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SCAFFOLDS

You'll need something to stand on as your walls grow to keep your upper body weight over the wall. Standing on straw bales or on planks that are resting on straw bales works well for the lower part of the wall. Only stack the bales two high; three is too precarious. The straw bales against the walls will slow down the drying so you may want to move them once in awhile to give each part of the wall a chance to dry out.

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It's OK to stand on the partially dried window sills, cantilevers, and built-in furniture. Use your judgment. You can straddle the wall, sitting on it like a horse.

As your walls get higher, pieces of wood can be buried through the walls to support the scaffolding planks, both inside and out. Put the supports into the walls at least a foot from an opening.

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Four or five feet off the ground is a good place for the first scaffolding supports. Depending on how tall your walls are and how agile you are, you may want to put more supports every two or three feet. Be safe, rest strong planks on the buried wooden supports and attach them well. Add some additional sticks to help hold up the outsides of the scaffolding supports. (See illustration.) You can use a ladder or straw bale steps to get up onto your scaffolding. The cob can be piled into dishpans or tubs and set up onto the scaffold, then lifted up onto the top of the wall.

cob-117.jpg When you're finished cobbing, the supports can be left in the walls to permanently carry the weight of shelving or cabinets. In many countries, the scaffolding sticks are left in the walls as decorative ladders and to stand on during replastering later.

If you want to remove them, they can be sawed off and plastered over or they can be knocked out of the walls with a sledge hammer, and you can fill the hole with cob before you plaster.

On the sunny, glass-intensive wall, it's likely that you won't have enough cob between the windows to hold embedded scaffold supports. A simple scaffold can be set up using two stepladders with the scaffolding planks running between the ladders, and resting on the ladder rungs (not on the top of the ladders!) Make sure the ladders are well-balanced where they stand.



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