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Monday, May 17, 2010

Learning to Build a Dry Stack Wall

While in Missouri for Mother’s Day, Himself and I took on a project for my Dad. We learned to build a dry stack stone wall. 

Dad had hired someone who said they had experience in building stone walls. Yeah right. It didn’t take too long before a section fell down. Dad has just recently had heart surgery so he couldn’t fix it himself as he normally would.  That is where we jumped in. Building a dry stack wall is on my “to do” list for our house, so being able to have Dad teach us was a great opportunity!

It didn’t take too long after we started to see why the section had fallen...the base stones were all slanted – and even worse, slanted to the outside. As Himself poked around on the stones it was obvious that more areas were going to come down. And soon!

Next thing Dad knew, Himself was ripping down more and more areas. Then he started digging in a new base. After watching a bit, Dad decided the best thing would be to pour a concrete footer to set the base stones on (the yard has a pretty decent slope). So now I learned out to mix up ‘Quickcrete’. Easy!

Over the next few days we worked on the wall. Himself did the heavy work of digging and moving stones. I selected each stone to be placed in and put the small ‘chinks’ in place to fill gaps.

We didn’t get the whole wall done (having no idea it would evolve into such a large job we hadn’t allotted enough time), but we did fix the areas that would have fallen (about half of the wall). Another quarter of the wall is low and I will do that when I go home sometime in June. The final 25% is a higher area that you can’t see from the road and Himself will finish that when he gets home from his next trip.

Now I’m looking around MY yard for places I might want to put in a wall…

I don’t have a lot of photos, as it’s not a good place for a camera to be where big rocks are being flung about!

Before AND After!  Left is the portion we'll redo later and the right is what we did.

Building supplies.

Placing a cap stone.

Close up of the wall.  This one isn't going anywhere!


  1. What a win-win; you got to help your dad and learn how to do something at the same time. That wall looks like it will be there for decades!

  2. You did a great job!
    The First Sergeant is talented when ic comes to building dry stack stone walls, he's built all the ones we have around the garden, and oh how I love them.
    It's hard work, and if you don't don't know what you are doing, it won't last long, but if you do, it'll be there for centuries.
    Thanks for showing us your hard work !

  3. It's beautiful. I've always love the look of a stone wall.

  4. That's so cool! Great job. I love learning new stuff like that.

  5. It looks marvelous! I like it. Rob (that would be my husband) built stone walls around our old yard, one of which encircled an area we never could get anything much to grow in, so it always look rather scorched.

    We referred to it as "The UFO Landing site."

    So that's what I thought when I saw the pictures, "Oh...Teri's building a UFO landing site!" but thought I'd better explain why it is that I would think that.

    Nice landing site you have there! Nice of you to help your dad, too.

  6. That is one good looking wall! It's like putting a puzzle together with 20 lb pieces! LOL Great work-out and it's beautiful!

  7. Oh it looks fabulous Teri! I bet it makes your Dad feel good to have it done right too. Very nice. ~Lili


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