Friday, December 04, 2009

Stone Wall Building 2007

Stone Wall Building

Hey there; When asked what he was planning on doing in his retirement, Lance Armstrong said he has been dreaming about building a stonewall on is Austin Texas property. these are the rules I have discovered: Move the rocks as few times as possible. Keep a good selection on hand so you have good shapes from which to choose. Keep a good selection of wedge pieces to level the tops of stones Use the lumpy - mis-shapen stones and wrong sizes as fill. Keep em tight - stones should be sturdy after placement. If it looks wrong from a distance - it is wrong. Try to tie two stones or three together by overlapping with another. you must do this in both directions in a free standing wall. Watch your back. I like to mix in old bricks I find and interesting rocks. The retaining wall I built around the garden is not my best work. Originally I was going to have a retaining wall that was strictly built ruble style. But I started manipulating the pile and before you knew it I had my level out then I got the hammer and started putting in wedges. In this wall there are only about a dozen wedges. In my tighter walls nearly every stone is wedged - often with more than one wedge. I started on the right and worked left. This wall was built very quickly and with virtually no planning or design. The last section I did I worked back from the right corner... this ended in a nice pile of small ruble stones which got covered when I tilled the garden. The wood serves two purposes: It keeps the dirt off the wall and it allows me to weed whack the bottom of the wire fence. I probably would not have used the wood if it hadn't been given to me free and it weas already sitting in the garden having been used two years ago for our hockey rink. I tried to tie the 8' cedar posts into the wall. Originally the posts (set at 94" apart) marked where the top of each 3' roller of my bmx-pump track was to be located - now I hate to hide the wall with unsightly mounds of dirt ... but I am going to try to do it anyway. I changed several things as I went along. I adjusted the sizes of rocks - this was because I was digging rocks out of my foundation excavation pile as I dug them... generally two big ones and the rest small flatter... but I went more with how they came out of the pile. I should have stacked them all before I began but some were too big to move twice and it was a lot faster to work right out of the bucket of my tractor. Some of the bigger ones I pryed out of the bucket and let them lay right where they dropped and worked with it. On the going back wall - I layed a big flat then put in table legs of support stones and then covered with big flat again and repeated - kinda liked this look and wanted to keep working with it. Note that the garden stock tank tub is sitting on a pile of ruble stones from the garden. let me know if you have questions.. i try to send a shot of my culvert wall if I can get the weeds out of the way.. David.
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