walling 101

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walling 101

Postby waller 69 » Tue Nov 02, 2010 9:29 pm

i was tempted to do this from the start but i thought i had better ease myself in a bit first. unless you know all about walling or should i say you know it all this will make a better waller of you. one hell of a boast but heres the deal: we all chip in!!! we start at the bottom and work our way to the top[ sound familiar]. i could,t care less if this goes in a thousand directions[ though an re and a different post may help]. we all have our opinions and we can all learn something. i require one reply [honest reply] to any point or post i make here and i will do my very best to explain but i need EVERYONE else to do the same. Right i started this so here goes: excluding the exceptions, a dry stone wall is built straight on top of soil because its the only way it will tighten up properly......[yes i know this could be a bucket of worms, i saw tips and tricks, 4 pages on lines and profiles for Christ sake??]
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Re: walling 101

Postby waller 69 » Tue Nov 02, 2010 10:05 pm

bhutcheon1 has already had a look and not replied, i may have to sweaten the deal.Ok if you are sizeing your stone before you wall a proper waller will be sat at home long before you are finished. to size stone in your head is both the hardest and most important thing to walling fast. bhutcheon1 i am not picking on you i believe at this moment as a regular here you are composing a reply :) :)
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Re: walling 101

Postby Tracey B » Tue Nov 02, 2010 10:10 pm

One of the best projects I was ever involved with was a sheepfold built on top of tarmac, which although I found surprising at the time gave a brilliant firm, level base and the wall is as good as ever 9 years later. Sean Adcock reckons that a well built wall will not settle as much as people often assume and sees a potential benefit from building onto a concrete footing.
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Re: walling 101

Postby waller 69 » Tue Nov 02, 2010 10:26 pm

i will elaborate if you wish. a metre of wall weighs about a ton, resting on soil [sound i hope] there will be an amount of settlement this tightens the wall i rest my case but i am open to discusion as this site says..
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Re: walling 101

Postby jerryg » Tue Nov 02, 2010 10:46 pm

I agree to a certain extent that walls don't settle much but what does happen is that the earth moves up to make it look like the wall is settling down. This is best shown by what happens to stones when a wall falls down, in next to no time the ground smothers them up. And then as we all know it all has to be dug out again :cry: On walls that cross steep mountain sides the top side of the wall gradually creeps down over time and fills up the space above the wall.


As for concrete foundations I think it is very important that the footings of these mountain walls must have been dug into the hillside to give them stability. If you just come along with your helicopter :x (well how else are you going to get it there?) and lay your concrete footing in, what stops the hillside later coming down to sweep your proper stone footings off the concrete and off down the hill? Unless of course you stick your footings to the concrete with mortar and that sort of defeats the object if we are here to discuss the fine art of dry stone walling and not to cheat and use mortar as the feeling takes you.

And how do you build a wall across a bog hillsides in the rain, how on earth are you going to get your concrete to stay where its at?

No the place for concrete footings is for mortar wallers.
When I talked to stonewaller about his advocacy for concrete footings I knew he was only pulling my leg about it when he said the concrete had to be wet when he laid his footings in it. :lol: :lol:
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Re: walling 101

Postby Tracey B » Tue Nov 02, 2010 10:54 pm

But waller 69, the wall can settle on tarmac, just not the footings......A firm foundation can only be good.
Jerry I think we are talking kind of theoretically here, no one is suggesting that all dry stone walls should be built onto concrete.
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Re: walling 101

Postby waller 69 » Tue Nov 02, 2010 10:56 pm

jerry do you ever go back to check you walls after six months or so? i do the walls i build straight to soil have no loose stones, walls may be built of an inanimate substance but are a living thing,they adjust and settle to there enviroment.....dont get me wrong there is a time and a place for concrete, anyone who as put the spade in and found clay etc.. will know that but dry is best......
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Re: walling 101

Postby waller 69 » Wed Nov 03, 2010 4:09 pm

i have done a couple over tarmac and to be honest of the modern materials we could wall over i have to rate it very high. its flat, sound and usually very grippy. and i completely agree with you when you say it settles down as well. takes a little longer maybe but thats the only real drawback i can think of....
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Re: walling 101

Postby IOANDOYLE » Wed Nov 03, 2010 9:45 pm

Hi there, i am new to this forum. very interesting by the way! in reply to walling on tarmac- what stone type were you guys walling on it? just wandering with the footings having to totally rely on friction to keep from slipping out. Guessing to treating it as walling over level bedrock. Would it be possible to wall on a steep tarmacked hill???

