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Garno

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So last night Mrs Garno came up with the idea of having an obelisk in the garden. :shock:

So I thought she meant shall we make love and have a BBQ ….. I agreed :?

After apologising to the neighbours and getting dressed, I thought before getting into any more trouble we would discuss it, actually what I mean is I would agree with her whilst she told me what it is she wants.

She would like an obelisk around 7' high with a 2' high dry stone wall surrounding it. The wall would be 5' square or there abouts filled with soil and some spreading plants inside to cover the ground and to hang over the wall, inside the obelisk 2 climbing roses to eventually cover it. The obelisk will be in the center of the pen.

Apparently I have also agreed to build this wall and work out how many stones roughly will be needed. This is for next years garden project as she feels that will give me enough time to source and cost everything.

Anyone have any idea how to plan on making the wall? we are on a very tight budget so it will give us a good idea of how much we need to save up. I have been told I will be building the wall myself so I will be watching a lot of you tube I think as suprise suprise I have never before built one. And yes I will be posting photo's as I go along.

Garno
 

MikeG.

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Dronfield. Derbyshire, I think? Then it's dry stone walls. There are loads of sources of stone in and around the Peak park, so I would simply keep an eye open for those. Pay attention to the "battering" of dry stone retaining walls, too. In other words, the visible face of the walls should slope back from the vertical. You should have a number of through-stones, sticking out into the soil behind, which help hold the whole thing together.

I presume by "obelisk" your wife doesn't actually mean something like Cleopatra's needle........ a shaped stone? I presume she wants something of wrought iron or similar for growing plants up. Because if she wants it of solid stone, then I'd suggest booking yourself in a for a hernia operation now.
 

Garno

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It's a metal one she has spotted with a stupid ball on the top.
Dronfield, Derbyshire you are correct.
Lovely part of the country and the air is so much cleaner than Liverpool and Manchester where we lived in times gone by.
Garno
 

Trainee neophyte

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Obelisk, one, for the use of: http://www.internationalhero.co.uk/o/obelix202.jpg

I'm a Cornish boy, so I use soil in my walls as mortar - Cornish hedges and all that. It will grow stuff, too, so may be a bonus, or a weed haven. Your project manager will tell you which way to go. Dig a shallow trench as footings - a few inches will be fine, probably, unless you live in a swamp.

A few simple tricks: big rocks at the bottom, smaller rocks at the top, will a) look more balanced, and b) stop that incipient hernia.

Every rock knows where it wants to go, so don't force it if it doesn't want to play.

Dressing the stones to get a flat face is cheating, but will probably help: hit it with a lump hammer - takes practice, and not all rocks play the game.

Triangular, wedge shapes are your friend.

Think of it as bricklaying - smallest gaps between stones, and try to keep each course flat/level, and bridge each gap with the middle of a rock on the next course -so easy to say, so hard to do! I shovel soil on top to help level it out and bed in the next course, but in Derbyshire you may well get shot for doing that. Fill in gaps with small, flat pieces, triangular bits, wedges, whatever works to make it look all wall, and no gap.

Finally, do NOT have the top of any stone sloping down and out towards you, because the one on top will slide off/out, and your wall will fall down. Always slope away from you into the centre.

Professional wall builders never put a rock down unused having picked it up - you don't have to play that game.
 

Garno

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Trainee neophyte":3ioimtr3 said:
Obelisk, one, for the use of: http://www.internationalhero.co.uk/o/obelix202.jpg

I'm a Cornish boy, so I use soil in my walls as mortar - Cornish hedges and all that. It will grow stuff, too, so may be a bonus, or a weed haven. Your project manager will tell you which way to go. Dig a shallow trench as footings - a few inches will be fine, probably, unless you live in a swamp.

A few simple tricks: big rocks at the bottom, smaller rocks at the top, will a) look more balanced, and b) stop that incipient hernia.

Every rock knows where it wants to go, so don't force it if it doesn't want to play.

Dressing the stones to get a flat face is cheating, but will probably help: hit it with a lump hammer - takes practice, and not all rocks play the game.

Triangular, wedge shapes are your friend.

Think of it as bricklaying - smallest gaps between stones, and try to keep each course flat/level, and bridge each gap with the middle of a rock on the next course -so easy to say, so hard to do! I shovel soil on top to help level it out and bed in the next course, but in Derbyshire you may well get shot for doing that. Fill in gaps with small, flat pieces, triangular bits, wedges, whatever works to make it look all wall, and no gap.

Finally, do NOT have the top of any stone sloping down and out towards you, because the one on top will slide off/out, and your wall will fall down. Always slope away from you into the centre.

Professional wall builders never put a rock down unused having picked it up - you don't have to play that game.

That great advice,

Thank you very much

Garno
 

Garno

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Inspector":370vrjmi said:
Is you wife flexible enough (likely not :shock: ) to consider the dry laid concrete blocks used for retaining walls and landscaping? It is far easier to work with, source, cost and can look reasonably close to rock. An example. http://www.naturalconcreteproducts.com/ ... ll-blocks/

Pete

Now I do like those,

very heavy at 72lb per block, post man is going to love me :D
Just showed Mrs Garno and she likes them (for now :? )
Thank you
Garno
 

MikeG.

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Inspector":11gpfxs6 said:
Is you wife flexible enough (likely not :shock: ) to consider the dry laid concrete blocks used for retaining walls........
If you do that, I WILL find you. Retribution will be swift and merciless. Destruction will be absolute. You have been warned....

:)
 

Inspector

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There are different block weights depending on who makes them and the height of the wall they are meant to hold back. The fire pits are almost what you are looking for so you could start there.

I'm using the rock on our property to make some basic walls and I can't pick all of them up. I use a dolly or roll them. The rest will get moved by the neighbours skid steer when I have the need. I'd be happy humping 72 pounders :wink: I think. #-o Be mindful of the fingers and toes.
Pete
 

Garno

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MikeG.":39l27bpk said:
Inspector":39l27bpk said:
Is you wife flexible enough (likely not :shock: ) to consider the dry laid concrete blocks used for retaining walls........
If you do that, I WILL find you. Retribution will be swift and merciless. Destruction will be absolute. You have been warned....

:)

They do look nice though :shock:
 

Trevanion

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Be warned, I put up an obelisk back in 2001, damn dirty apes won't stop touching it up!

 

Garno

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Trevanion":1fl75nsb said:
Be warned, I put up an obelisk back in 2001, damn dirty apes won't stop touching it up!


Is that from Charlie and the Chocolate Factory by any chance? :D :D :D
 

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If concrete is a consideration, have you thought of making fake rocks? Hypertufa is fun to work with, pretty forgiving, and looks reasonably life-like (rock-like?).

I made some planters with it last year, and it nearly looks like stone. People also make fake rocks and fake walls with it. https://duckduckgo.com/?q=hypertufa+wal ... &ia=images

Piling rocks one on top of the other is way easier, and much quicker, but some people like concrete. Photo shows the effect, but you can make it more organic and less square if you prefer.
 

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doctor Bob

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Calling bm101, calling bm101....................

this is your chance to show your stone carving skills, not sure Garno wants a frog riding a moped like you did last time but come on.......... this is your moment of glory.
 

Garno

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Trainee neophyte":1z1by5cf said:
If concrete is a consideration, have you thought of making fake rocks? Hypertufa is fun to work with, pretty forgiving, and looks reasonably life-like (rock-like?).

I made some planters with it last year, and it nearly looks like stone. People also make fake rocks and fake walls with it. https://duckduckgo.com/?q=hypertufa+wal ... &ia=images

Piling rocks one on top of the other is way easier, and much quicker, but some people like concrete. Photo shows the effect, but you can make it more organic and less square if you prefer.
I think that looks nice as well,

I am am also noticing the cost going down as well which I like very much :D
 

Garno

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doctor Bob":ybds7nfx said:
Calling bm101, calling bm101....................

this is your chance to show your stone carving skills, not sure Garno wants a frog riding a moped like you did last time but come on.......... this is your moment of glory.

:D :D I remember those images, I also remember stupidly asking what it was supposed to be or something like that, happy days :D :D
 

boardgamer

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I don't know how much metal obelisks cost, but you could probably save a bit by making one yourself. I knocked 4 Metposts in as supports in the corners (to keep the obelisk up out of the ground), and then constructed a vaguely pointy shape using a few laths I had lying around. I needed some corner braces half way up for stability. Feel free to add whatever shape you like at the top.
 

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Bm101

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doctor Bob":dczj5v6w said:
Calling bm101, calling bm101....................

this is your chance to show your stone carving skills, not sure Garno wants a frog riding a moped like you did last time but come on.......... this is your moment of glory.
:wink:

Actually you pair of jokers... I used to build dry stone walls in Snowdonia for a couple of years. I'd tell you all my secrets but you've upset me because I'm very sensitive. So I'm not. :D

Alright. Go on then. A couple of addenda to Trainee Neophyte's excellent post.

The stone you have locally will determine the style of wall. If you are lucky enough to have flattish riven stone you're laughing. Welsh field stone was roundish like small boulders. :| It's a natural talent, some blokes could do it, after a while, just about, but you'd see them pick up rocks and , turn them round, put them down. The best guys looked at the piles,saw the rock among all the other rocks and used it because they had a talent for seeing them stand out. I reckon that's why the pro's don't put a bit down unused tbh. It's just one of those uncanny things. What you are always looking for is the face edge. The bit you will see when the wall is built. everything else can be worked around.

The footing is vital simply because it levels out. Get it flat and don't dig out more than you need to because no sane person over 35 likes digging when it's unnecessary. If you do go deep in places and replace soil try your best to compact it well. Then compact again.

Sort your rock into 2 or 3 sized piles. Really.

Battering as Mike mentions is vital. The guy I learnt from was a fan of marking out with string lines. Then you build a scrap wood frame the dimensions of your finished wall. Then make another. One at either end. When you lay your foundation courses add string lines as you gain height otherwise they will get in the way.
Build your ends up first by 3 or 4 courses and keep some of your best sized stone for these. Get up a few central courses laid up then raise your ends again. Go back to the central lengths. Repeat till you can't stand anymore and go and have a beer or you are finished.

Keep some long rocks to one side, plant these in the wall at intervals across the width to tie it together. All the walling I did at least was based upon the single basic principle that you have two flat faces both at reclining angles so they sit back on each other and gravity does the rest.

If you think for a moment you might possibly be going off course you are. Stop! Walk away for a moment or two. This is vital. Then come back take the offending rock out and throw it to the back of a pile. Maybe the two before that.If you try to recover a flat face it's already too late. Your wall will sag. Might just be cosmetic but you will always see it.

T.Neophyte uses soil because they are heathens in Kernow. :twisted:
People use different things, I always knew it as heartstone. So we would keep all the small bits and use them to wedge the bigger bits, and so on eternally. You kind of end up with a void area in between the two faces of the wall as the lean in on each other but this overegging it a bit. It's not a void. it's lots of irregular small spaces but it does need regular packing out. It's your mortar equivalent. We used slate waste from Bethesda quarry because it was free (also MONSTER Trucks with wheels as big as our flatbed truck used to dump it into the bed. Always a bit nervy .:shock: ) but summat needs to go in there.

I have seen some guys (*whistles) doing walls for domestic projects deliberately leave small bridged spaces in the walls. Generally bridged with slate or summat suitably flat. This dastardly practice allows gardeners and other plant loving types to insert fern plugs and other nefarious plant life into their walls. Just saying it goes on. I know. Shocking. Or painting yoghurt on to promote the growth of lichens. F*** M* Right! Whatever next.

I did a small all slate garden for a motorbike enthusiast in Bethesda once. This was no challenge technically, all the slate was quarry waste and cut square. Like building in grown up grey lego . It was literally like building Lego Batman's garden.
"Any colour as long as it's black or very very dark grey."


If you haven't seen Batmans Lego Movie. Do yourself a favour.

The ferns and so on we added in via this bridging looked the nuts . Just saying. Even made a slate ramp for his batcycle... motorbike...

I have family up there although I'm not fortunate enough to live there anymore. When on the odd (lovely) occasion I drive the A5 I look at all the walls I built. They will be here when I am long gone.

That's me not sharing any advice Garno. That will teach you and Dr Bob for hurting my feelings.
Pair of Monsters.
Regards,
Chris

Edit. Ps:
A dry stone walling story.
Me and Kev, Kev was a local lad, boxer, nice guy, quiet but you know, solid presence. Not easily moved.
We were always working in fairly quiet places. I liked Kev a lot. Older than me and no nonsense. He never lied to you. didn't speak a lot just got on with it. He was your Doberman of human personalities. Top man. Simple priorities. If he growled you stepped back.
One job we worked on was particularly remote. It was one house on a quiet mountain pass that lead to nowhere in particular. You might see 3 cars all day. Kev was at one end me at the other.
It's a beautiful summers day btw. Heaven really when I look back. What would I give for that now? you have to wonder.
Anyway. I digress.
So I glance up I pause. Wtf!
Along this mountain road in the middle of nowhere I see a group of people, 8 strong maybe. All in black suits. Some men, some women. Its like summat from a horror movie.
Ohhh God they are here to kill me I think. It's a cult. I look up at the skies to see if they have their own crows and ravens as familars. No sign. Probably hiding.
Anyway they approach.
I look as menacing as possible.
Hello they say, can we interest you in talking about Jehovas witnesses?

My Jaw drops.

Are you F*****ng winding me up?!?
We are in the middle of nowhere. And they walked here. In black suits. In summer. What the F....!

Ahh. To be honest you are probably a bit late for me I say. I fear my soul is to far gone to be redeemed.
But... And I can see the hope in their eyes at the talk of redeeming souls. The desperation to help an unbeliever.

Mind you I say, I pause, drawing them in. It's odd you have arrived here today.
Why? they chirp in union like jackdaw chicks waiting to be fed.
Well it's odd. I say. See that fella working over there? I gesture at Kev.
Yes they craw, desperate for a victim.
Well. It's odd. See my workmate over there. Hes been talking lately about finding Jesus and God lately. I don't get it. I say
You could have plugged them in at this point and run your house off the static electricity.

Well it's odd.... I hang it out a bit because this is a great distraction from hard graft.
What!?! calls the Hive Mind. They can sense the hunt.

Well. I say. It's odd but go and have a chat.He loves talking to random people and funny enough he's been talking about finding Jeebus lately what with tragically losing his wife.
Can I just say one thing I say. He's nigh on stone deaf so make sure you really shout.
Thanks! says the hive mind.
They walk on with a new invigorated sense of purpose. I sit down to watch from a safe distance... :D
 

Garno

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BM101 that was or is a fantastic post, shame you couldn't offer any advice though :D :D :D
 

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