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Broken Concrete Terrace documentation/discussion

 
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A video update from today. I meant to ask a question but the storage ran out.

I was wondering if it would be alright to lay the next couple courses with the length in the face, and "tie stones" every few feet of face. Then on the middle (4th) course lay all the longest stones (24-30") into the wall.

THat would also mean that the gravel backfill would be resting on the footer (if there were stones whose lengths are in the face), which I am assuming is not good because then any tie stones would be supported by that gravel.

I am wondering, if and how it might be possible to make a long lasting wall while laying about half their lengths in the face, and half as ties.
 
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I was wondering if it would be alright to lay the next couple courses with the length in the face, and "tie stones" every few feet of face. Then on the middle (4th) course lay all the longest stones (24-30") into the wall.

I would not recommend it, it is not as nearly as strong. I have seen it done, and I have seen it fail in short order. It's not wrong, it's just not as strong. The less tie in a wall, the weaker it is.

You really need a point, set, and trace.

With this uniform shape of stone, like you have, I would have laid a diamond pattern, as it is much stronger and sheds water better.






 
Graham Robertson
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Thanks Jay.. I would love to learn the diamond technique at a later time.

I would really like to make efficient use of the stones without having to compromise strength, could I cut the longer ones (24-36") in half to use in the method you suggest (length in the wall, not in the face)? Like a depth that tapers from about 20" at the footer to around 12" at the top (before the cap)?

If so What tools would you recommended for cutting stones? edit: nevermind, I just found the Trow and Holden video demonstrations of the point, set and trace. Very nifty tools!
 
Graham Robertson
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Jay, I am looking at Trow and Holden's Carbide Masonry set, which includes a stone buster (combo splitting tool and striking hammer), hand point, and 2" mason's chipper. Would you recommend this set as opposed to buying point, set and trace separately? Do you have experience with the stone buster as a trace? Thanks for your help, hope Im not keeping you from your work.
 
Jay C. White Cloud
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Trow and Holden's Carbide Masonry set, which includes a stone buster (combo splitting tool and striking hammer), hand point, and 2" mason's chipper. Would you recommend this set as opposed to buying point, set and trace separately? Do you have experience with the stone buster as a trace? Thanks for your help, hope Im not keeping you from your work.

Hi Graham, this is a personal choice, in as such, you normally would get to work with both sets to see what suites your style. I don't think you will be disappointed with this set. (go with the 2 lb, and the horizontal blade.) Call and talk to Randy, or one of the folks there, tell them you are one of my long distance students and what I recommended, they will learn more from you and make additional recommendations

I would really like to make efficient use of the stones without having to compromise strength, could I cut the longer ones (24-36") in half to use in the method you suggest (length in the wall, not in the face)? Like a depth that tapers from about 20" at the footer to around 12" at the top (before the cap)?

As long as you are more in the wall than the face, this should be fine to do for your current design.

Regards,

jay
 
Graham Robertson
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I just checked on the lower part of the footer where the soil is exposed. We just had a downpour and the trench is filled with about an inch of water, and I it is above the level on which I will place the footer. This may partially be due to the slope above the footer being exposed to copious roof runoff; I predict that much will be absorbed by the topsoil and plant roots when the wall is finished and the ground leveled.
 
Graham Robertson
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I am wondering about capstones. Could I use the longest of our blocks, with the length in the face, just on top? Would this serve the purpose of a cap or would it still contribute to weakness?
 
Jay C. White Cloud
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I am wondering about capstones. Could I use the longest of our blocks, with the length in the face, just on top? Would this serve the purpose of a cap or would it still contribute to weakness?

Here are your options.

1. Find the proper capping material. I was taught that, "if you can kick a stone with a booted foot, and it moves, it's too small to be a cap stone."

2. Carve and fit smaller stones to form a monolithic capping.

3. Worse case and considered poorer quality, is to use a hidden mortar bed under the capstones to give them uniformity, and homogeneity.

Your capping should be able to take being kicked, stomped, run on, and generally endure getting the "snot kicked out of it," without moving. Capping is the "clamp" that helps hold everything together.

Question?

Why is this in the permaculture section and not in the building section?
 
Graham Robertson
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A big portion of the stones we have are definitely too big to be moved by kicking. the largest are 6x8x36"... I am just wondering if laying their lengths along the face is going to be structural?

My carbide masonry set should be here mid next week. Sooo excited to start splitting stones and getting those tight joints!

In the meantime I will be working on our trellises for grapes, figs, blackberries, vining vegetables, apples etc.

When I first made this thread, I didnt expect the project to expand as much as it has. I guess I was viewing the theme of the project as more of a means to grow food and hold water in the soil, rather than the end goal of a wall. I underestimated the immense nature of the endeavor at the time.

I hope to take what I have learned and build a specialist practice out of dry stone walling. Last night I had dreams of driving around Dallas and seeing some crazy beautiful dry stacked walls. I am noticing more people are becoming more interested traditional lifetime design building.

 
Graham Robertson
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I am loving my new stone tools. My mom filmed me splitting a 26 incher in half, something I will be doing to most of the blocks, to save face (literally). Ill up the vid later.

I finished the footer yesterday and it's smooth sailing from here. No more gravel leveling!

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Graham Robertson
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just finished the first course and the stair landing!

im very proud of the steps, not sure if i should be embarrassed by jay's standards though. i would rather get done and have just sufficiently tight joints than exhaust myself by turning and chipping stones any more than is necessary in this Texas heat.
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Graham Robertson
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Pics of the wall as of this week. Almost done and starting to build some dry laid paths!
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Graham Robertson
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Before and After
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Hi,  I could help you with this.  Give me a shout. webpage https://www.masonryssma.com
 
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