Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Second try at dry stack retaining wall

Sean and Matt hope you will comment.

Dig some stones out of a hole. This hole will be used to make an underground dome water tank. Some parts of my land has this rock a meter down.

Then you get a pile of rock. These are not the greatest, too roundish, but what i have. Costs me about $6 per m2

Elia is a mason we brought in to speed things up. He did this wall. he gets better as we go left.

As requested some side shots.

For the cap I expect some dirt and grass will hold the back few pieces in place.  Along the edge are big flat pieces.

From the other end of the wall where it is shorter.
And the last part being built,  the stones left are smaller.  Lots of ruble put behind.
 Some detail of the top pieces.


  1. In my mind all stone walls look nice as does this one . That said a photo from the end would be helpful to size the wall up better. It appears that the wall leans into the embankment well (called batter) which is very good. I generally like to have the wall lean into the bank about 2 inches per foot of rise. More doesn't hurt.
    Also the width or thickness of a wall this height should be at least 1 and a 1/2 to 2 feet at the base and 1 foot at the top. This allows good water drainage behind the wall and helps prevent the soil from pushing the wall out. I use my worst looking stones to pack in behind the face stones. Does this help? Keep up the good work.

    1. Thanks Ches, yes it helps. I have added in this same post the requested shots.

  2. Hey Erik, that's a great price for stone anywhere you go. The wall looks pretty good for a second try. I see some running joints, try to avoid those...think brick bonding, 1 over 2 as much as you can. There are a few stones that are sloped forward too...try to find the face that works with the batter.

    Every wall is a learning opportunity, and nobody has ever built a perfect wall!

  3. I like it. Tough stone to drywall with..not many flat ones. The only real comment I would make is that most of the interior should look like the top course does. Dirt and loose rubble shift and don't hold up as well. The 2 sides of the wall should be working with the heart material against each other to keep it together. If the hearting can move, the wall can move. In your climate (arid?) it will probably be fine

  4. Just noticed your updated post and the new photos look great. I can see much more of the wall now and I really like the work. The stone looks very difficult to work with but the allure of stone is that it sets the ground rules. The style is used all over the world where ever there is stone and I refer to it as random ruble. I like the stones laid into the wall across the span as they make for a durable wall and the ones in the second and third photos from the bottom even drops down the further into the wall it goes. Good technique! Isn't it great to take what could be a liability and create an asset? It is always interesting to see the work that is being done around your place.