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Old 03-11-2009, 07:59 AM   #16
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Stone wall problem with mortar


You can't adhere those stone, they have to be stacked.

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Old 03-11-2009, 02:17 PM   #17
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Stone wall problem with mortar


Follow-up,
I am using Portland Type N masonry cement purchased at Lowes. 80 lb bag. My sand mix was masonry sand. My mix is half of the recomended for the hole bag because I could only work that much before it started to set up. 1 shovel of mortar 3 shovels of sand, machine mix about pancake consisty. When I was setting the stones it was always dry weather and I covered the area for 1-2 days to keep the elements off the wall. I'm doing the job at home in West TN. area. Thanks for continuing to discuss my situation.

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Originally Posted by concretemasonry View Post
bob -

I assume he was using a Type N masonry cement (that you add cement to to make mortar meeting the ASTM C270 spec for mortar) and not a "Type N Portland cement" that does not exist. You may be confused with a pre-proportioned bagged Type N mortar mix that you do not add sand to.

If that is the case, he slightly under-sanded the mix according to the specs.

Just a guess and a clarification on terms -

Without knowing the location and climate, it is easy to make the mistake of looking at air temperature instead of the temperature of the materials that really controls what happens.

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Old 03-11-2009, 03:01 PM   #18
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Stone wall problem with mortar


Webrus, it doesn't matter what you are using, although Type N is the correct mortar. You have to set those stones in a mortar bed and tie them to the wall with metal ties, not attempt to stick them to the wall like faux stone.

Edit-There is no such thing as Type N Portland Cement. There is Type N Masonry Cement, and there is Portland Cement Type I, II, III, or H (and a few other specialized ones). You may have a portland cement/lime MORTAR blended to Type N, though.
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Old 03-13-2009, 11:41 AM   #19
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Stone wall problem with mortar


I have contemplated on finishing up a stack stone project where my Mason has left off...I have never mixed mortar and have never laid stone, but am a very quick study usually and quick learner....1st question tho is the mortar mix...I have the beach sand, have the portland cement, and have the water for sure...As I am reading and as I understand it...you mix 3 parts sand (meaning 3 shovels?) to 1 part cement(1 94lb bag) and mix in water (2-3 gallons?)...as I have watched this mason set the rock for the past 8 weeks now he built a box to manually mix this concoction instead of using the wheel barrel for this project....I'm not at all worried about breaking the stones for the completed arrangement....I just want to be sure it STAYS once I am done....any suggestions and/or comments are welcomed...Thanks
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Old 03-13-2009, 01:00 PM   #20
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Stone wall problem with mortar


The proportion is by volume: 1 five gallon bucket of cement, 3 - 5 gallon buckets of sand, for example.
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Old 03-13-2009, 04:47 PM   #21
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Stone wall problem with mortar


Tscar is correct sticking the natural stone to a wall is not a good idea. I did see someone do it before. I am not sure how long it lasted though. The guy was sticking shims in between the stone as he went then went back and pointed it all in.
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Old 03-16-2009, 04:53 AM   #22
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Stone wall problem with mortar


You had several problems make your job go awry.

First, the temperature probably did play a role, if it gets too cold before your mud sets, then it weakens. If it gets cold enough to freeze, then your mortar will get really dark and will crumble.

Second, you cannot adhere river rock to a wall, they are too smooth and heavy for this. You have to lay them in a bed, and stack them, using mortar between and behind every stone along the way. Thy are not cultured stone, so you can't simply adhere them and grout the joints later.

Third, wall ties! You can buy them for a penny a piece at any harware store, and use alot of them!

Fourth, check the lime content of the mortar your using.

Fifth, use alot of mortar. Although finished jobs don't look it, natural stone requires alot of mortar, properly cleaned up ("struck" and brushed) afterward.

Sixth, you can only stack so high in one session. Because of the weight of the stone, after four or five courses, you have to stop for a while to allow your mortar to set a bit. Then come back when the mortar is more set (but still workable) and clean the joints of what you just laid. Then wait a bit longer, and you can go back and start laying more courses on top of that.

You shouldn't have a problem if all this is done properly.
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Old 01-06-2010, 09:06 AM   #23
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Stone wall problem with mortar


I wanted to follow up on my problem with the stones not holding to the wall. I ended up getting them on and they have worked out. Now granted I'm not a mason but I did get them to work. The stones that did fall off I took some F26 and put them back on. It did take a few day to put them all back but it did work. I filled in the mortar around them and they worked good. It didn't turn out exactly like I wanted but the wife said she was happy. I was wanting tighter joints. I should have went with the Faux stone. But 300 feet of wall 3 ft high, minus the cinder block cost. Cost me under $200 and a lot of time. The stones were all free. So here are a few finished photos I took last night. Almost a year later.
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Stone wall problem with mortar-january-2010-005.jpg   Stone wall problem with mortar-january-2010-006.jpg   Stone wall problem with mortar-january-2010-007.jpg  

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