Help for a new waller

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Help for a new waller

Postby Steaming North » Tue Mar 24, 2009 9:30 pm

Now then all,

I have recently started walling (with other wallers and a bit of tuition etc.) and have been told that I'm quite good and that I'll make a good waller. The problem is now I've started on my own (i.e. walling without someone on the other side of the wall) I seem to be thinking about everything so much and going really quite slow because of it (swapping stones, trying to make it look perfect etc.). This obviously makes me get very frustrated and lose a lot of my self confidence.

I don't think it helps that my first "solo" wall was on a fairly steep hill (I hadn't walled on a hill before) and I struggled to get into any kind of flow because I felt I was constantly trying to get over the bottom stones.

Anyway, I've started a new wall, paid by the metre not the hour as a bit of an incentive just to "Slap it up" (bosses words (by the way he's very understanding and is trying to help me any way he can)). The gap was about 2 metres when I got there. I pulled it out and just stood back to see how much more needed to be taken down when the wall did all the hard work for me. This has left me with about a 4 metre gap and I'm wondering whether I should take another metre and a half out (seeing as the wall has fallen down in this direction. It would have been three and a half metres away and not worth it if it hadn't fallen down). The reason I think I might do this is that there is a large hole near the bottom about a metre from the end of the wall, and opposite but about 2-3 courses higher on the other side is a similar hole - you can see through the wall if you look diagonally down at it.

Anyway I'll try and post some photos. If it works I'll post again to explain them.

Finally, any advice to get me and my confidence going again?

Cheers

Joe
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Re: Help for a new waller

Postby Steaming North » Tue Mar 24, 2009 9:39 pm

Image

Image

Image

Image
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Re: Help for a new waller

Postby Steaming North » Tue Mar 24, 2009 9:44 pm

Me again. The third photo's the important one.

On the rhs is where had fallen that I pulled out, in the middle is the next bit then took itself down and on the extreme left is the hole near the bottom I'm worried about.

In the final photo is as far as I got yesterday with it. Decided to do it in two or three hits (smaller gaps look less daunting).

Joe
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Re: Help for a new waller

Postby Tracey B » Tue Mar 24, 2009 9:48 pm

Joe. First, a question. Are you going to get paid to rebuild everything you strip out, or only for the original 2 metre gap?
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Re: Help for a new waller

Postby Steaming North » Tue Mar 24, 2009 10:01 pm

Everything.

They like every job to be done in 5 minutes but they'd rather something was done properly. This is one of many many gaps they have for me to do "in my spare time".
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Re: Help for a new waller

Postby Tracey B » Tue Mar 24, 2009 10:47 pm

Then I reckon u should maybe strip out as far as the hole so long as you will be paid for the extra length. U r right, I think it looks a bit dodgy. Good luck. Got to go to bed now, we start early. But will get back to you again. Cheers.
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Re: Help for a new waller

Postby stonewaller » Wed Mar 25, 2009 11:31 am

Looking at the first photo the top of the wall on the right looks to be leaning a metre or so back. So when you strip out to the hole you'll then end up needing to strip a bit more! It's always the way! Just don't forget a wall has 2 sides.

Whilst most of my work is still on farms I rarely gap these days, as far as I'm concerned a gap normally starts at the beginning of the wall and goes to it's end. A few years back the National Park had identified a wall for gapping (around 100 square metres) on the farm I spend my winters on. 3 years and 500 square metres later I finished 'the gap'.

I always point out to people that unless I do the whole wall I don't want to know if anything near a gap I'd repaired falls down as it's more likely to be the fault of the wall than me! I also don't like it as word gets around, you worked on a wall, a bit of the wall later came down, as far as the gossips are concerned it had to be a bit you built. I also hate trees for this very reason (and not the fact I was a woodland manger before I became a full-time waller), not that they gossip, just a tree within 100 yards of a wall can have a deterious effect. Well that's my excuse anyway.

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Re: Help for a new waller

Postby Tracey B » Wed Mar 25, 2009 6:38 pm

Well as usual I agree with you Sean on all points. But I would have to say that from your lofty perch as a Master Craftsman, you are better placed than most of us further down the pecking order to 'say no to gapping'. Alot of wallers started out this way and cannot necessarily be choosers, work is, after all, work. But you are soooo right, there is NEVER a good place to conclude stripping out (apart from at the end of the wall).
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Re: Help for a new waller

Postby david perry » Wed Mar 25, 2009 7:23 pm

Much better you take care and get a good reputation which is hard to loose than take shortcuts and get a bad reputation which is hard to loose.

Speed comes with practice. So does the ability to know when the wall you are building/repairing is; 'Good Enough'. The need of a farm wall are likely to be different from what you would do if you were doing an entrance wall next to a road. Most people would take much greater care, in terms of appearance when building an entrance.
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Re: Help for a new waller

Postby jim scott » Wed Mar 25, 2009 7:38 pm

Hi,My theory is.",If in doubt,strip it out",for if you leave a bit of dyke in that is a wee bit dodgy,It will come down,and bring a bit of the new wall down,which does not do anything for your reputation,after all, your are being paid to complete a proper repair on the wall
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Re: Help for a new waller

Postby Steaming North » Wed Mar 25, 2009 11:16 pm

To All,

Thanks for the response. As far as reputation goes I'm not walling for anyone other than my boss who's gone along the lines of "Don't think about whether it's right or wrong, slap it up and I'll let you know". To be fair, I've landed on my feet.

As for the wall, I told my boss what the situation is and he's going to have look at what he wants to do. At the end of the day it's his wall. I said that if time permits it wants pulling out but it really depends how much "spare time" I get.

Anyway, here's progress (sorry about the poor quality).

Image

As I say, my boss is a farmer and a good waller so fully understands the problems and why a 2m gap turns into a 5m gap.

Joe
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Re: Help for a new waller

Postby Steaming North » Thu Mar 26, 2009 8:46 pm

Just an up date. The boss has been and had a look and is happy with what I've done so far and has marked the "thruff" where the wall is to come down to...it's past the hole I was worried about.
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Re: Help for a new waller

Postby jerryg » Tue Mar 31, 2009 4:08 pm

After a bit of experience you'll work out whether a client wants a job doing "minimalistically" (ie least work therefore cheapest) or "thoroughly" (properly done to your own satisfaction).

You always want the client to accept your quote based on a "thoroughly" good job and try avoid those "minimalistic" types.
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