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Re: walling 101

Postby Tracey B » Thu Nov 04, 2010 6:31 am

Sandstone, and no because you couldn't step the courses into the hill.
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Re: walling 101

Postby waller 69 » Fri Nov 05, 2010 5:37 pm

Firstly as you are new hello IOANDOYLE, secondly thankyou for bringing up several interesting points. footings and friction, to me is very important, i was taught to dig in to find sound ground to work from, also to give myself a reasonably flat surface to work from but also to set the base stones into something and so to reduce the chance of the base spreading, may be total tosh but its worked for me for nearly 30 years so!!! gradiants and walling, where do i start? a wall following natural slopes can be a beauty to behold, in the wrong place at the wrong time a carcrash. i have always set up by eye and adjusted my walling to suit the surroundings, i step my footings when i feel i should , i follow natural contours when i feel it is right to do so. the problem i have especialy when i try to teach or advise someone is that i do this in my head, maybe a common sense aproach or is that unfair to a newcomer[ i dont mean you ioadoyle you could have been doing this as long as i have] help here from other members, have you a straight forward, simple if you like method of explaining this???? by the way TraceyB was totaly correct thats a carcrash.....there is a way over it though..
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Re: walling 101

Postby waller 69 » Fri Nov 05, 2010 6:14 pm

by the way Jerry i have read your reply a couple of times now and i am starting to think we are closely related , these points i share with dad all the time. i try to learn from those who went before me all the time, i dont see concrete..... :) :)
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Re: walling 101

Postby waller 69 » Fri Nov 05, 2010 7:15 pm

i thought this would take off a lot faster than it as, so another one for the newcomer: try not to concentrate so hard on the next stone,think a little outside the box, the stone may not be quite right against the stone you just layed but if you flip it it may be better,if not, does it fit agianst another course? dont think 2d try to think 3d, sounds simple eh, you would be amazed how many times we see this.......
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Re: walling 101

Postby jerryg » Sat Nov 06, 2010 8:49 pm

Don't know what your stones like waller 69 as I've never been to Cotswolds, though my mum may have done so in the past if you say we are related :!: but if you turn a lot of our stone upside down to get it to fit, it'll be the wrong way up with regards to batter.

If your stone is parallelogram shaped and you place it on upside down then the walla t that point will be too wide unless you lay the stone back farther into the wall and then the face'll look wrong.

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Regards using string line, I sometimes use it for footings and occasionally use it to get my coping at the right height, but I still have no use for batter frames. To my mind (and eye) if you have got your footings in the right place then the batter comes naturally to me. I find that maybe if you use flat faced quarried stones all the time and not our lovely round waterworn boulders or roughly fractured higgledypiggly limestones and volcanics then you might get used to using a string. I was brought up not using strings and I guess that's the way I'll stay.

Here's a question for you, if you are building a wall across a steep slope where the lower side of the wall is 2.5 metres high and uphill side of the wall is 1.4 metres high, do you put the same batter on each side? I build walls like this regularly and we don't use scaffolding
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Re: walling 101

Postby waller 69 » Sat Nov 06, 2010 9:48 pm

as far as the relations bit, a couple of things you put in your reply sounded like my dad and brothers comments. perhaps we are just coming to the same conclusions who knows :) most of the stone i wall with is thin with a fairly neutral face so it doesn,t hurt if i flip it over, sorry if i have caused any confusion and you are correct with your top scetch in showing the flaw in what i said. if i get wallers like your top ones that are perfect upside down i tend to dress it back the right way if its hard enough to take the dressing. i will answer your question in the morning if thats ok..
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