Thursday, October 15, 2009

Rockin': Repairing a section of the existing wall

It took me two or three days to get the repair done on the first section of existing wall. Most of the time, I did not bring the camera out to the job site until the end of the day (sensitive electronics/optics don't mix that well with dirt, roots, and heavy stones), so the pictures I'm posting here were usually taken in the late afternoon/early evening after I had taken my shower.

Here's what things looked like on the second day:

End of day 3

I spent a part of the day fixing the capstones that weren't level on the existing wall. I hope you agree that it looks much nicer now. I think it does. I was feeling pretty good about how the repair work was proceeding. I estimated that I would finish this section the next day. Here's what it looked like from the west (corn field) side of the wall:

End of the second day

Most dry stone walls just have a bunch of rubble thrown in between the two parallel walls. I like to fit the stones as tightly as possible. Here's a closer look; you can see how I have Tetrised the inside of the wall. I figure it will last longer that way:

Detail of the wall repair

Just as I thought, I was able to get the section of wall finished the next day.


As much as I wanted to get going on building the new wall, I derive an intense amount of satisfaction from repairing something that looked so beat up and broken down. If you look closely at the stones, you can see which ones have been on the wall for a long time (the sound sections of wall at both ends of the photo) and the new ones I put in (they don't have any moss or lichen on them and are somewhat dirtier). One thing I really like is that even though I know which parts are which, I still have to look fairly closely to distinguish the sections.

While I was doing the repair, I spent a lot of time pulling roots out of the soil on both sides of the wall. Look to the right in the photo above and you'll see the pile of roots I took out of the ground. Most of that is bittersweet. I can see why the Corps of Engineers used it for erosion control.

While the repair was going on, I had staked out the spot where the trench was to be dug. When I drove East from Lake Forest Park, I brought all the wall building tools I would need; a rock hammer (actually a brick hammer, but I use it mostly for rock), an 800' roll of mason's twine, and a line level (an aluminum cylinder with a level glass inside it and two hooks on top so you can hang it from a line). That all fit in one very small box. I found some stakes in the workshop at the farm and pounded them in where I wanted them to go.

New section lined out

Because the wall was going to be about 24" wide, the lines are about 36" apart; you should have about 6 inches of gravel on either side of the wall for a firm footing. I'm going to write about the building process in another post.


Nardpants said...

Wow! You have been super busy in posting. Way to go Dad! I can't wait to see pictures of your new work. Also, did your suitcase come yet?

RoboDad said...

Yes, it arrived on Wednesday, October 14 at 11:47 p.m. almost 2 days after I arrived in Rhode Island.

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About Me

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I'm currently 60 years old. I currently work as the learning management system specialist for American University of Madaba in Madaba, Jordan. I was originally certified as a high-school English teacher and taught school for 13 years (1 year of substituting, 1 year of 7th grade, 2 years of a combined 5th, 6th, 7th grade, 9 years of 8th grade). I've worked for hardware and software companies for the past 23 years doing training, training materials development, certification test development and other education related stuff. My wife and I have raised four children to adulthood; some of them live at home at the moment, but that won't last (they're too independent for that). We live at home with 2 Golden Retrievers, 2 black cats, a crazy cat, and, during the winter, 70,000 coho salmon.