Rethink Your Life!
Finance, health, lifestyle, environment, philosophy
The Work of Art and The Art of Work
Kiko Denzer on Art

[Cob] Framing doors and windows

Henry Raduazo raduazo at
Thu Dec 18 16:48:40 CST 2008

Janet: I assume that you have chapter 14 Of the hand sculpted House  
in front of you. If not I can photograph the section and send it to  
you. The main problem with framing a door in a cob wall is making  
sure that the roughed in opening formed of 2X6 or 2X4 or any other  
rough framing remains square and does not deform as the weight of the  
cob begins pressing against the roughed in opening. This is done with  
an X-brace which is removed when you install the door.
	Are you going to use a pre-hung door or form the door inside the frame?
	Are you serious about a wall 5 feet thick? What are you building? A  
fortress designed to stop artillery sells might need 5 feet but a  
house does not. Perhaps what you are looking for is an earth  
sheltered house. This does not require mixing individual batches of  
cob, and there are several good books on the subject.
	If you have lots of heavy equipment and really want thick walls you  
might consider a rammed earth wall. Surely not cob. I have a neat  
picture of people tamping a rammed earth wall wearing traditional  
garb of some African country which I can send you.
	I can also send you pictures of people building cob and straw bale  
hybrid walls. I have done this myself and I like it. The cob portion  
of the wall can be as thin as six inches tied to full or half bales  
if you are only doing one story. This cuts dow on your cob mixing  
immensely and still give you a well insulated wall.
On Dec 18, 2008, at 2:58 PM, Janet Standeford wrote:

> Please help me find a site that describes the proper way to frame  
> doors and
> windows and also has specs and pictures.
> My Civil Engineer is not able to find what he needs on this and is  
> getting
> frustrated.
> Here is what he wrote:
> Still trying to find some information. Its hard to get anything on  
> this. No
> one is willing to commit on proper structural design methods. As  
> soon as I
> get the info I need I can proceed.
> Something to keep in mind - It will take close to 4200 cubic feet  
> of cob to
> do the house. That's 156 yards of material. That's a lot. It would be
> equivalent to about 20 full dump trucks of material.
> The foundation is pretty simple but the wood framing that is  
> required is
> where I have questions. If I could see an example of how its been  
> done I can
> use that. I couldn't find anything on the websites you sent. I have  
> already
> spent a lot of time researching this. I could have had the drawings  
> done in
> the time I have spent researching this.
> Any other ideas?
> I need to get back to him really soon on this. The reason for so much
> material is my location on a mountaintop and the walls will be 5  
> feet thick
> with everything built into them to save on floor space and add  
> character. I
> will sacrifice a little on this if necessary but I really need the
> insulation value. The last two nights were -15 and -29 and tonight is
> supposed to be -13.
> Janet
> -----Original Message-----
> _______________________________________________
> Coblist mailing list
> Coblist at
> _______________________________________________
> Coblist mailing list
> Coblist at