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View Full Version : Best way to cut in cap on a radius wall


MJK
08-20-2012, 07:06 PM
Building a wall with unilock split n stack, as I lay the cap in, the front face meets up, on the back end I have gaps up to 4inch between the blocks.

When cutting in the cap to make it look as professional as possible, do you measure this gap, divide the measurement in half, then take that amount and measure it off the face corner then draw your line to the back corner for your cut? Or did I lose you?

GreenI.A.
08-20-2012, 08:02 PM
yup, thats how I do it most of he time.

MJK
08-20-2012, 08:09 PM
is there a faster way to get the same results?

alldayrj
08-20-2012, 08:16 PM
you can do that or just wing it like me/my guys usually do. pics help tho

zedosix
08-20-2012, 08:40 PM
What size caps are you using? When we use that sns wall I work with a 12" x 9" cap, gives better results and there is a 1" overhang which is nicer than the straight edge of the sns cap. Or did I lose you. :)

DVS Hardscaper
08-20-2012, 08:58 PM
We do not measure caps on radiused walls. We just use a square. But I have a mason that uses cardboard and makes a template for radiuses when all the radiuses are the same.
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MJK
08-20-2012, 08:59 PM
the cap is 7.80" x 5.85"

MJK
08-20-2012, 09:00 PM
We do not measure caps on radiused walls. We just use a square. But I have a mason that uses cardboard and makes a template for radiuses when all the radiuses are the same.
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So what do you do just eyeball it?

zedosix
08-20-2012, 09:07 PM
the cap is 7.80" x 5.85"

They are a pita to use, we don't bother unless its for a firepit or something, but for a retaining wall, go with the 12" long cap. Much nicer finish. But ya a square or just eyeballing it works too. Try to overlap the joints though, this is why the longer caps work so well

scagrider22
08-20-2012, 11:25 PM
For big gaps I just lay a 2' level down between the two caps and draw a line down each side, for small gaps I just run the saw between the two caps usually 2 or 3 times until they fit tight (be careful not to cut through the face of the block if you do it this way). These two ways are much faster for me.

DVS Hardscaper
08-20-2012, 11:44 PM
a decent size square is a very quick and accurate method

Krafty
08-21-2012, 12:09 AM
We use a level and split the difference unless it is a perfect radius then we use a template.

zak406
08-21-2012, 12:12 AM
Funny this thread comes up I was cutting caps today for a versalok wall with a radius. I was thinking to myself there has to be a better way than what im doing. I split the difference from the front of the blocks with a square like many of you do. However It appears this may be one ofthe better ways.

promower
08-25-2012, 12:59 AM
We dont measure anything we thrown down a cap space the next one almost a full cap away set a 3rd cap on top the 2 and draw a line on the left cap and the right one cut and done. Did I not read this thread right? idk Im tired its late

xtreem3d
08-25-2012, 08:20 AM
That's how we do it to...it's always more accurate to scribe than measure. alot of guys i know mark from the underside of their cap but that is awkward. doing it as described above we move around both sides of the radius (especially when it's a circle) at the same time

This is hard to explain without a pic but we set the cap on the radius with the overhang we like, then make sure that both of the back corners of the cap are equal distance from the row of blocks it's sitting on. we maintain that distance all through the radius so that from the top veiw you end up with a smooth looking curve in your caps . Generally we have one full cap then a cut cap then a full cap ect. On tighter radius we sometimes have to shorten the full cap (depending on block) so that you can maintain the correct overhang. (very hard to understand without pictures , i know)

GreenI.A.
08-25-2012, 10:41 PM
We dont measure anything we thrown down a cap space the next one almost a full cap away set a 3rd cap on top the 2 and draw a line on the left cap and the right one cut and done. Did I not read this thread right? idk Im tired its late

That's how we do it to...it's always more accurate to scribe than measure. alot of guys i know mark from the underside of their cap but that is awkward. doing it as described above we move around both sides of the radius (especially when it's a circle) at the same time

This is hard to explain without a pic but we set the cap on the radius with the overhang we like, then make sure that both of the back corners of the cap are equal distance from the row of blocks it's sitting on. we maintain that distance all through the radius so that from the top veiw you end up with a smooth looking curve in your caps . Generally we have one full cap then a cut cap then a full cap ect. On tighter radius we sometimes have to shorten the full cap (depending on block) so that you can maintain the correct overhang. (very hard to understand without pictures , i know)

I can't stand when you have full and cut caps alternating like you guys are saying. It's not to noticeable on an outside corner curve, but if it is an inside corner then it really stands out. I think it makes it look like a hack job, you spend all of the time doing the install and then cut corners on one of the final steps. Same with patios, I can't stand when the cuts are alternated on a soldier course, instead of having all larger pavers equally cut, you have little slithers of pavers in between. But that's just my opinion and 2 cents.

scagrider22
08-25-2012, 11:49 PM
^^^ Couldn't agree more!
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xtreem3d
08-26-2012, 12:54 AM
I may not be understanding what you 2 are saying but if your making an inside corner (or outside depending on which side of the wall your standing on) doesn't the piece have to have a pie shape to it?

