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Anyone made a 'dry' stone wall?!

(4 Posts)
Erebus Wed 20-Jul-11 14:40:49

I am planning on making 2 structures: one is an actual free standing wall, 75cm long, 35cms high; the other a 25cm high garden retaining wall with garden bed soil abutting it. This will be 2 m long. I want the end effect to look like:

'purbeck random'

so it might not be 'dry' as such but with some retaining mortar.

Anyone done similar? Any tutorials on youtube? And hints and tips?

I've never built small ones like that, but have rebuilt big ones in the countryside as a conservation volunteer. The big ones are actually two walls (one on each side) made of smaller stones with large ones going through from one side to the other at intervals. I don't know if a single layer will be very stable without mortar, the one built as a retainer should be OK as a single layer as it leans against the soil. You will need to have at least one stones depth dug into the ground as foundations, these should be the largest stones, you also need a layer of large ones on top to weigh the whole thing down.

Wikipedia gives a reasonable explanation drystone wall

Have any of the websites that sell the stone got any guides on them?

Erebus Thu 21-Jul-11 08:28:28

Thanks very much. I think I will need to make the actual wall 'double thickness' if you like! Do you sort of construct the 2 'sides' so they lean in towards each other a bit? ie putting the deepest part of the block outermost and the thinner bit towards the middle?

They lean into each other as in using smaller stones as you go up so the sides naturally slope in a bit. Also at intervals you need to use a bigger stone that goes the full width to tie the two sides together, plus big ones for the top layer for the same reason. You fill any gaps in the middle with small stuff. Don't be tempted to use small wedges of stone on the outside of the wall to steady the stones, they will just fall out and leave you with a wobbly wall. Any wedges need to be inside the wall and packed around with other small stuff.

IIRC (and it is at least 15 years since I've done this now) you want the actual tops of the stones flat or sloping down from the middle of the wall slightly so rainwater runs off the wall and doesn't all end up in the middle. Don't know how much this matters on a little garden wall to be honest though.

I used to have this book which was quite useful. book.

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