EASY step-by-steps TO MAKE A RAMMED EARTH BENCH
This bench is made from layers of granite mixed with cement. You can buy decomposed granite from landscape suppliers in brown, pink, gold, grey and white. You can also use subsoil but not garden soil, as it contains organic matter that will break down and destabilise the bench.
Gather your supplies
• Formwork 12mm plywood
• Rails, supports 70 x 35mm framing pine • Decomposed granite
• Bagged cement
You’ll also need
Circular saw; drill; timber screws; hose; shovel; rammer; screed board; steel float; old towel FOR YOU TO NOTE
• You don’t need marine ply for formwork, as it’s temporary.
• Always mix dry ingredients first to avoid cement lumps.
STEP 1 Build the formwork. Make a butt-jointed box from plywood, screwing short sides to long sides. STEP 2 Measure and cut 4 each short rails, long rails and supports. Screw short rails to box base, sit long rails on top and secure with screws.
STEP 3 Attach short rails 50mm from box top, sit long rails on top and position 2 supports on each long side of box between rails. Screw top long rails to short rails.
STEP 4 Make 3 different colour batches, mixing 10 parts granite to 1 shovel of cement on boards.
STEP 5 Add water to granite and cement mixes using a hose. The texture should be damp not wet, so you pick it up and ball it.
STEP 6 Shovel a 40-60mm layer of granite mix into formwork.
STEP 7 Make a rammer with a square head for getting into corners using timber and ply offcuts. Ram the first layer, giving 4-5 whacks in one spot, until it sounds solid. Each layer will take about 5-10 minutes.
STEP 8 Keep adding layers of granite mix and ramming down.
STEP 9 Screed the top layer smooth, then wet with hose.
STEP 10 Use a float to smooth the top layer of rammed earth. Leave for 24 hours to set.
STEP 11 Remove formwork and wet bench with the hose.
STEP 12 Soften edges with a towel. Leave to cure for 7 days. ➤
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