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Old 05-18-2012, 08:05 PM   #46
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The Big Dig! (redoing a retaining wall around my driveway)


I guess I could cut a little notch out of the back corners... I would like to have it as flush as possible.

I actually forgot to ask my biggest question!! So according to my versalock design specifications, they want me to lay down 2" of the drainage aggregate at grade level and then the drainpipe goes on top of that, with more gravel obviously. My drain area is going to be ~12 inches wide. How am I going to compact that though? Wouldnt the plate compactor crush the pipe if there are only a few inches on top of it? The pipe i have if plastic with a nylon sock over it.

I definitely want the two inches underneath, because it will allow me to have a smooth steady slope from top to bottom. The gravel/dirt that is back there right now is a little uneven.

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Old 05-18-2012, 08:16 PM   #47
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The Big Dig! (redoing a retaining wall around my driveway)


Put your 2" of stone in,grade it for fall,lay pipe and cover with stone,no compaction on the stone is needed.
When you start backfilling with dirt you"ll want to bring the stone up with the dirt in one foot lifts,then tamp the dirt,it won't hurt to run onto the stone if you must,however make sure you have a foot of stone on it first.
Even then don't hit the stone too hard there is no need to and you run the risk of adding deflection to your pipe. You may want to silt sock your pipe too.
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Old 05-21-2012, 08:29 AM   #48
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The Big Dig! (redoing a retaining wall around my driveway)


So I did some block modification yesterday to fit in that area of concrete over-pour on page 3, and it proved difficult to make look as seamless as I would like. It is only going to get harder as I go up the wall, also.

I had a thought today (wish I thought of this yesterday!). I have a decent corded drill and think I have some masonry bits (if not, I can buy some). I feel like if I drill holes and then chisel between the holes, I can remove a lot of material that way, without cutting blocks and without renting a cutoff saw for any extra days other than "cap day".

Lots done these past few days, but I worked into the night and didn't get to upload the pictures. Will get on that after work today.

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Old 05-21-2012, 04:04 PM   #49
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The Big Dig! (redoing a retaining wall around my driveway)


You are going to need a hammer drill,it sucks not having the right tools,I am spoiled,what ever I need that I don't have I can get from work.
Our little "Macho" demo hammer/drill would make short work of that.
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Old 05-22-2012, 07:17 AM   #50
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The Big Dig! (redoing a retaining wall around my driveway)


More photos!

So here it is with 2 inches of gravel all the way around. Please note, the drain pipe doesn't go upgrade at the end by the sidewalk, I just had a few blocks there that I was playing around with to see how the end of the wall would look. With how my driveway slopes, I have about 18 inches of drop that I was able to get nice and smooth with the drain gravel for my pipe.


This is the end of the day sunday, we had been working like hell on that stupid concrete, and my wife couldn't take any decent shots because of all the dust in the air!


Monday Morning, on my way out:


This part of the wall just needs caps now!!! Woohoo!
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Old 05-22-2012, 09:01 AM   #51
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The Big Dig! (redoing a retaining wall around my driveway)


Looks good! Just in time for another round of showers..... at least the 2nd half of the week should be good for you.
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Old 05-22-2012, 09:09 AM   #52
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The Big Dig! (redoing a retaining wall around my driveway)


Looks like fun! What is taking so long?

:p
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Old 05-22-2012, 11:20 AM   #53
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The Big Dig! (redoing a retaining wall around my driveway)


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Originally Posted by no1hustler View Post
Looks like fun! What is taking so long?

:p
haha in all honesty I wanted to get another course of blocks filled in yesterday, but the concrete destruction on the high end has really slowed me down. I spent a few hours on sunday and few yesterday.

My plan worked though, I found some non hammer masonry drill bits, and have made it about 3/4ths of the way thru, so hopefully I finish that up after work today (weather permitting, not trying to electrocute myself haha). its awful and tedious, but I am already over budget, so doing stuff like this makes it easier to put money into the project when I REALLY need it.

