Finally back to making adobe bricks and building

It was one of those few PERFECT days today after wind, clouds and rain since Friday. 

Blue sky with no cloud anywhere, a slight breeze, warm but not hot – absolutely PERFECT.  

I finally started on the first wall for my little  5 x 24 addition that’s the test for my greenhouse addition.  Unfortunately, I’m only 10 ft from the property line and I have a 5 ft setback.

I’ve been very happy with how well the horno held up since last year even without finish coat, so now it’s time to test my bricks in a building.  Today I’ve used about half the bricks I made in spring for the first three rows.  

It’s so cool to be out there and CREATE something out of the dirt on your property.    

This is the South wall of my gargage/house and the primary purpose of this addition is to make it warmer in winter and cooler in summer and to function as a laundry room, storage and hopefully as a little greenhouse this winter.  Got several grapefruit and lime trees to keep warm too.

Even though only half the addition is framed, I was finally able to get up on the roof.  My nephew did all the solar work on the roof last summer.  I had somehow hurt my leg and I was certain I would fall trying to get over the parapet. 

Now I can just go up on the addition and it’s easy to do the next 4 feet.  I raised the solar panels last week as the sun is quite low now and I finished the elastomeric roofing over the boards for the solar panels.  You can see the rope I used to pull up buckets with tools and materials.

As you can see, my washer isn’t usable right now. I got out the “wonder washer” from my camping days a few weeks ago when I started framing and the washer turned into a table.  Also, I haven’t finished the plumbing yet and my setup with the grey water drum isn’t working so well since I moved the drum out.

When my nephew was here in summer we built the block foundation and it’s a bit odd to have the bricks wider than the foundation.  For the greenhouse, the top of the foundation will be 10″ like the bricks.  I framed the addition to hold a solar water tank and the swamp cooler and the adobe bricks are just “fill” to retain heat.

I bought sliding glass doors from a neighbor last year and I already got a used entry door and have a leftover window from the house.  To install the glass, I’ll definitely need help.  I recently measured and the glass is 90″ high and I got 90.5″, a close fit.

Those will be partial bricks, since I ran out of breakage already.

The corn grew from bird food and I’m surprised the rabbits aren’t eating it.  Maybe it’s GM corn, checked the bag but it didn’t say what was in it.  It also isn’t producing any corn, but hummingbirds and some other small birds like it.

I just started to grade the area around the corn.  2 years ago I had a ditch dug for the ground wire and a lot of the dirt/rock washed down.  This is the most efficient operation I’ve had going yet.  Take the dirt that has to be moved anyway and make it into bricks 20 ft away.  Very convenient.

I screen the dirt/rocks through 3/4″ hardware cloth and then screen the dirt again for the small rocks that I can throw right on the ground.  They’re perfect to keep the shoes clean when it rains.  The large rocks go down to the horno as fill and the bright white color of the caliche looks nice.

Been “mining” clay from the abundant caliche on my lot and I add it to the adobe mix.  Did have to buy straw, but everything else is right here.

I’m sure glad I have many ladders.  When you don’t have human help, ladders go a long way.  I still have to frame the 2nd half of the addition, but it should go a lot faster now that I know what I’m doing.  I hope.

And I hope we’ll have a few more perfect days like today before winter.

2 thoughts on “Finally back to making adobe bricks and building”

  1. Bravo Christine!
    You’re a hearty soul. And yes, lots of ladders help me when no one else is about. Keep up the good work and we’ll cross our fingers for dry weather for as long as it takes to get the exterior up. Keep me posted!

  2. Thanks, Sterling. It’s been dry, but COLD and cloudy today. And it was so windy most of last week week, I didn’t even want to do anything requiring a ladder. They just kept blowing over.

    But I got the hard part of the framing done, but the rest of the roof will have to be done when the OSB won’t fly away. Getting ready to frame the doors and glass — as soon as it warms up again.

    Also got more electric inside to do before I can finish with sheet rock.

    The smoke detector is exactly where the wood stove is supposed to go.

    All those plan changes …

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