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Kiko Denzer on Art

[Cob] Weatherproofing a cob bench

Terra Incognita nomadbuzzahd at
Wed Dec 17 13:01:00 CST 2008


There's an uncovered cob bench at the Merritt College landscape
horticulture building in Oakland CA. I don't know how long it has been
like that or how it's held up/been maintained. I should figure out how
to contact them...

I really like how your bench has the roof supports incorporated right
into the body of the bench. Since I've already built this one, that's
not an option.



--- On Tue, 12/16/08, yewberry at <yewberry at> wrote:
From: yewberry at <yewberry at>
Subject: Re: [Cob] Weatherproofing a cob bench
To: nomadbuzzahd at, coblist at
Date: Tuesday, December 16, 2008, 2:56 PM

Terra Incognita wrote:

> I've seen uncovered cob benches elsewhere. 

Where?  And do you know if they held up long-term?

> Is a lime plaster my best bet or are there other options?

Lime is water permeable if water is left to sit on it (in the case of a
horizontal surface, like a bench seat).  I can't think of any natural,
waterproof coating that will hold up to the elements for more than a season in
most of the Continental U.S.  You might have luck with a beeswax/linseed combo,
but I'm guessing you'll have to renew the finish every year.

Cob simply doesn't perform well without a roof.  Any chance you could build
one into the bench (instead of making it free-standing)?  That's what we did
with ours, and it's holding up well: