View Full Version : Question about cutting in flat rock for a walkway.
I recently bought 12 of those crappy 18"X18" stepping stones at Home Depot only because my wife and m-i-law really wanted to get them that day so I could start working on a wal from our front porch out to the new driveway. I have been using a pick-hoe to cut out a square of the sod and dirt and the place the stones down in there so that I can mow over them and not have to trim but occasionally. The problem is that 2 have already broken right down the middle even though I had as close to a flat surface underneath as I could get. At this point I am looking to go buy some flat rock and I am wanting to know what the best tools for cutting these into the turf would be. The pick-hoe worked pretty well for the squares as it was fairly easy to see the outline that they had made after sitting there a couple of days but with the flatrock being an irregular size I wondered if there was a better tool. D**N I should have just asked that to begin with. Thanks.
06-02-2003, 04:25 PM
I would lay the flagstone on the ground and take a spade to cut around the stone in the turf. Then remove stone and remove turf and relay the stone back in the level area. Then you backfill around the stone with some of the dirt hanging on the grass roots and mix a little seed back in with it.
Thanks NCSU, I don't know why I hadn't considered a spade before. I was thinking about using my mini sledge hammer and a kind of wood working wedge tool but I like the spade idea better and it sounds like it will be a lot easier to control than the pick hoe. Thanks I'll try that in a couple of days after I get my stone.
I just did a job with the 18" x 18" blocks from Home Cheapo. Commercial site renting parking spaces from one of my clients wanted to put something cheap & easy in so they didn't have to walk in the grass. We saved a lot of time & effort by laying all of the blocks out where we wanted them. Then I used a cheap blade (not one of the diamond blades) in the cut off saw & cut the edges around each one. Then we just moved it out of the way & dug the sod out where needed. The sawing saved a whole lot of time & back ache since we didn't have to do the spading around each one. I highly recommend this method if you are doing something similar. We had one out of the 40 break & simply used the paver adhesive to glue it back together. If that doesn't hold, we'll replace it.
Not a bad idea at all; I've already finished mine however and didn't have any problem with the spade although it doesn't replce the grunt work of getting the sod out that the pick hoe does. It did however really help me to square up the corners and level out the area before placing the stone back in; that was about all my spade is good for. Last year I burried a dish drop wire with it and it didn't fare so well. Thanks
06-05-2003, 04:47 PM
Originally posted by NCSULandscaper
I would lay the flagstone on the ground and take a spade to cut around the stone in the turf. Then remove stone and remove turf and relay the stone back in the level area. .
Do the above, but before re-laying the stones, put about 1 shovel of mason sand down (remove enough of the soil so the stone will be level with the ground after you add the sand). spread the sand (it doesn't have to be perfectly flat). Lay the stone, Wiggle the stone back and forth to level the sand below. Voila! Stone is level and won't crack.
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