Dry-stack Stone Wall

Modern Pioneer - - Set In Stone -

I love dry-stack stone walls. They’re rus­tic, beau­ti­ful, tra­di­tional and func­tional. The most im­por­tant thing is to an­gle the wall back into the bank. With ev­ery level you build, sim­ply place the stone about 1 to 2 inches back from the edge be­low. When you’re done, the wall will an­gle back­wards into the bank. Use longer, nar­rower rocks as dead­men to strengthen the wall.

Place the nar­row face of the rock out and the long sec­tion back into the bank. Ad­di­tion­ally, stag­ger the joints in the wall so they don’t align di­rectly on top of each other. These three things will strengthen the wall.

The key to a beau­ti­ful dry-stack wall is keep­ing the joints sym­met­ri­cal and small. Use the nat­u­ral shape of the rock to de­ter­mine which hole to put it in. How­ever, al­most ev­ery rock will be imperfect and need trim­ming. I use a ma­sonry chisel and a Sk­il­saw with a di­a­mond blade to ma­nip­u­late the stone. Don’t make any cuts that will be vis­i­ble on the fin­ished wall. Be care­ful, but you’ll have to use the Sk­il­saw cre­atively to cut and grind off parts of the rocks to shape them for the wall.

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