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Need Help with Allan Block outside curves...

Discussion in 'Hardscaping' started by thepawnshop, Mar 31, 2006.

  1. thepawnshop

    thepawnshop LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 387

    Ok, I am developing three lots right now where the back yards are DOGS and I am putting two 4' high AllanBlock walls in on all of them to try and get at least a little bit of flat land for swingsets, clubhouses, etc., for a total of 6 walls (plus each lot gets a wall in the front yard as well). I really wanted to curve the ends of the wall back into the bank, but when I got to the second course, it looked terrible on the outside radius. You could see a large gap where the two blocks below met and the "locking lip" is exposed. I followed the instructions for a "sharp turn" from the Ab installation guide but I can not get the wall to look presentable. I have about given up on the radius at this time, but I really think it looks nice with one...the first course sure looked good! On the bottom course, I broke off both of the "wings" and put the blocks flush with each other. Is that too tight a radius to work with on the other courses? Also, for the straight aways, I placed the blocks centered above the two below (split down the middle).

    I am using the 12 degree blocks if that matters.

    Any advice would be greatly appreciated (please don't tell me to buy a different kind of block...I have 600 of them (Grey AB collection) already on the deck).

  2. thepawnshop

    thepawnshop LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 387

    By the way, if you can not tell form my post...this is the first time I have installed a retaining wall...other than those cheap blocks from Lowe's. I really want to learn the art because it can really add character and useability to otherwise hideous lots.
  3. GreenMonster

    GreenMonster LawnSite Silver Member
    from NH
    Messages: 2,702

    12 degree can be tough to curve. It's a steep setback.

    But, on the curves, you can take your blocks, and lay them on their back. Then take the cut-off saw and run the blade down about 1" or so into the lip to make it deeper, thereby allowing you to pull the block closer to the face of the wall. You won't technically have 12 degree on that corner, but it will look better.

    You could also get yourself a couple pallets of Jumbo Juniors (half blocks) to ease your curves.

    If you completely knock off your wings, and then go as tight as you can, you will have trouble as you go higher. Each course higher is really a tigher radius.
  4. thepawnshop

    thepawnshop LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 387

    I went with the 12 degree because they claimed it was "dummy proof"...now I feel dumb as hell..can't even turn a corner!!!!!

    I may just run the damn thing straight and terrace (step down) the ends to keep it simple!
  5. Mike33

    Mike33 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,649

    I build a lot of allen block walls over 100 by now. The 12 degree is not worth crap for a turn. After my first 3 walls i went to the 6 degree and it works very well. Still try not to mke your turns super sharp even with the 6 degree. The 6 is a good all around block i have walls from 2' to 15' just finished 1 today 8'. Remember to geo-grid every 3 courses they will tell you 2 but the reason they are telling this is a lot of people is not compacting like they should and if they say 2 courses of gridding i guess they will comply better. If you went with the 12 degree i think they used to say every 5 courses for gridding , so you wouldnt have to grid as much dont go with that theory use the 6 degree all the time. The 3 degree they offer goes straight up i dont care for them. Please check out my web site if i can be any assistancs please contact me. www.bobcatservice33.com
  6. thepawnshop

    thepawnshop LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 387


    Those pics are AWESOME! you are just showing off, aren't you? Well, you should...looks great.

    Like I said before, for this project I am married to the 12 degree block...I have 600+ of em on the ground. I may seriously keep the walls straight...just to keep my sanity and timelines.

    I need quite a few walls for my personal residence that I am building so I will not aonly take your advice of using 6 degree, but I may ask you a few more questions as well during the course of that never ending project.

    Great website, too!
  7. Mike33

    Mike33 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,649

    If your married to the 12 degree for this job take green monsters advise of what to do with them i agree with his solution. Contact me any time during my busy season i might not be on here much , go to my web site and call me.

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