Cob Books
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Becky Bee

  • The cob builders handbook: You Can Hand-Sculpt Your Own Home
    - 173 pages - 1998 - download for free from Permaculture media blogexternal image 51e%2BxUOzcnL._SL500_AA300_.jpg
    From rear cover notes: "...Cob (an old English word for lump) is old-fashioned concrete, made out of a mixture of clay, sand, and straw. Becky Bee's manual is a friendly guide to making your own earth structure, with chapters on design, foundations, floors, windows and doors, finishes, and of course, making glorious cob. "I believe that building with cob is a way to recreate community and experience the joy of working together while taking back the right to build our own homes and look after our Mother Earth." She loves doing something that makes sense in a world where lots of things don't."

  • DESIGNING: Climate Design with passive solar access in mind, Noise, Buttresses, Permits
  • CHOOSING YOUR SITE Passive solar planning, Harvesting your own wood, Wind, Noise, Boundaries
  • DRAINAGE Berms, Ditch, drains
  • THE FOUNDATION Footing or Plinth, door frame, Tamping tips, Moisture barrier between the foundation and the cob, stone foundation, Mortar or Poured concrete Concrete blocks mortared together Railroad ties and gravel Earth-filled tires Agricultural bags filled with earth and tamped
  • FLOORS Tamping the ground Base (or layers of base materials) under the floor, Cob floor surface, Drying Sealing and Caring for a cob floor
  • COB GLORIOUS COB Making Test Bricks cob ingredients and tools, Cobbing by foot by hand, Sculpting cob shelves and furniture
  • WINDOWS AND DOORS Arches, Lintels
  • ROOFS Beams Rafters Nogs or blocks Bracing Vertical Posts Roof sheathing GuttersDomes and Vaults Different types of roof design and planning Insulation Ceiling
  • PLASTER (RENDER) plaster or render, Alis and Paint

Ianto Evans, Linda Smiley, Michael G. Smith

  • The Hand-Sculpted House: A Philosophical and Practical Guide to Building a Cob Cottageexternal image the-hand-sculpted-house-a-practical-and-philosophical-guide-to-building-a-cob-cottage.jpg
    -384 pages - 2002 - preview in google books
    From Earth garden: "... You are holding a bible of radical simplicity; The authors build a house the way others create a natural garden...Cob offers answers regarding our role in Nature, family and society, about why we feel the ways that we do, about what's missing in our lives. Cob comes as a revelation, a key to a saner world. Cob has been a traditional building process for millennia in Europe, even in rainy and windy climates like the British Isles, where many cob buildings still serve as family homes after hundreds of years. The technique is newly arrived to the Americas, and, as with so many social trends, the early adopters are in the Pacific Northwest. Cob houses (or cottages, since they are always efficiently small by American construction standards) are not only compatible with their surroundings, they ARE their surroundings, literally rising up from the earth. They are full of light, energy-efficient, and cozy, with curved walls and built-in, whimsical touches. They are delightful. They are ecstatic.."

Situate the location of your home. A tutorial in using passive solar to heat your house. How to design its interior to embrace you, find your materials as inexpensively as possible, gather your tool kit (what's essential, what's not), test the soil you have, make cob samples and evaluate them. Starter projects such as walls, benches, and stoves. Mixing techniques, building techniques, finishing techniques. The history of cob, the durability of cob, a trouble-shooting guide. How to make your own paint, make your own floor, insulate, remodel the house if you want to, where to put the wiring, every practical detail is included as well as the philosophical. Examples and real life stories are included, as well as color photographs of cob structures of all over the world.