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Dry stack wall question....

Discussion in 'Hardscaping' started by johngivens, Nov 4, 2007.

  1. johngivens

    johngivens LawnSite Member
    Messages: 1

    I'm building a stack stone wall about 2 feet high separating 2 levels of the lawn. There are lots of voids in the rocks at each layer and that's my question: It is smart to spread some crusher-run stone between the horizontal courses (back from the face so nothing shows) to fill in the voids at that level and below? ANd to get a better and smoother 'seat for the next course? Not ot have any thickness but just to 'level out' and fill the voids so the rock might have fewer wobbles?

    Any advice?
  2. cgland

    cgland LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,929

    On any stacked stone wall less than 2' we use 3/4" clean stone behind the wall.

  3. paponte

    paponte LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,366

    I'll ditto clean stone behind the wall and probably fabric depending on the soil. If your wall is wobbling, there are issues besides backfill. Natural stone is like doing jigsaw puzzles and you need a knack for it.
  4. Kate Butler

    Kate Butler LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 640

    No "probably" about it: absolutely geotextile (non-woven, felted sort is my preference) to keep the "fines" from washing out through the gaps. Looks very untidy if it's not used and the client won't be happy. I spent some serious time this summer remediating a similar sort of wall and it was a LOT more expensive to fix than it would have been had the excavator done it right originally.
  5. blackoakstone

    blackoakstone LawnSite Member
    Messages: 36

    *****, *****, *****... Backfill will help drainage, but chinking your wall (leveling with shim stone) will assure proper runoff. Building a dry stacked wall is very similar to piecing together a puzzle out of a box. You are given many shapes and sizes to work with and, when placed properly, they will fit together nicely. When you have gaps and spaces, you have a couple of choices to ensure a stable structure: 1) *****, *****, ***** or 2) Pull and replace laid courses (matching similar sizes and compensating for staggering patterns with several stones which add together to create a certain volume) to create a level layer of stone. Very simple. Depending upon the forces being exerted by earth behind your wall (man-made vs. natural), you can add extra backfill, batter (slope toward the force on the backside of your wall) up to 2"/ft, or use landscape fabric to "hold soil in place." Fabric works wonders to hold soil in place, especially if it has a clean layer of crushed stone to butt up to. I had much rather backfill to promise the wall proper drainage, but word on the street (and in historical proof) says that proper chinking and stone placement will give a sturdy wall for years to come...
    For what it's worth.
  6. csl

    csl LawnSite Member
    Messages: 235

    yeah gravel all the way. we built several walls that took 3 years, 65 TONS of handstack granite, and we had one section cave because some moles had dug out the area we had not used gravel, our bad. so not only will it help out with drainage and structural, it also deters rodent. little b@!*ards.
  7. neversatisfiedj

    neversatisfiedj LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,028

    What is "chinking the wall" ?
  8. blackoakstone

    blackoakstone LawnSite Member
    Messages: 36

    ***** stone is smaller stone used to fill larger gaps. Very useful in native stone and fieldstone walls.
    Here is an example from a wall we did this summer...

    Chinks help with stability and with aesthetics.

  9. blackoakstone

    blackoakstone LawnSite Member
    Messages: 36

    Guess I need to check out the sticky on photo resizing...
  10. csl

    csl LawnSite Member
    Messages: 235

    heres a pic of one of our handstacks, 65 tons by hand. ouch

    terrace 5.jpg

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