the living room benches, we thought we'd try and put them in the wet cob. We'll see how this all works out.

Diakon from the garden

As we're learning about better soil amendments, the Japanese radishes are starting to look like the ones from the store. Good stuff!

Wednesday, May 05, 2010

Started the benches!

Since we don't have enough wall left to put 3 batches on, we decided it was time to start in on the living room benches. Here you can see the beginnings. The posts will be the 'stops' for the opening tops.
"flushing dead men"

that sounds creepy, doesn't it? Actually, what I mean is cutting the pieces of wood buried in the wall (called 'deadmen' by us hippy builders) directly flush with the cob wall. Some are just sticking out from something buried in the other side (in the picture, I'm cutting the closet anchors) and some we put there so that we can nail in pictures later.

$1 tool rescue

Had a moment last week, so we strolled the flea market. A woman had a pile of rusty tools "anything $1!" and so I dug through it ...