How do i achieve the dry stone walling effect

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How do i achieve the dry stone walling effect

Postby LSASPINALL » Thu Aug 21, 2008 2:57 pm

Firstly i need to throw the whole principle of a dry stone wall out of the window and mortar the stone together. I work for an architects firm in Nottingham currently designing student accomodation. The entrances were intended to stand out by using a Gabion Wall to the surrounds. I do not like the cheap looking effect and would prefer a random effect and love the traditional look of a Dry Stone Wall.
Though the wall will not be structural it must be mortered together for obvious health and safety reasons. i realise this may defy the point but would still like to achieve a similar effect.
My question(s) is:
Do you know any suppliers (Idealy local to Nottingham / Midlands)?
Do you know any installers that can achieve the same effect?
I want the stone to have a sandstone finish or similar light colour.
Also, by doing the wall this way will i completly loose the random and protruding look of a natural dry stone wall?

Lee.
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Postby Tracey B » Thu Aug 21, 2008 8:09 pm

Hi Lee. Would it not be an option to build a chunky standard dry stone wall then just mortar on the cope (top) stones realy firmly? They don't have to be half rounds. Flat copes 16" wide look great and achieve good contact particularly when put on a thickish bed of cement. It would take a very determined student armed with tools to displace them. Otherwise you will have to put cement into the middle of the wall so that it is invisible if done well. Check out the Professional Register on the Homepage of this site for wallers local to you and seek advice.
Well done for avoiding the gabions and keep the faith!
Good luck.
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Postby LSASPINALL » Fri Aug 22, 2008 3:35 pm

Thanks for your reply Tracey, i like the idea of the 16" Flat Cope particularly as there will be a Steel channel sitting on top of the wall, visually seperating the wall from the Render finish above. I do think were gonna have to mortar the whole thing together though, kids will be kids and will enevitably try to remove some of the looser looking stones. I've looked into it a little more and think as long as we can get an experienced person who can achieve a quality finish it will look good. It wont look like a traditional Dry Stone wall but if we get the balance of mortar right we may achieve somthing new with that random look.
At least it will be inspired by the Dry Stone Wall.
Thanks again, Lee.
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Postby stonedyker@talk21.com » Fri Aug 22, 2008 9:37 pm

Lee,
What you are asking for is readily available and is indeed part of our built heritage. If you look at any old stone and lime building the main features of drystone work still apply. The stones are laid so that there are no running joints and the main strength of the building depends on stone to stone contact. The mortar is acting to seal the spaces between the stones and is a small proportion of the mass of the wall.

In masonry buildings the stones are usually often more uniform in shape but in many it is the corner stones and those around the windows and other openings which are the only ones which are shaped, the rest of the construction consists of random stonework, very similar to drystone.

It should be perfectly possible to achieve a drystone effect using mortar, simply by buttering the tails of the stones with mortar, inside the structure where the stones reach in from both sides of the structure, and not visible from the outside.

I reckon there are many 'drystone' pillars which are actually mortared in the middle but the mortar is well hidden.

I would recommend looking at any old farmhouse, especially those where a wall has split or been partly demolished. You will see how the principles of drystone work apply and how the mortar adds to the strength of the structure but the structure is not dependant on the mortar.

By using mortar you need not lose the 'random and protruding effect' though even with this effect there is a surprising amount of regularity.

Most drystone workers should be able to apply their skills to the mortared world, indeed some masonry firms ask that their apprentices go through a drystone course to ensure that they fully understand the importance of proper placement of stone.
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Postby david perry » Mon Aug 25, 2008 4:04 pm

Building walls to look like they are drystone walls but using mortar is common here. All modern houses and many entrance ways have cement as a mortar here. It is easily achieved.

I simply lay the stones in place and put the mortar at the back, out of sight. The trick to ensure invisibility of the mortar is make sure each stone is placed as you would on each other stone in exactly the same way as a normal drystone wall. However you don't need to use pinning stones at the back or middle, you simply add a blob of cement at the back. You can shovel it in if you wish and simply push the stones into it.

We use about 5:1 sand/cement ratio but keep the mix dryish. About the same dryness as a crumble (as in rubharb crumble) - If you can't make rubharb crumble then the mix should not wet your hands or stain them when you try to make a snowball of it. If you grab a handful and drop it, it should not look like cow claps - it should simply disintegrate on hitting the ground. If its too wet - like you might use for brickwork, then water will leak out with pressure and stain the front of the stones.

If your very fussy then after a couple of hours you can get a 1" paintbrush and wipe any mortar that has (and it will) become too visible. Or, get a stiff broom and give the face a swish.

Here this effect is know as a 'dry wall'. And here is an example. The only clue is the wall is rather narrow.

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You've convinced me

Postby LSASPINALL » Thu Aug 28, 2008 11:22 am

Cheers for the feedback. you've made me confident it can work aswell as being practicle and safe. The search is now on for the right installer and supplier. The services directory on this site seems a good place to start, keep a look out Chettles Yard Student Accomodation on the riverside in Nottingham. All goes well it should feature several Dry Stone Wall Features to the entrances.
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hidden bed walling

Postby alan devonport » Mon Sep 01, 2008 4:15 pm

Lee,

What you are after is easily acheivable, as it is the same as a conventional wet stone wall. However, where wet stone would be backed off, you keep the length of the dry stone into the wall and this will key in the stone.
As David says, any reasonable waller should be able to build what you are looking for. I have built several hidden bed walls that have a concrete block to the back, here in south yorkshire, and with regards to its stability, I have just built a dry stone effect wall in a beck, that WILL retain the water should the floods of last year happen again. GOD FORBID....

Alan.
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Re: How do i achieve the dry stone walling effect

Postby sg66 » Wed Jul 01, 2009 11:45 am

have found a site that sells the stone http://selectmaterialscom.moonfruit.com ... 4255319but what about the baskets, who is the best company?
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