Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Day 6. Objective: Second level wall.

As promised some step-by-step pictures of making slabs.

First, knead the clay together so it is all mixed together and there are no air bubbles. You can see I'm working on a piece of canvas to stop the clay sticking to the ground.

Then smooth out the clay by hand into roughly the right shape. In the photo you can see the two wooden batons used to get the clay a consistent thickness.

Folding the canvas over the top seems to stop the clay sticking to the rolling pin.

Roll the clay out flat with the rolling pin, using the wooden batons to get a consistent thickness.

Mmm...flat clay.

Mark up the dimensions

A rectangular slab of clay. It will stay on the canvas for about an hour to firm up before going in the tandoor.

The results of today's work. The air vent arch is finished off and the cardboard removed.

A second level of the wall in the tandoor. My wife tells me the first level of clay shrunk in the night as it dried out, so there is a chance the two levels will match up a little better by tomorrow morning.

Today's quandry is building the next levels. They need to come towards the centre so that the opening at the top is about half the diameter of the base. We've given up on the wire mesh idea as it will be supporting from the wrong direction and I'm worried that if it gets very hot it might cause the tandoor to collapse.

Maybe we can build a cardboard template and form the clay on that. And once the clay is dry it will be strong enough to support iself. Or maybe it will all collapse in...?


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