I know ya'll are probably getting sick of seeing this wall but I'm trying to focus on getting this thing done. They are coming to get the machine this Thursday, so I must get the biggest rocks set. So far, I've just shown general photos but I thought I'd show ya'll more of how I'm building this wall. The level there shows that the wall is not plumb. I'm letting it lean back about 2-3 inches into the bank, just as a general precaution against the bank settling and pushing outward. I don't think these rocks are going anywhere but it never hurts to be a little cautious. I can afford for it to come out a little but it's a major pain in the wahzoo to get it back in.
After I set the first layer of stone and get it situated where I want it, I backfill up level with the rock to give the next rock plenty of support. It's also easier to get a more solid backfilling this way. On a side note, I did not pour a footing under this wall, like I normally might, because it's not that tall and the ground underneath was not disturbed. The stones sit on hard, packed dirt that was never cut into, so I think the chances for settling are minimal.
Since most of the stones are so large, I've had to put a strap on them and lift them into place with the machine. This takes a lot of time when you are working by yourself but that's okay. Here, I have picked this one but couldn't get the strap to tighten correctly, so I had to stick a small stone in there as a spacer, so the larger rock would sit up straight and not fall out of the strap.
Here, I have the rock about where I want it and am lowering it into place. Once it's sitting on the other stones I can move it some with the long spike. I also use the spike to leverage the stone up and pull the strap out. Allen says this is a mighty ambitious project for such a little girl as me. It's not so bad though. It did take me about an hour on each of these two large stones but it is actually fairly easy to swing them into place. Somehow I always pick the right stone too. I've never had to take one down because I couldn't get it to fit right.
Of course, there is always a little filling in to do if you don't cut the stones any and I like to work with their natural shape. Besides, cutting these stones would be a major job! The vertical stone on the left is where this section ends and there will be steps leading up to the house on the other side where the bank is not cut back.
I'm fairly proud of the way this project is turning out. I am going to one of the many stone quarries in town tomorrow to see about buying some precut stones for the steps. If they are not too expensive it would be much easier than pouring concrete steps or something like that.
Ah, yes, and it is now official; I am laid off! Got to call the office tomorrow and see about my vacation time etc. I have over a week's worth of paid vacation and our pay is a week behind, so I'll receive my regular pay for the next two weeks and then go on unemployment. I'm very excited and hope to get so much done. Yea!!! I hear rumors about one or two jobs starting in September and October so I might get on one of those. Or, hell, I might retire and never go back!