Retaining Wall Block?

Discussion in 'Landscape Architecture and Design' started by Mowman, Dec 1, 2001.

  1. Mowman

    Mowman LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 553

    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.

  2. Stonehenge

    Stonehenge LawnSite Bronze Member
    from Midwest
    Messages: 1,276

    If you're building a retaining wall, staggering the seams does more than looks'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.
  3. Alan

    Alan Member
    Messages: 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.
  4. neighborguy

    neighborguy LawnSite Member
    Messages: 186

    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.
  5. greens1

    greens1 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 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

    SCAPEASAURUSREX LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 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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