The Thousandth Brick: CEB Field Testing Report

Is The Liberator – the open source, high performance CEB machine – really worthy of its name?

Absolutely. We found that out as we pressed the one thousandth brick yesterday.

Bad weather, manpower, and equipment so far has restricted production runs to only 8 hours total of brick pressing – and we have pressed a total of 1000 bricks.

It is already freezing at night – but this week, we have 4 people, a full week of predicted good weather – and we hope to press 1500 bricks per day for the next 4 days. We have alotted this entire week for brick pressing.

We have demonstrated 4 brick per minute production with well-prepared soil.

In practice, we averaged 2 bricks per minute – for the 1000 bricks. This is due to new people learning the ropes, not enough people, and workflow issues.

We conclude that with 3 people, we could do about 2 bricks per minute. In this scenario, 1 person tills the soil, one person fills buckets, and the third person fills the machine, runs the controls, and stacks bricks.

With 4 people, one person runs the controls, 2 people work the buckets and unload, and one person tills. We hope this gives us 3 bricks per minute. In 8 hours – we do 1440 bricks. That’s hard work – I don’t know if we can keep that up for 7 hours, if we take a 1 hour break.

It seems that with 5 people, we could do 4 bricks per minute, with 6 people we could do 5, and with 8 people we could do 6 bricks per minute. The hard part is getting the soil into the machine – it could eat up to 120 pounds every minute.

I think that with 10 people and rotation, we could keep up 6-brick/min production for a full day – for 2880 bricks per day. In that scenario, we can build enough bricks for about 60 feet of 8 foot high wall.

Add a 4 person brick-laying team – and we could probably build the walls of one building the size of our earthbag house (20 foot diameter) in one day. That’s exciting. The Liberator definitely has the caliber to be the mainstay for building the infrastructure of a real village.

1 Comment

  1. Carlyn McKee

    Hey new friends!

    Way to Go!!!!!!!!!!!

    Lu & Ruth Starwind told us about you last night, and seeing the photos and video this morning has me jumpin for joy!

    Do you have workbooks, or plans posted on the net yet?

    We are very interested in what yall are fulfilling~*
    “We” is Dustan and Carlyn McKee: life lovin newly weds who have a construction business. We build to suit, and also remodel, with green preferance of course.
    Our plan this winter is to design a green cabin prototype, to show and educate.

    Well, lets converse~*