Some people make mudbricks by putting mud in a wheelbarrow or tub on the ground and mixing it. This is daft – a house weighs about 20 tonnes, and if you mix the mud all by hand then each shovel you lift adds another 20 tonnes of work.
So I developed a way of making bricks using machinery – find a bit of ground with the right clay, dozer off the topsoil, then use a big rotary hoe to chop up the clay into powder. Spread straw on it and rotary hoe again. Voila – instant brick mix.
Then put the dry clay in piles of about 10 yards (buckets), pour water into a puddle in the middle and mix until the right consistency (soft but just hard enough to hold the imprint of a boot). Then put the mud into long piles with plastic under and over, wetted thoroughly.
Then you can make the bricks from the piles into double moulds. I could make 300 bricks a day – you only need 2-3000 to make a house, so it’s quite quick.
I taught mudbrick housebuilding for a while. I would get 30 or so students, make 20 tonnes of mud by Saturday midday, then they would make 2000 bricks by Sunday afternoon. A couple of days later the bricks had set hard enough to turn on their edge, then a month later they were ready to build with.