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How would you finish this wall?

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ABCwarrior

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PostPosted: Wed Nov 16, 2011 11:45 pm Reply with quote




A- with more random boulders....I've run out of decent ones, and calculations mean I need about 10 tonnes to make the 10m circumference.

This would by far look the best, be permanent and maintenance free, but would require a long "shawshank redemption" approach in gathering suitable boulders and bringing them back week/year in year out. Local quarry stone doesn't match this wall, most of which was hand excavated and the best stones kept aside.
B- Dense concrete blocks- 450 should see it done, could keep the semi circle nice and accurate, render it, add some feature holes for plants/lights, taper the boulder wall into it so they look like they merge and a likewise start a small one where the other side ends.

This is the cheapest option, but could either end up looking very good or total dogs dinner...
C- Sleepers concreted in at equal distances around(9 of), with 1.2m battens to bridge between each.

Would look ok but not a continuous curve like the other two, requires digging 9 2ft deep holes in bouldery gravel glacial till, and accurate setting out of each sleeper or could look gash. Potential for rot and replacement problems. Might just look like shuttering.

My heart tells me A is the answer but I'm an impatient sod!!! icon_redface.gif

Any other ideas folks? fire away. The wall as it is took a day to build and the material wasn't graded, it's pretty rounded stuff, not the usual nice split plane stuff you usually see in drystone walls, but I like the idea it came out the ground and was built there...!
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ladylola

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PostPosted: Fri Nov 18, 2011 5:27 pm Reply with quote

As you say the best answer is of course A.
If I was as impatient as yourself then I'd go for the concrete blocks but built with its front in the same line as the back of the stone wall and then it's a case of facing up as and when you have the rock.
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Alarm

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PostPosted: Fri Nov 18, 2011 5:32 pm Reply with quote

Agreed keep it as it is ( nice work).
There was a program on about this the other day and your calculation is spot on.

But that was for a free standing wall, with infill in the middle of the rock faces
so you could get away with 6 tonnes if you used a different backing.
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LooPrEvil

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PostPosted: Fri Nov 18, 2011 6:03 pm Reply with quote

Keep to the same boulders - it is looking a great job ABC, anything else will only detract from the finished appearance
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ABCwarrior

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PostPosted: Fri Nov 18, 2011 6:41 pm Reply with quote

Cheers folks, think I'll need to keep my impatience in check and go for option A.
Ladylola, had considered this too but as a retaining wall and the "roundness" of the boulders the batter is quite severe, so facing it would probably look a bit off?

I've found a supply for maybe 1/4 of it, and it's fairly large sized so what the plan is is to set out the circumference in the biggest sizes, with the longest "tail" going into the wall(not along the face as would give greatest coverage, it's a common dyking rule apparently). I'm also going to go into the trees at the back of the house, there's quite a few features sticking up from the forest litter, will take my pick and pinch-bars and have a dig there- would be good to get 5 or 6 BIG ones to space evenly around the circumference that are on the edges of "movability"...

As well doing it this way- local quarry wants 50 a tonne, I'd need to hand pick it into a pile, it's be dumped at mine in a random pile etc so would need sorted/graded into shapes/sizes prior to starting. I suppose this "shawshank" way means I'm not facing a daunting mountain too! and maybe once I've got going I'll have a much better idea at the remaining quantities.

Quite enjoy dyking, you get really focussed once you start and the eye soon becomes your measuring tape to amazing accuracy!

Thanks too for the positive comments icon_biggrin.gif
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Mrdjc

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PostPosted: Sat Nov 19, 2011 11:13 am Reply with quote

Where did the stone come from in the first place?

