Old 12-01-2001, 08:55 PM
Mowman Mowman is offline
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Join Date: Jun 2000
Location: Northwest Ohio
Posts: 553
Retaining Wall Block?

How do you cut them in half? To start a row I see a half block used for the first one,then full ones. I think it LOOKS much better when they are staggered than all the lines on top of one another. Hope I'm not confusing you guy's. I'm sure the ones of you that use these blocks will know what I'm trying to get across.
Thanks for your help.

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Old 12-01-2001, 09:39 PM
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Stonehenge Stonehenge is offline
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Join Date: Feb 2000
Location: Midwest
Posts: 1,277
If you're building a retaining wall, staggering the seams does more than looks good...it's a requirement to make the thing structurally stable. Otherwise, you're making a bunch of small, unconnected, unreinforced walls that will all fall over, or get kicked over, in a short amount of time.

2# hammer and cold chisel will split them, as will a guillotine style splitter - it sounds like this is something new for you, so buying the guillotine style might be too much for you (between $500 and $1,000), but they can be rented. If it's not a big project and you don't plan on doing much of this kind of work, $15 will get you the hammer and chisel. Just score all the way around then split it the long way.

Check with your supplier and they will likely have brochures, videos and such to help you with the installation. Make sure you have your base prep right. If you aren't sure how to go about that, run a search here and you'll find all you need.
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Old 12-01-2001, 09:54 PM
Alan Alan is offline
Join Date: Mar 2000
Location: NW Vermont (Milton)
Posts: 1,185
If I'm abutting a foundation with the start of the wall I've had pretty good results with scoring the block as deep as I can with circular saw and a diamond blade. Get a nice neat cut that way and it fits against the wall perfectly. If I'm starting out in the open I'll use hammer and chisel, maybe knock off the really rough spots with a bushhammer.
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Old 12-01-2001, 11:02 PM
neighborguy neighborguy is offline
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Join Date: May 2000
Location: Southeastern Wisconsin
Posts: 187
As long as you are using a block that is solid (ie Versa-Lok) then I would use thehammer and chisel. When using this method place something a little soft underneath th block. If you split the block on a concrete surface the chiel has a tendancy to bounce making the strike less effective. I have found that just splitting a block on a lawn will make the job easier.
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Old 12-01-2001, 11:37 PM
greens1 greens1 is offline
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Join Date: Mar 2001
Location: Grosse Pointe, MI
Posts: 352
One quick word on butting retaining wall blocks to the foundation.

Leave a small gap, 1/4" to 3/8" between the block and the foundation then glaze the gap.

As the foundation settles, or frost heaves the wall, there should be room for the blocks to move independantly from the foundation.

Jim L
The harder I work
the luckier I get.
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Old 12-10-2001, 06:00 PM
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Join Date: Jul 2001
Location: North Jersey
Posts: 835
One way I spit block s to make it cleaner and easier is to score it with a diamond blade on an angle grinder.. then wack it a few times with the hammer and chisel... If carefull can be done on outside corners too...
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