Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Stepping Stone

First thing this morning I was off to the quarry to find some stone for my steps. I hated to spend much but any alternative, such as concrete, would have cost much more, so sometimes you just gotta bite the bullet. So, I ended up buying around 3 tons of stone and, with delivery charges, it was about $300. Not horrible and the guy was real nice to let me run around and pick out each stone. Of course, I was picking through the drop, so it was stuff they didn't care much about anyway. Normal cut stone would have been much more.
Drop is what is left from breaks and cuts etc. The scrap, basically. Aren't the colors in this one beautiful. You know, these things didn't look that big out in their yard but when they slid off the truck into my drive I had to think, "what the heck have I gotten myself into this time". These things are huge. I know a lot of you say, 'wow, you do so much' and 'I can't believe you do that' and stuff but it's not that I'm all that, it's more like, "holy crap, I just bought $300 worth of stone. I've got to do something with it!"
So, you just start setting the things. I eyeballed where I wanted them to go and leveled a place in the dirt. The boards under there are just so I can pull those straps out and then I wedge up the stone with a Burke bar and pull the dunnage out. Kind of a pain but it's just what you got to do. At times, I had a 20 lb. pry bar in each hand, prying the pry bars out! I made sure this first step was set as best I could and, amazingly enough, it set perfectly level with very little adjustment.
This is actually the third step. The first one is pretty much buried at this point from digging out the successively higher steps and the dirt rolling down. I set these about the same as the rocks for the wall in that I filled in behind the stones as I went up.
This photo is kinda crappy but basically you can see what I've got so far. The stones are all almost exactly 7" thick, which is perfect stair riser height. Due to the fact the front edges are not cut and kinda wavy, the run of the steps is between 12" (standard) and 14". Actually, I think 11" may be code but anyway, I thought this dimension felt right. They climb very comfortably. I set one more step after this photo so I have 5 up and one more to go. It started to rain slightly on me but it actually felt good. Cooled things off some.
I'll try to get some better photos tomorrow. I almost forgot to take any today, I got so caught up in what I was doing.
Now, it's bed time. I'm really tired for some reason.



Erin from Iowa said...

It kind of cracks me up how involved I am getting in this project!! What went through my mind is how much money (A LOT) you are saving by doing this yourself.

Anonymous said...

Going great guns there ER, and as always with your projects, it's looking stunning

Floridacracker said...

Dang, no wonder you were pooped out.
It looks great by the way.

Anonymous said...


Things are looking good there, makes you appreciate how people must have done it without machinery!

Ronnie has about finished the cabin he was building, even built his own chimney out of stone. He's working on a rock wall now, told me he loves working with stone more than wood.

Looks like I'll have a job until the end of November, slight chance it'll roll into next year. I'm like you, have so much to do on my cabin but this "working for a living" gets in the way of having fun!!

Take care,


edifice rex said...

Hey Erin! Oh, I could probably black in the other half of the house for what somebody would charge to build all this.

Hey Molly! thank you!

Hey FC! yeah, really. thanks!

Hey Barry! thanks! yeah, Ronnie showed me a few pictures of what he's building. Looked great! I really like stone work too. Tell him I tried to call that man he gave me the number for but the number was either disconnected or 'the person was not accepting calls'.
Glad to hear your job is lasting longer. Ya'll take care too and have fun!

countrypeapie said...

Holy crap -- that looks awesome, Annie! Would love to walk up and down them sometime soon.

Ed Abbey said...

I'm coming to understand how you got your 'guns' that were pictured awhile back.

Woody said...

I haven't checked in on you in a few days. The great wall of Annie is progressing very well.

Island Rider said...

Did you save that rainbow stone for last?

edifice rex said...

Hey Pea! Thanks! I thought they came out pretty good too!
well, ya'll will have to come out soon and maybe we'll roast some hotdogs and have a beer or something and run up and down the steps!

Hey Ed! yup!

Hey Woody! thanks! they will probably bury me near it soon! lol!

Hey IR! Because it was the biggest (longest) it is first, but you can still see most of it.