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[Cob] Weatherproofing a cob bench

Jill Hogan jill.hogan at
Thu Dec 18 14:00:26 CST 2008

I have built a number of benches of cob. We live in a semi arid area but when we get rain it belts done. Not often but severe. I have cobbed the benches and then lime rendered them. Then I soak prickly pear leaves (chopped) in water for three weeks and paint this mixture on for waterproofing and the benches are successful. One is at a local bistro and there are always people sitting on it eating. The benches are all outside and exposed to rain.

Regards Jill

McGregor Alternative Technology Centre
023 625 1533

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  ----- Original Message ----- 
  From: Terra Incognita 
  To: coblist at 
  Sent: Tuesday, December 16, 2008 11:45 PM
  Subject: [Cob] Weatherproofing a cob bench

  Hi there,

  I finished building a cob bench in Ithaca, New York this summer and wasn't quite sure how to weather proof it after applying a clay plaster. It looked great and I knew it was something of a gamble but I had to leave town and figured I'd just let it's exposure be an experiment. There's no roof over the bench and it's not realistic to build one. The rain this fall eroded patches of the plaster and I intend to spruce it up come springtime. Currently, I have a tarp over it. 

  What are my options to keep this bench safe in the elements if a roof is not an option? I've seen uncovered cob benches elsewhere. Is a lime plaster my best bet or are there other options?

  Thanks much,

  Dirk Trachy
  Ithaca Freeskool

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