Stone Project Pics

Discussion in 'Hardscaping' started by akerr, Feb 15, 2006.

  1. akerr

    akerr LawnSite Member
    Messages: 92

    These are some pictures of a stone project we started at the end of November. The project is on an 800 acre century farm that dates back to 1827. Our client is the grandson of the founder of the farm. We started during November collecting the stone for the project on the farm. There are numerous old logging roads and trails all over the farm that we travel searching for talus slopes of stone and large rock out cropping. The wall is a dry laid face but solid with mortar and stone. The top will be capped with stone and have a mortar joint to prevent water from entering the wall. The wall has two breaks one for the main set of steps and another for a small three foot gate entrance. Each end of the wall will be scribed into a large rock out cropping, which we have already started on one side. Our hold up right now is corners, we have not found many. Our ratio of collecting to laying stone is 1:1, which might surprise people. One day of collecting equal a day of good laying, you can try to stretch it out but you start staring at the same stone that did not work before. I will post some more pics





  2. sheshovel

    sheshovel LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,112

    Very nicely done and thanks for the background info too makes it much more interesting.Great looking work you have done there.Thanks for posting the pics!
  3. akerr

    akerr LawnSite Member
    Messages: 92

    We will be replacing the timber steps with slabs of west virginia sandstone which are the same size as the existing steps. One of the pics is of my boss bring a tractor bucket loaded with rock we collected off the mountain. There have been some scary situation with the tractor on the old logging trails that are really rough and steep. I stand on the back of the tractor on a woods blade for ballast, which is not that much extra weight.





  4. cgland

    cgland LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,929

    Nice work! Did you pour a concrete footer? DO you just mortar to the footer? Looks great! I love natural stone work and really respect those that can do it well.........................except for marcus!

  5. akerr

    akerr LawnSite Member
    Messages: 92

    Here are two more pictures. The short section of wall that a large slab stone that is bearing on the ground and projecting on a angle through the wall. We had to set that stone with one of the farm tractors because the kubota couldn't handle it. The farm manger used a 70 horse power new holland and he guessed the stone was about 2000 lbs. We chained the stone a third of the way down it this allowed it to dangle. We put a strap on the of end and directed it into position, it worked out pretty well. My boss has been doing stone work for years by himself and he is hardcore oldschool. We mix the mortar by hand in a mixing boat to ensure the mix is perfect. We collect all the stone by hand and we cut everything with handtools. The only power tool we use is a hand held grinder for super fragile stones that need just a little fine tuning. Hope the pictures are enjoyed.


  6. akerr

    akerr LawnSite Member
    Messages: 92

    I know some people might not like what they hear about the footer, but here it is. We had a backhoe come in and dig below the frost line and hit pockets of solid rock. We put in about three inches of 57's and compacted it. We then put two lines of draintile one on each side of the wall, releaving at both ends. We then filled with 57's and laid a course of eight inch block and cover with 57's. We mortared all the keys of the block and filled cores with mortar roughly every four feet. We then put a bed of mud on the block and laid our stone. We were never going to pour a footer but when we hit the rock out cropping in the ground it re-enforced our reasoning. There is no way we will see temperatures in the state of virginia that would move that wall. It is a solid mass of stone.
  7. PurpHaze

    PurpHaze LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,496

    Nice pictures and a good looking project.
  8. bigviclbi

    bigviclbi LawnSite Senior Member
    from nj
    Messages: 900

  9. neversatisfiedj

    neversatisfiedj LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,028

    That is truely an art. Looks good. Too many people doing the prefab stone work now days, its good to see some old fashioned mason work !
  10. akerr

    akerr LawnSite Member
    Messages: 92

    Thanks for the positive feedback. We live in Rappahannock county and this farm is in Sperryville which is right below the Blue Ridge Parkway(Sky Line Drive) We are on the other side of the Shennadoah Valley. If you go over the range of mountains you see in the distances in one of the photos you will be in the valley. It is a beautiful place to work and live.

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