GreenI.A.
08-26-2012, 01:19 AM
I may not be understanding what you 2 are saying but if your making an inside corner (or outside depending on which side of the wall your standing on) doesn't the piece have to have a pie shape to it?

Yes the pieces will still by pie shaped somewhat. If you alternate the cuts then the lengths of the faces will be alternating as well. If you split the angle and cut both bricks equally then the lengths of the faces will all be the same

xtreem3d
08-26-2012, 01:58 AM
What determines the proper angle for the given radius so that all are equal and have the same overhang?

meets1
08-27-2012, 03:12 AM
I do what PROMOWER described. I also have to wonder like above mentioned? What determines the proper angle to any given radius to all is equal with the same outlook for your end result?

xtreem3d
08-27-2012, 08:05 AM
All my work is commercial, which doesn't mean i want to do poor work but my caps look fine to me. there is about 1+ inch cut off each end of a cap so as you look around the radius the difference is at most 2" on a 17.5"-18" cap...so 18 then16,then18,then16 ect
Still interested in hearing how the angle is figured out correctly from scagrider or greenidustry?

scagrider22
08-27-2012, 08:15 AM
You don't have to figure out the angle, I already explained how to do it with no measuring. Go back and read the first couple of pages.
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xtreem3d
08-27-2012, 08:51 AM
Gotcha..found your post....Am I still missing something ? If you lay 3 caps out along the radius, then mark down each side of the level that spans the caps, then cut the caps do you have issues with the overhang varying because you have changed the lenght of the cap when you cut it without it being in the exact place on the curve?

In other words the way I do it each cap is going to fit properly and have the exact overhang because it is cut in the exact position it will sit on the curve. It seems if you contuinue to lay caps out and mark between them at some point in the curve the cap will be "off" because you are consistenly removing their length each time you cut them.
Steve

promower
08-27-2012, 04:10 PM
When we jump from full cap to cut cap to full were cutting off such a small sliver from the cap to the left and right that its not noticeable. If were talking a real tight radius, firepit for example, measuring is the only way to go otherwise you would be correct in saying its gonna look like a hack job. We just use best judgement, if its still going to look like a killer finished job doing it the quick and easy way were def taking that rout if possible.

DVS Hardscaper
08-27-2012, 05:53 PM
The only time the angle really matters is for something like a coping for a rectangular pool with 4 rounded corners. This is an intance where all the cuts should mirror one another. But for a wall - usually not critical, as long as the cuts are clean
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Birchwood
08-27-2012, 11:43 PM
Gotcha..found your post....Am I still missing something ? If you lay 3 caps out along the radius, then mark down each side of the level that spans the caps, then cut the caps do you have issues with the overhang varying because you have changed the lenght of the cap when you cut it without it being in the exact place on the curve?

In other words the way I do it each cap is going to fit properly and have the exact overhang because it is cut in the exact position it will sit on the curve. It seems if you contuinue to lay caps out and mark between them at some point in the curve the cap will be "off" because you are consistenly removing their length each time you cut them.
Steve

As I see it he is laying out 2 caps with a space between them approximately the size of a cap and lays a cap on top and makes the mark. The outer 2 caps are in the correct spot with the correct overhang.

I think you need to have all of these techniques in your tool bag. 90 % of the time I lay one at a time eye up the overhang and eye up the cut with a one foot level, a trowel, or a square what ever is near and make my mark. On circular fire pits I will put a stake in the center and use a string line to find the angle on each side of the cap, this will yield an identical angle on each side of each cap all the time.

On seat wall where we are using ledge stone copping which are 24" long I will layout 2 pieces and take measurements and divide by 2 mark the stone, grab the grinder make my mark, and take it to the saw.

We usually sweeten all cuts by running the blade between them.

xtreem3d
08-28-2012, 12:24 AM
[QUOTE=Birchwood;4511970]As I see it he is laying out 2 caps with a space between them approximately the size of a cap and lays a cap on top and makes the mark. The outer 2 caps are in the correct spot with the correct overhang.

That's how I said I do it but that each cap is not exactly the same size...your string line makes sense to get them all identical except for the last cap unless you do the math to figure the amount of caps and the corect angle to cut them all ?