Might be possible to dig a borrow pit on your land and screen the material for the boulders, then backfill again, but for 10 tonnes that might be a bit too much work! (Especially with winter coming now, you'd be living in a mud-hole.)
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ABCwarrior

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PostPosted: Sat Nov 19, 2011 5:52 pm Reply with quote

The bottom right picture shows the original line of where the ground was. it ran from the lowest stone at the bottom right corner along past the bench to the grass, so it was a long mound parallel to the house. I started digging out at the lowest end to give a seating area with some shelter and by using a pick and round mouth shovel just got carried away- I kept any useable stones in a pile, most of the glacial till went down the embankment next to the house(behind where this photo was taken) and has widened the embankment considerably(this now needs stabilised with some mechanical/vegetation method).
We had a fella come around to do the tree stump removal at the other side of the house with a huge digger and I still had half of the full height circle to do- ie 6.6m diameter 1m high- 17 cubic metres to dig out, sift through and barrow away. I'd had enough by then so asked him to do it while there. 25 mins work where I'd reckoned 5 days to dig it. Thankfully in this bit there wasn't much good stuff to use at all and it filled a hollow to the back of the circle perfectly. Best hours labour I've ever paid for!!!
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ABCwarrior

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PostPosted: Sat Nov 19, 2011 5:55 pm Reply with quote

In the top left photo if you sight through the big white stone to the white stick to the white stone on the grass in the foreground I hand dug the area to the right...
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Alarm

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PostPosted: Sat Nov 19, 2011 5:58 pm Reply with quote

Where the bench is ?
Or did you mean left?
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ABCwarrior

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PostPosted: Sun Nov 20, 2011 12:04 am Reply with quote

Yeah, looking at the top left photo it's the area
to the right of where the unfinished wall is, where the bench is that I dug by hand?!
One day I'll be bored and sad enough to calculate the volume/weight.... icon_rolleyes.gif
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Alarm

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PostPosted: Sun Nov 20, 2011 12:11 am Reply with quote

lol
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Jamie80

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PostPosted: Wed Nov 23, 2011 2:29 pm Reply with quote

gras with some pebbles area would be nice
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ABCwarrior

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PostPosted: Tue Jan 17, 2012 9:51 pm Reply with quote

Just a wee update, reckon I've got 4-5T of it gathered and dumped near the place. I've gone a bit mental every place I go now I try and get a few stones from! Some are re-used from a mortar based wall but a good size. I'm keeping this up until April/May and will start the build then. I may consider doing a "tip and tail" method and use mortar to stabilise any stones too awkward to do with pinnings. I may also break the dy.....kers rule of the longest tail going into the wall providing the stone still has a good depth and is ultimately stable...My 10T overkill estimate may be reduced and I may keep the existing highest point as it is, which will reduce the amount needed in the middle of the circle.

The "hurricane" of December not only gave me a dozen trees for firewood but some of the huge rootplates in the forest at the back have yielded a few dozen stones which I've levered out with a pinch bar!!

Shawshank!!!
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Mrdjc

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PostPosted: Tue Jan 17, 2012 10:38 pm Reply with quote

I understand they have plenty of stone going for free up near Kyle of Lochalsh on the A890 icon_lol.gif
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ABCwarrior

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PostPosted: Sun Feb 26, 2012 7:51 pm Reply with quote

Thought I'd update this, cos the winter has been non existent I started the job on Friday and have again run out of material halfway up. A neighbour was over though, he has 30 decent boulders (some with decent faces, some totally unsuitable but will make ok coping stones) which I got today, another neighbour has said to pick what ever I can use from their lower garden too so that will be a bonus. Still got a few loads to come up from Perthshire, and I put out a Facebook Blue Peter appeal to anyone local who knows me- had a few responses! Biggest shortage is thin flat ones to even out height discrepancies..
I need to dismantle the end of the original wall and ensure bonding and batter are sorted out to the new part. As anyone can see the original first part is a bit yellowy(the stones are in effect stained with clay) and the second much greyer. This was always going to be the case nothing I can do until it weathers a bit. I don't now want a split level on this second part though- ie grey bottom half in nice angular stuff and a yellowy more rounded boulder look on the top part....You really need to keep standing back and analysing it as you go! Will gather another huge and varied pile so I'm not compromised into cutting corners at the end so to speak...


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