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How do you cut your caps?

Discussion in 'Hardscaping' started by Venturewest, Feb 26, 2009.

  1. Venturewest

    Venturewest LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 516

    I just installed a terraced retaining wall using Anchor Diamond Pro Stonecut SRW's. I did some nice freeform curves but now I have to cut most of my cap blocks to match the radius of the wall. What method do you guys prefer? I just rented a block shear which works incredibly well for a split face, but when you put 2 faces together you end up with a 1/4" gap.

    How much tolerance do you allow on your joints? Is 3/16" or 1/4" acceptable? Hope this question makes sense and I thank you in advance for your help.
  2. zedosix

    zedosix LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,665

    We cut them on a 14" table saw, sometimes we place them on the wall and if the cut is minimal we pass the quick cut blade thru it right there. Have to be straight with your cuts or it will look like chit. Also have to be carefull not to cut into the block under the cap.

    Btw, 1/4" or 3/16" is too much gap. We do our best to keep the gaps tight as possilbe.
  3. neighborguy

    neighborguy LawnSite Member
    Messages: 186

    I measure and cut each one individually. I generally use the handheld cutoff saw. The splitter will only be used on our sites for the end cap to keep the rough look. I like the idea of cutting with the blade in between two caps for the cut to match up. I may have to try that.
  4. STL Ponds and Waterfalls

    STL Ponds and Waterfalls LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,174

    I agree with Zedo, and to add you also have to cut both sides/ends of the cap somtimes to make them flow with the wall.
  5. Venturewest

    Venturewest LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 516

    Thanks for the responses. So if I am understanding correctly you guys use either a hand saw or table masonry saw and cut all necessary blocks so that all gaps on your caps are under 1/8" or 3/16"? Do any of you have any close up pics of similar wall caps? I see so many walls around here where the caps still have the factory mitre and there are the huge gaps on the backside. That is definitely not acceptable on this wall of course. Here is a pic of the wall by the way.

  6. zedosix

    zedosix LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,665

    just a few, thats about as close I have

    bell project 012 (Medium).jpg

    canon 4th download 052 (Medium).jpg

    canon 7th download 007 (Medium).jpg

    eastern 3 062 (Medium).jpg

    Winzer 035.jpg
  7. Venturewest

    Venturewest LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 516

    really nice, thanks for posting those. Do you do a chipped edge on some of those with a chipping hammer after you cut them?

    I think I am going to go buy a chop saw tomorrow with a masonry blade. I have some tear in my elbow and I don't think I can get an accurate cut with a hand cutoff saw.
  8. zedosix

    zedosix LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,665

    this is what you need to cut those caps

    bell project 022 (Medium).jpg
  9. Venturewest

    Venturewest LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 516

    thats a slick set up there. You cannot rent one of those anywhere around here and I don't do enough block or pavers to justify a purchase. I will let you know how the chop saw works. I have been wanting one for metal work anyways. We have tons of masonry crews around here. Every single house here is either natural stone, brick, or a combo. They are so dang busy though. Hard to get them to come do a 2 hour job.

    How long would you say it takes you to cut and glue caps per foot?
  10. zedosix

    zedosix LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,665

    Hmmm, per foot, well each cap is a foot give or take so I would say on a 50' wall it would take one hour approx. if we are using wedge caps that really cuts time down alot because you can play with the caps to eliminate alot of cutting. Since I design all my jobs I can work known radius's into the plan to really eliminate alot of cutting. Now if the job is with straight caps and all the caps need to be cut it would take maybe 3 hours. We've done hundreds of walls, and steps etc., so you kinda get the hang of it after a while.

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