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tbeaulieu 11-05-2010 11:22 AM

Stonedust? Decomposed Granite?

I'm building a rustic ramp for my shed. I made two "walls" from field stone sloping away from the shed and filled in the gap between with rocks and a whole lot of gravel. It's now about 2" or so from the desired height.

What can I cap this with? Stonedust? Decomposed granite? I'm a bit confused by all the terms. I even saw mentiond of a "stabilized decomposed granite", which supposedly hardens. So far, I've only found stonedust locally.

I'm hoping for a packed surface that holds up well. I'll be driving a mower up it.

Thank you!

Daniel Holzman 11-05-2010 11:27 AM

In Massachusetts, the material called "stone dust" is effectively the remains of granite pieces after they go through the crusher to be made into crushed stone for highway base. As such, stonedust includes a relatively high percentage of silt sized material, about 1/3 sand sized material, and the remainder is typically small gravel size. It works well for path material, it hardens when it gets wet, however it is relatively impervious, so do not use it if you need good drainage. It is also prone to frost heave, which is not a problem if you use two inches on top of gravel, but would definitely be a problem if you used it as pavement base.

tbeaulieu 11-05-2010 11:32 AM

Thanks, Daniel. This is just a 6x6 ramp in the back yard, and it's kind of steep, so I'd expect water to run off it anyway. If I got settling/heaving, I assume I could just "fix it" in place, right? Level it out, maybe top it off with more dust?

Daniel Holzman 11-05-2010 01:28 PM

That's all I would do, a little heaving in two inches of dust doesn't amount to much, and you can always regrade it at the start of each season. We just put in a small patio using stone dust and 50-100 lb stones, it worked pretty well. Again, if it heaves a little, we simply readjust the stones.

tbeaulieu 11-05-2010 01:33 PM

Groovy. Thank you again.

I'll grab some stone dust this weekend and finish the ramp that I've been procrastinating on for over a month now out of ignorance.

downunder 11-05-2010 07:54 PM

We've used "gravel dust" on walking tracks and it washes away every time we get a good rain. Whatever you use, ask if it is round versus irregular shaped. Round material is more like small marbles if you think about it and more prone to washing away or being unstable underfoot. Irregular material will lock together and hold better. The best I can offer is to ask your local supplier. Someone who knows what he is talking about should help point you to these characteristics. Since you say your ramp is "kind of steep," I would suggest using something a little heavier.

Have you considered the Sakrete polymeric sand? I have not used this personally, but it is designed for sweeping between the cracks of pavers and then misting down to activate a polymer. Supposed to be more resistant to washing out than regular sand.

Bspreng 06-10-2013 03:40 PM

Mr. Holzman, I see you are located in the Boston area. What is your source for granite stone dust. I'm in eastern NY and having a very difficult time finding it.



tbeaulieu 06-10-2013 03:50 PM

Interesting. Everyone here seems to have stone dust. All the local landscaping yards.

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