So we didn't get our RMH started in the warmer part of the year. Our house build was delayed for many reasons and by the time we finally got "dried in", temperatures were regularly below freezing at night.
Can't build a RMH when it's freezing, right? Frost heaven would knock everything off level. So then we needed to insulate the ceiling at least. But had to put in electric wires before putting in the insulation. So more delays.
Finally we're ready to start building the RMH but now it's snowing. Used a propane heater to keep the stove from freezing during the build which worked fine but cobbing is more difficult.
First you need to figure out which of the white lumps outside was the pile of clay. Then scrape off the snow. Next chip off the top couple of inches of clay which are actually frozen. Once you"ve found the unfrozen clay, load up the wheel barrow but only 1/2 way because wheel barrows don't roll very well at all in several inches of snow. Wheel it the 50 feet or so to the house. Up and over the step and the threshold. Into the house, and dump it out onto a large tarp. Add water, sand and straw and stomp, stomp, stomp. Don't dare do this barefoot though. Some of the clay is still frozen and the rest of it is nearly so. Snow boots are in order for this. Fold the tarp over to flip the mix.
Finally mixing by hand but the darn stuff is so cold that my fingers go numb through the rubber gloves. Thank goodness I can run the RMH during the cobbing of the mass. I need to stop frequently to thaw out my fingers.
It's all worth it though as the bench starts to slowly take shape and the temperatures of the house slowly rise.
Outside temps 22 deg, inside high was 55 deg today. Quite comfortable while working around the RMH. Our house has a large thermal mass behind the back wall that unfortunately got quite cold from snow melt falling off the roof and getting past the plastic and into the earth. Going to take a bit to warm it back up but we're well on our way now.