Make window frames with re-used train track sleepers

Old train track sleepers are really heavy, really strong, and using them can ease your conscience as you are not cutting down new trees to build your house. They are however likely to have been pressure treated with seriously dangerous chemicals which keeps them strong for a long time but makes them pretty toxic especially…

Electric pipes in a cob house

You can wait till you have built your cob house to install your electric pipes. This gives you a bit more freedom to place them once you have more of a feel for the room, but it means cutting out channels of rock hard cob, which is not easy, and then re-cobbing over them to…

Home made Scaffolding and Ladders

You can easily make your own scaffolding and ladders from wood if you do not want to use the metal commercially available ones. If you use a strong hard wood then they should last many years and serve you many building projects. We made some of the basic scaffolding below two years ago, they have…

Cool Bamboo stuff from the Pindorama Team

We recently went to the Sustainability festival in Nova Friburgo, Rio de Janeiro. It was an amazing festival and I would recommend visiting next year. We saw many excellent lectures, including a talk from the author of the barefoot architect – Johan Van Lengen. The team from Pindorama were there with their beautiful bamboo structures….

How to build with cob

Building with cob is really easy. Anyone can learn in a few minutes and it just takes a bit of guidance as you go up the wall to make sure everything is on track. First up, for your first layer you are going to need a bucket of clay slip. This is made with filtered…

Mortise & Tenon Joint

The Mortise and Tenon is a really easy joint that anyone can do with basic tools. To make it fit perfectly, snugly, tightly takes many years of carpentery experience, but a beginner can make one which fits tight and does the job it needs to do. So first up you need to mark out your…

Making Lime Earth Paint

We have recently rendered the whole outside of our house with a natural finish made from clay, sand, cow poo and linseed oil. You can see the whole testing and application process here  Unfortunately, when working with cow poo on a large house, you are going to experience inconsistencies, mainly related to the cow poo….

How to make a stone road

First get your stones ready. For this style of road you will need your flat stones, and your brick shaped stones, and sand. Start by marking your road line with two sticks and a string. This is for any straight parts, so you may have to make shorter sections of string when going round a…

How to make Cob with a tractor

A good cob is made from 70-85% coarse sand (not beach sand) and 15-30% clay. If you are building a big house, or need to build quickly, then you may consider making your cob with a tractor rather than by foot. I have not made cob by foot whilst making a full house but I…