Notes from Windward: #67


Prepping the Mixer

getting ready to make compressed earth bricks

     Winter's a good time to work on getting equipment ready to use come the spring. Right now, our soil is too wet to be able to use it to make bricks, so we're using this time to get the motar mixer ready for when things dry out come the spring.


     We'll be using compressed earth bricks (CEBs) to create the exterior of our earth sheltered structures. That involves taking dirt that's excavated on site and mixing it with 10% portland cement, compressing it in a press and then letting it cure. Cement mixers are fine for wet mixes, but this will be a drier mix and more suited to the sort of mixer that is used to prepare the motar used by bricklayers.


     The motar mixer uses paddles to move the materials around, and those paddles have rubber strips that close the gap between the paddle and the mixer's outer shell, and rubber parts need to be periodically replaced. To get the material to do that, we took an old tire and used a chain saw to cut a band out of the tire's sidewall.


     The round strip of sidewall was then cut to the needed lengths using the band saw.


     And a hole saw was used to drill holes in the sections of side wall to match the holes in the paddles.


     With its new set of wipers, the motar mixer will be ready to go in the spring.

Notes From Windward - Index - Vol. 67