Category Archives: Rammed earth building

French doors and frames


I was asked by a gentleman and his wife to construct and install a solid wood frame and a french door. They wanted to seperate their family room and front hallway while still retaining the light emitting from the front door. In addition the added insulation to the main bedroom was a very welcome quality. As with all construction work as long as the tradesman keeps to the sound building principals the results will always satisfy the tradesman and please the owners or engineers.

The owner is a bit of a handyman and decided that he himself was going to install the architrave and the infill and there by saving some costs of construction. This is a relatively normal event as some people either don’t know how to proceed with certain parts of their project or do not have the necessary tooling. In any event, EarthRam is here to help.

Apartment roof


Because of the space constrictions I had to build my roof in-situ so as to accomodate the required fall of the roof, which is 3 degrees.

I built the roof on the footprint of the building which provided the dimensions. To accomodate the 3 degree fall I jigged it up, and as you can see it worked out very well.

Once it was all fitted and bolted up and I was happy with the outcome, I dismantled it and stored it away until I finish the walls, after which I will simply erect it on the wall plate.

Second wall










Finally completed the second wall of my project. I had a few issues with my mixer attachment I built for the bobcat, so had to take some time off the walls and focus on the machine. Once I finished with the loader attachment I focused back on the wall. I used a new approach to mixing, I also live tested my new and improved attachment which works as well as I had hoped. However for mixing up any quantities over a cube I think the tried and tested methods work best. In other words mix it on the ground or driveway, once you understand how your loader works mixing on the ground is fast and efficient.

Rammed earth mixer


I build rammed earth dwellings. So trying to find ways of mixing my raw material, which in most cases is crushed limestone, is always on my mind. A while ago I built an attachment for my bobcat that would do just that. However, my assessment of the pressures involved on the end of the ‘paddles’ was a tad out. In the last few weeks I fixed that issues, but of course, other issues arose, right on cue as expected. Nevertheless, the adjustments to the mixer were actually successful, and today as I built a second wall in the current project, I used it for the first time, it worked very well, I was very pleased.

The next problem along the ‘issues chain’ is actually the chain. A third of a cube of crushed limestone is roughly 450kg dry weight, and that is a lot of stress on the chain, which at one point begins to jump. I get about a turn and a half before it decides to take a leap to the next tooth of the drive pulley, but that is enough for the material to mix with the cement and water. I have a 600mm helix set up around a 50mm 4140 shaft in a 1530mm bucket. The bobcat hydraulic pump is handling the load very well as is the main hydraulic motor on the mixer, but the chain is ‘a bitch’n.

Im thinking about installing a gear box of appropriate strength to handle a full 500kg load. But for now gently nursing the 5/8 chain is my only option.