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Primitive Technology: Making Mud Bricks

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Our man in the jungle continues his pottery and firing experiments by making a kiln from mud bricks.

He spent a considerable amount of time making the wooden form used to mold his mud bricks to a consistent shape and size. By cutting down a tree with his stone axe and splitting it with a stone chisel, he was able to get four fairly uniform sections.

He connected these by chiseling mortises into the longer half-logs and tenons into the shorter log ends. After lashing it all together with cane, he was ultimately able to create a form.

Once he had the mold, it was just repetition to make the bricks with mud and dried palm fibers.

He made 140 mud bricks and stacked them into the shape of a square kiln. He then used this to fire a number of curved roof tiles.

He indicated that the mud bricks were more brittle than he would have liked, and next time he’ll use better clay. But overall the kiln worked fine.

This was his first experiment in making bricks. He wrote that he intends to improve on the process and make sturdier bricks for building structures or shelters in the future.

Like what you see here? You can read more great articles by David Smith at his Facebook page, Stumpjack Outdoors.

NEXT: PRIMITIVE TECHNOLOGY: WOVEN SANDALS PROTECT YOUR FEET IN THE BUSH!

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Primitive Technology: Making Mud Bricks