Friday, January 21, 2011

Cooking School update

In building the cooking school there are several issues that I need to deal with. I’m building a venue that will serve as a school, an event location, as in weddings, meetings, perhaps a gallery, also we are looking at television and photo shoots maybe even exercise, tai chi, or even lectures and workshops. I’m, by nature, a packrat I love to collect things that others have discarded and then reuse them in construction or sculpture. This is a challenge as, I’m having to toss out things that may have a future use, but the business comes first.

I have divided our property into three outdoor and four indoor areas. Our home and the packaging room for our spice company, the connex box which will be used as an art studio, a garage and a storage area and the classroom and kitchen are all indoor venues and out door we have the cooking set and bakery, the main yard and a 16 car parking lot. My plan is to finish the bakery and cooking set first so that we can start outdoor cooking classes this spring. We will use the money from these classes to finish the other venues.

I’m working on the connex box, which I want to make look more like a little adobe building and less like a shipping container.

I'm using a CIP or cast in place adobe system of my own design.

I was given the dirt for my adobes and after inspecting it I became worried about the ratio of sand to soil.

Most of the information floating around the web and in the various books on adobe construction in our library agrees that adobe needs to be a minimum mix of 30 % clay and 70% sand and no more than 50/50. After doing a standard water / soil test my dirt looks like it’s about 80% sand 20% clay.

So I made two test blocks as I have two different piles of dirt. You can see the rings from the cardboard drink case I used as a form,

My system has additional reinforcement in several different areas that standard adobe is missing.

First it’s attached to the connex box, second it has a chain link fence diaphragm, third it has a two-inch hi density foam exterior that is tied to both the box and the fence. After making my test blocks I believe that it will be more than strong enough.

However as an added binder I’m going to add a shovel of gypsum to each wheelbarrow, which will be about 5%. I’ll let you know how it works out.

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