Easy way of setting wall base?

Discussion in 'Landscape Architecture and Design' started by D Felix, Sep 25, 2004.

  1. D Felix

    D Felix LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,898

    Anyone have an easy (fast) way to set a base for walls?

    Thinking of setting forms, similar to concrete forms, but compacting the gravel in the forms and then screeding off any excess... Anyone tried that? Other option is compacting road base inside the forms, to a depth that is ~1 inch or so below the top, then adding flume (gravel sand/stone dust) over the road base, compacting, then screeding.

    Basically, I want to be able to run the compactor over the gravel, and then start laying block without having to play with every block for 5 minutes to get it level in all directions. It would be nice to just start setting them in on top of the gravel and move on down the line....

    Any other suggestions? Anyone tried what I've described above?


    Dan
     
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  2. SodKing

    SodKing LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,648

    self leveling concrete would work but it is not the prescribed method of construction from many of the block makers.
     
  3. landscapingpoolguy

    landscapingpoolguy LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 819

    I think if you build a form you will have to excavate a bit more. Then when you compact over the top of the form the form will be come unlevel or at least definatly move some. I dontthink there is and easy way, thats why the price is what it is.

    Chuck
     
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  4. mrusk

    mrusk LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,260

    The trick to leveling the base, is to use a level before you ever even start laying block. Every pass with the compactor put a 8 foot level down. Then just through some more base in the low spots and hit it with the compactor again. After a few passes it will be level. Then 98% of the time i am able to get the block perfrect with one or two hits with the big rubber hammer.

    Matt
     
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  5. Rex Mann

    Rex Mann LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 621

    Here is how we do it:

    we dig our tench 24" wide
    add our aggregate base in lifts
    compact the aggregate with mechanical compactor
    our spec is + or - 1/4-inch on the aggregate base
    then we mix portland cement with concrete sand
    (3-scoops sand to 1-scoop portland) we call this dry mix
    then we screed it out over our base
    lay the block(makes it go 10X faster
    mother nature and humidity will stiffen up the drymix over night
    however, in Phoenix, with 10% humidity we have to mist it with water after the first course is in.

    BTW: we use deadblow hammers from pavetech. They are pricey at around $75.00, but they have replaceable heads and are the best deadblow I have ever had for pavers and walls. It's one of those things, the right tool for the job.

    Peace,

    Rex

    PaversInstalled.Com
     
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  6. GreenMonster

    GreenMonster LawnSite Silver Member
    from NH
    Posts: 2,702

    rex,

    what is the depth of the dry mix?
     
  7. Rex Mann

    Rex Mann LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 621

    We go at least 1/2-inch but, usually we use 1-inch OD screed pipes.

    Peace,

    Rex

    PaversInstalled.Com
     
  8. GreenMonster

    GreenMonster LawnSite Silver Member
    from NH
    Posts: 2,702

    ya know, that's a good idea. I've give ya points if I knew how

    In conditions that may be wet, does the 25% portland eliminate any possible wash out of the concrete sand? Is that even a concern, short of a waterfront install?
     
  9. Rex Mann

    Rex Mann LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 621

    On wet locations our aggregate base material usually sucks up the moisture and does not present a problem. The sand and portland are mixed together and no water is added. You'll have a very heavy gray looking material. It screeds out just like sand, but after the humidity gets to it the material stiffens up and acts like a footer. Never had a wall fail :)

    You can also use the dry mix when you build steps and want added support. If there are any joints we will use it in there as well as under risers.

    Peace,

    Rex

    PaversInstalled.Com
     
  10. GreenMonster

    GreenMonster LawnSite Silver Member
    from NH
    Posts: 2,702

    You mean the base beneath the dry mix sucks up the moisture, right?

    Cool info. Thanks, Rex.
     

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