CETA Ram Block Press — 11 Comments

  1. I am really happy to have found this press produced in Guatemala, I am looking for a CEB press for a social project in El Salvador and this is my perfect match. Do you know if it is still being built and sold? Can you give me any contact? Would be amazing, thanks!

    • I believe CEB construction is still popular in Latin America. Not sure what earth block presses they’re using. You’ll have to do your own local research.

  2. Quick calculation for a small house measuring 6m square by 2.5m high. (Roughly 19.5′ x 19.5′ x 8′ high.) Not deducting for doors or windows for simplicity. That’s 60m2 total wall area x 24 blocks/m2 = 1,440 blocks total per house. Let’s say 1,300 blocks after deducting for windows and doors.

    The CETA-RAM can make 100,000 blocks before wearing out. That’s about 77 small houses. Pretty impressive. That means you could build a larger house for yourself, several smaller buildings around your homestead and then sell it to a housing group that could go on to make another 70 houses or so for poor people.

  3. I just popped out my tape measure in curiosity. One-third of a meter is about 33cm or 13″. That’s a little bigger than most CEBs, but still quite manageable by most workers in my opinion. So it’s not a ‘monster’ block. Just a little bigger and more efficient.

  4. Good post Owen. I really like the free plans. I wonder how these types of block would work as a retaining wall against a hill? Any ideas or is this just too much for this type of material?

    • Retaining walls are totally exposed to the elements — rain, snow, freeze/thaw cycles, soil pressure. So CEBs would not be the best choice. My ebook explains how to build earthbag retaining walls that would be much stronger and more durable.

    • My ears perked up when I heard lighter, faster, easier. I’d love to see their soil and CEB blocks firsthand. Are they still building this way decades later? Maybe someone with spare time could send me an update on what’s happening there now.

  5. This press makes larger blocks than the Cinva ram to make better use of lightweight volcanic soil. A Cinva ram seems best for typical heavy soils unless you have lightweight additives. Refer to yesterday’s blog post about using agricultural wastes for ideas.

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