I think this weekend will be a big one, I have all day thursday and friday, and most of sunday and monday. Wish me luck!
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Old 05-22-2012, 01:25 PM   #54
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The Big Dig! (redoing a retaining wall around my driveway)


Wow this looks like a ton of work, especially since you started with hand digging. Yikes!

Can't wait to see the wall when it's all done, it's looking really good so far.
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Old 05-22-2012, 05:45 PM   #55
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The Big Dig! (redoing a retaining wall around my driveway)


Looks like good construction,good job on the back fill.
You may want to cut the one half block back to make it flush with the rest of the wall.
You could taper a swale at the end of your wall to aid in drainage control.
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Old 05-23-2012, 07:34 AM   #56
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The Big Dig! (redoing a retaining wall around my driveway)


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You could taper a swale at the end of your wall to aid in drainage control.
I don't really know what that means...

So from swale I got this...
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Swale_%28landform%29

So inferring that you are talking about some kind of landform that will move water...

I plan having about 2-3 inches or so across 6 feet sloping down towards the wall all the way around it, to direct water into the drainage aggregate and pipe. With that, and the natural slope of the land that goes down from north to south (along the long side of the wall), water will not be able to pool anywhere. From what I am reading, that should be sufficient.

Regarding the end by the sidewalk I actually have that overhang of a 1/2 block on purpose. I plan on filling in that gaping hole with a few quarry rocks I have left over from the old wall, I think it will look ok because there are actually a few left over built right into the concrete wall that this wall butts up against. I just can't get in there until I am done because all my blocks waiting to be put up are right there.

I did, however, purchase a circular saw and a masonry blade on amazon yesterday (early fathers day present to myself haha), so if need be I can cut blocks smoothly now.

Also, I beat the concrete overpour last night! Will post pics today or tomorrow.

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Old 05-23-2012, 03:51 PM   #57
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The Big Dig! (redoing a retaining wall around my driveway)


Forget my post then it you are putting rocks in there,that is what I was talking about.
Looks good though.
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Old 05-24-2012, 07:42 PM   #58
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The Big Dig! (redoing a retaining wall around my driveway)


Got up @ 6:30 AM to get started, and just got inside an hour ago. Lots of progress!!

First of all, here is the the concrete I absolutely BEASTED (lol) on monday and tuesday nights. A Ryobi Drill, Vermont American Masonry Carbide Drill bits, a 4lb mallet and a mason's chisel was what I had to work with at the time, so it was time consuming, but I am stubborn S.O.B., and wanted to show it could be done by hand. I believe there is a shot on page 3 of the before, but I will post it again anyway...

and after


Heres my first round on geogrid. Easy stuff to work with, it pins down for Versalok between the pins that align the blocks, and on the back end I used wooden stakes. From what i read once everything is compacted the geogrid is using the soil to hold in place, not the stakes, so I specifically used wooden ones with the expectation of them to rot.


Heres a few shots of where we stand at the end of the day today. I really like how its coming together, and I am starting to get my backyard back!!!






I ran out of blocks today, but my supplier admitted they made a miscalculation, and offered me free shipping on the revised block count. Harkens Garden Center, you rock!


I did decide to splurge on a circular saw, I went with a 5840 Skil 13 amp 7.25 inch, I picked up a masonry blade as well. That came today, and it cut up a few blocks no problem. That will make Cap Day MUCH easier, as I won't be rushing due to the rental time limit on the gas saw I was planning on getting.

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Old 05-24-2012, 07:59 PM   #59
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The Big Dig! (redoing a retaining wall around my driveway)


You could just terris (bench) your fill back from you wall and forget buying the extra block,then taper it up after about four feet.
Looking at the one shot you have I think it would look good,be safer (height=falls) and save you money.
Looks good
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Old 05-24-2012, 09:03 PM   #60
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The Big Dig! (redoing a retaining wall around my driveway)


Just to be sure, you do realize you need to compact the soil/granular material that you place over the grid IF you're placing another layer or two of grid over it, right?

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