What size tires to use where? | Squishy Tire | Concrete Block

What size tires to use where?

Large sized tires are used at the bottom of the wall, smaller sized tires are used at the top of walls. 16s (a large tire size) with plastic in the bottom are used for the first course of tires.

235 16s for course 1, 2 and 3
235 15s for course 4 and 5
225 15s for course 6 and 7
215 15s for course 8 and 9
305 15s for course 10  (14s can be used on the top course)

Important: Large sized tires at the bottom of the wall, smaller sized tires at the top of walls.


Squishy Tire

This is a method to ‘squish’ a tire into a space that is a little to big for a concrete block. A concrete block can be used, but this would require more cement than is desirable in a concrete block. Therefore, we ‘squish’ a tire into this space and pound it as normal.

This method can be done in any space you can squish a tire into and with a pounded tire on both sides. This is not easy, to force a tire into a space that is smaller that its diameter – but definitely possible with a second helper person.

Tires used for this ‘squishy’ method should be softer and ‘mushier’ than most tires. This will make it easier to force the tire into place, as the ‘normal’ sized R15 tires are a bit too rigid making it difficult to force into place.

Once the ‘squishy tire’ is found, put one side of the tire directly in place, touching one of the pounded tires. The ‘squishy tire’ should be angled up in the air, at a slight 45 degree angle. Now the harder part… Push the side of the tire that is up in the air down and in toward the other side of the tire that is touching the pounded tire. As you push in and down, you want to locate the side of the ‘squishy tire’ to be in place touching the side of the other pounded tire. This is the hard part and may require help to push this ‘squishy tire’ into place.

Once the ‘squishy tire’ is in place, you can step on it from the top with all your normal weight to secure it in place. If the ‘squishy tire’ is part of a battered wall, make sure it is battered as well. In terms of positioning, make sure it is treated the same as the other tires so it remains in line and proper with the rest of the wall.

In most cases, the rubber of the ‘squishy tire’ will stick up higher a little bit than the other tires next to it. This is normal. The next course or two will smooth this rubber out.

Proceed to pound and level the tire as normal, making sure (as with all tires) the ‘squishy tire’ remains in its proper position. ‘Squishy tires’ cannot be located next to each other, they *must* be surrounded by normally pounded tires


Concrete Block

For spaces too small for a “Squishy Tire”, make a concrete block.

earthship tire walls

Step 1

Take a piece of lathe, use gloves and cut the width to about 15” wide or the same height of the pounded tires plus 3”. Cut the lathe length-wise, with the length of the diamond pattern. The length of the lathe should be enough to span from each side of the block.

Step 2

Form the concrete block. Form the shape of the concrete block with the lathe so either mimic the circle of a tire for and end-wall block or straight across within the tire wall. Overall concrete blocks within tire walls should be about 2’ wide

Screw the ends of the lathe directly to the tires using deck screws. Use plenty of screws to secure the lathe to the pounded tires, etc. next to the concrete half block.

Step 3

Place small rocks in the gaps of between the lathe and the tire work that is not covered. This is so the concrete that is poured in wont’t leak out.

Step 4

Pour the concrete into the half-block form. The concrete should be fluid but not flowing at all. It should still hold its own form. Push the concrete into all the corners of the half-block form. Fill the form with concrete, adding small rocks to take up space. Do not let the small rocks touch each other.

Step 5

Level the top of the concrete half-block with the tire work next to the block. Let the block dry for at least 24 hrs before continuing over the block


Pick Trick

to increase the height of pounded tires

When a tire needs to be pounded up even more than ‘fully pounded’. In some instances, the tire you are working on may be pounded and tight everywhere, but it must come up even more. You could simply hit the tire harder and harder, more and more, yet still… the tire will not come up. The tire is made of steel belted rubber, which can expand. A trick that can be used in this instance is called the ‘Pick Trick’. You can take a pick, also known as a maddox and put the smallest, most pointed end into the tire rim in the location you need to expand and make higher. Then pull back on the handle to pry the rubber up. If you pull to much, you will lift the tire up. This is not something you want to do. Pull the handle back and expand the rubber to the point you need it to be. Do not pull so much that the tire lifts up.

As the handle of the pick is pulled back, place dirt in the tire on the side of where you need to expand higher. Then pound the dirt into the tire in the space you created by pulling back on the handle of the pick. Add dirt until the rubber side expands to the point desired. Be careful not to pound too much to move the tire. This trick is very effective and should be accomplished rather quickly.

The ‘pick trick’ can be used again and again to raise the tire to the desired expanded height. This ‘trick’ is meant to NOT be used often as the tires should be all the same size and leveled without the need for this ‘trick’.

Tagged on: