Stone Work, Stone Walls, Stone Buildings

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Stone Work, Stone Walls, Stone Buildings

Postby pa_friendly_guy » Mon Oct 15, 2012 2:52 pm

I love stone, I love stone walls, I love to work with stone. Stone is permanant, stone lasts, stone is natural, stone is beautiful. I don't think I have ever seem an ugly stone wall, granted, some stone work looks better than others, but in my mind all stone work is beautiful. I have posted some pictures of a stone wall that my Mother and Dad and I laid up in the 1990's at another place on this Forum, but to get this topic started I will post it again with some other stone work here on my property. To enlarge the pictures just click on them, if you click a 2nd time after that they will get larger still.

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I have been sifting rocks from my garden for years and have used the larger stones to lay up a dry retaining wall for the rest of the loose stones. The stone is very soft sand stone and will not last long expossed to the freezing, wind etc. but it serves a useful purpose, and it gets rid of the stones.

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I am not an artist when it comes to building stone walls, but I do have an eye for what will fit in that hole.

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I am blessed to have some old stone work on the place. 11 acres of my land was once a park build by the Government in the 1930's. There is a stone pavillion, several stone fireplaces and a stone wall that were all build by the NYA in the mid 30's. The date on the pavilion is 1937. The NYA stands for National Youth Administration, it was like WPA or the CCC and put kids to work in the great depression.

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The pavilion had a slate roof held up by old barn beams on it when I bought the place . A large pine tree fell on it and smashed 1/2 the roof down. I had a back hoe take down the other 1/2 for safety. My sons still enjoy haveing fires there with friends and maybe playing Beer Pong and enjoying nature.

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This is part of the old retaining wall the NYA built. Most of it is still in very good shape, I took this picture to show what tree roots can do to a wall over time.
I have made a couple more small stone walls here and there around the place, I will try and take some pictures when the sun is out. I started this thread so that people can post pictures of stone work from their areas and talk about how to lay stone, cut stone, work with stone in various projects.
Last edited by pa_friendly_guy on Wed Oct 31, 2012 3:12 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Stone Work, Stone Walls, Stone Buildings

Postby pa_friendly_guy » Mon Oct 15, 2012 3:13 pm

I have watched a video on you tube about building a stone wall with slip forms. This method was developed by Frank Lloyd Wright when he build his school in Ar. He was big on using local matterials but the stone in his area was volcanic and could not be cut so he developed the slip form method of building stone walls and beams. Here is a video about the process.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IIuVcvXzlZA

I thought this video was very informative and gave alot of helpful tips.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xRK8qCMt0GQ

Here is another one that talks about the whole process of building a house useing slip form stone work. I think the house came out well. I think it is hard to tell that the stones were not laid up individually with this process. It would seem to me that the slip form method would be alot less work. I have never used it, but I have laid stones by hand, and this looks like alot less work, ;)
Last edited by pa_friendly_guy on Mon Nov 05, 2012 1:03 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Stone Work, Stone Walls, Stone Buildings

Postby pa_friendly_guy » Mon Oct 15, 2012 4:36 pm

My next door neighbor loves stone work as much as I do. He built his house himself back in the 1970's. Tore an old barn down and used the beams for the main suppots and paneled the inside with the old barn siding. His kitchen counter top is an old bowling alley. The out side was cement block because it was cheap and he had no money. I mention these facts just because I wanted to let you know that recyling building projects are not new, :lol: He wanted a stone fire place. So he went to an old guy who was considered to be the best stone mason in the county and asked to work with him for a summer. Cub said he didn't need any help. Don said I want to learn from you and you do not have to pay me, I want to learn how to work stone. Let me apprintice for 2 weeks. Cub said it won't take 2 weeks, I will know in 2 days if you have an eye or not. Cub was talking about being able to see if that stone will fit into that space in a wall or not, and also the ability to look at a stone and see which way the grain runs so that you can cut it easily. Cub is a cantancerous old fellow, and Don does not always work well with others, it was a match made in heaven, :lol: Don made the 2 weeks, and that was about all. He built his own fire place and stoned it. The project came out beautiful. He had Cub come many years later and build a stone retaining wall along his driveway. Here is a picture of it.

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Since that time Don was able to buy the stone in an old barn foundation that stood at the end of our road. He got 22 Tri Axil Dumptruck loads [ About 120 tons of rock ] He had them dumped in the woods behind his house. He did not have a real plan on what to do with all of those stones, he just felt they were a good buy, and if you have the stones you can find projects for them. A friend of his was taking the 50 cent tour and admired the stone wall that Don had paid to have built, she said it would be nice to extend it around the back of the house to tie things together. The back of his place was unused and not land scaped at the time. So he used some of the big stone to build a stone retaining wall around back. here is a picture of it.

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He also made some steps in the wall [ I wonder where he got that ideas?? ]

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He lives on the same steep hill that I am on but his land is cleared so he gets a view. He decided to build some stone wall terraces on the way to his middle garden [ the one 1/2 way down the hill, Don has 3 gardens, the kitchen garden, the middle garden down some steps from the deck, and the large lower garden for corn, potatos etc. ]
He is working on those walls not. They are just laid up dry and he wants to plant vineing crops like squash on the flat area he has created.
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There are still alot of stone left for future project, both large and small. He has started to sort the piles some.

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He has done alot of work, most of it by himself on the house, he has made a very beautiful spot there. Here is his kitchen garden.

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He uses stone where ever he can. It will Last, the stone way by the Kitchen Garden was made so that he can haul in firewood and stay out of the mud. That area was very muddy befor he put in the stone area.
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Re: Stone Work, Stone Walls, Stone Buildings

Postby pa_friendly_guy » Sun Nov 04, 2012 1:57 pm

There are a number of Great videos showing how to split large stones with Feather & wedge tools. You drill a line of holes in the stone, not through the stone, just as deep as the length of the wedge you are useing. Then with a relatively small hammer [ 1 to 2 lbs ] you tap the metal wedges. It is amazing how a very large stone can be split with this method. here is a video showing the process.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cTyFfKgy ... re=related

Here is another video, there are alot of videos that show this and similar processes for cutting stone.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cBMcMGBh ... re=related

If English is not your 1st launguage here is one in spanish I believe. It shows the same process but cuts a round boulder instead of a slab of granit.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hsbzQkwE ... re=related
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Re: Stone Work, Stone Walls, Stone Buildings

Postby Lollykoko » Fri Nov 09, 2012 3:32 am

Interesting videos, Guy. The slipform stone building technique looks like something I might be interested in for the south facing window wall.
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Re: Stone Work, Stone Walls, Stone Buildings

Postby boo » Sun Nov 11, 2012 12:38 pm

Thanks for sharing pa_friendly_guy......I love stone too.
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Re: Stone Work, Stone Walls, Stone Buildings

Postby pa_friendly_guy » Fri Jan 11, 2013 9:20 pm

Here is a video about cutting and shaping fairly thin flag stones, up to 3 inches thick. Most people are pretty intimidated when it comes to cutting stone, especially if they have never done it before. This guy makes it look easy, and he only used basic tools that we all own.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cA1Lta0iBhA
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Re: Stone Work, Stone Walls, Stone Buildings

Postby pa_friendly_guy » Fri Jan 11, 2013 9:57 pm

This is a practical how to video about making a stone retaining wall. Part of the wall is laid up dry, some is mortared in place. It also shows how to clean up the mortar joints which is very important and will greatly effect the look of your final product.


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uIoDa_NgTBY
Never doubt that a small group of dedicated people can change the world, indeed it is the only thing that ever has.
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