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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
I have started laying the base course now. Please have a look to see if anything wrong there. My dry stack wall will be 2.5' high, 1' wide and 73' long. The base is about 16" wide. you can find more site photos here. The base is a 4" crushed stone layer. There will be a french drain on the hill about 6' from the wall. So water from the hill will be stopped in that french drain. There is another french drain in front of the wall about 2' from the wall. The wall crushed stone base will be connected with this french drain and water will be drained out by the french drain.

Few questions before I continue:
1. should I fill those small gaps/holes with crushed stone or leave them alone?
2. should I use the same or similiar thickness stone for the base course?
3. The base I laid looks good up to now?
4. I found it is very hard to find enough good cap stone for my 73' long wall. is there a way to cut the stone in order to get more good cap stone?
5. Any suggestion/advice?

I will keep post photos here for your inspection. Please help do it right.

thanks
 

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I don't know much about stone work----However that is looking good --solid base and well laid.

I think most folks are at a BBQ-----Mike---
 

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Excellent idea - I love the look of dry stack!

My only suggestions would be to use your largest flattest stones for your footing, and make sure it's wider than your 1st course. It would also be good to slope the footing slightly toward the centre of the wall on any free ends. Back-filling the footing with crusher run shouldn't be necessary, but I don't think it would hurt (I'd tamp it in in well if you do).

Also, save your best (squarest) stones for the corners - stones with rounded edges can easily be anchored in the field using smaller stones to lock them in place, but they're really hard to work with on corners.

Lastly, it would be best to orient oblong stones so that their long axis faces into the wall (probably doesn't matter so much in the base course though).

Edited to add: depending on what sort of rock your working with, you might be able to "cut" slabs for capstone by splitting the rock along natural fractures or cleavage planes (takes a little practice, but easy to do once you get a feel for it). If your working with rock that doesn't split cleanly you could use a large diamond wet saw (foolproof but messy and you're left with a sawed edge to hide), if you have to go this route you might be able to get a local granite counter fabricator to cut it for you (not sure what this would cost, but way cheaper than buying a big wet saw).
 

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Grab a concrete saw to cut the stone. They cost quite a lot though so try a rental store first, shouldn't cost too much to pick one up for a day.
 

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Masonry is something I really admire---perhaps because I have never been very good at.--Mike---
 

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Should I fill in those holes with crushed stone?

Yes, just as you would fill the gaps behind the wall with crushed stone, fill any gaps between the stones with crushed stone. You can also use the rubble, or smaller pieces of stone for filling these gaps. 'Back-building' the wall with rubble and gravel is important, as it will assist in the integrity of the wall.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 · (Edited)
how to use different thickness stone?

If I want to keep adjacent stone level for next course to do 1 over 2 and 2 over 1, I found it will make me build a relatively levelled course. Then I have to use the same or similar thickness stones. My wall is about 73' long. I am worry it will be hard to find similar thickness stone later. Should I always keep adjacent stone level? I know I can use very thick stone to change to a new thickness level but the final result is the same, I think.
 
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