This is Al Nichols' home-brewed, street-legal earth (and snow) compressor in use at his rammed earth wall building workshop last spring. Al built it from recycled materials and off-the-rack parts from Princess Auto at a cost of around $1200 CAD, which is about a month's rental on a comparable machine.
Al's workshop was quick and dirty, fast and loose. No slide show, no feelings talk, just action.
The sand and gravel was delivered to the site pre-mixed.
Gnarly old tamper.
Yes, that formwork is being erected on the cold, hard ground. There is no footing, there is no foundation, nothing below grade.
Form-ply clamped on to a 2x10 (or 12"?) end panel along with some walers.
Then wooden wedges were tapped between the pipe and the end panel for more stability.
More wedges down below to get things "levelled."
How's this making everyone feel?
I'm sensing a sharp intake of breath in the coastal regions...
And the form is ready to fill. Yes, we are looking skeptical.
There was a ratio at work here; 15 shovels of soil to one of portland cement or so? It was not presented as an exact science. Sometimes we threw in a bit of pigment.
We came back the next day to remove the forms. Despite my misgivings about the forming system, a fine, sturdy wall embedded with a whimsical glow in the dark star was revealed.
After one year in a snowy Canadian winter it shows no sign of spalling or frost heave, nor has it fallen over.