Monday, September 2, 2013

Getting There . . .

Another stormy humid day, with drizzle in the morning but thunderstorms at noon that sent me inside. We got three quarters of an inch of rain from the passing storm. That's an inch between yesterday and today!

Before the storm rolled in I got more stone work done. It's going better. I'm getting there. I'm starting to like what I see.

I moved the heart, but the stone right next to it looks funny. The edge is broken and it distracts from the whole look. Am I being too persnickety about a rough stacked wall? Am I?

Because I am constantly reworking what I build, I can't get the hang of mortaring stones in the back for support. That would mean I'd have to commit to the placement of at least two stones. I can't commit to any two, I need to move everything around.

But I'm getting there.

The heart will definitely have to be held in with mortar. Jim has backfilled the whole wall with a lot of crushed gravel, and we may be ready to start committing to gluing some of the wobbly tippy construction together at points where it won't be seen. Then fill with dirt.

Then cap the top somehow. Commit and cap.

What I am not certain about yet is the section to the left of the heart. It seems too uneven compared to the right side and I don't think finding the perfect level capstones will change that. But is it worth reworking that side?

The whole span looks ok from a distance and that is how it will be seen.

The right side will angle down into the corner under the spruce. I can't get a clean vertical edge there so maybe I can stair-step a few small stones to angle it, then cover the edge with mulch.

Some lessons learned so far:
  1. Yoga pants are softer material at the knee than jeans, so the skin doesn't rub so raw inside the kneepads. And they are cooler and lighter in wet conditions. Wear yoga pants, not jeans.
  2. You don't have to stagger every stone. It looks better if you do, and the wall is stronger, but there is no way. Some will have to stack on top of each other and form vertical seams.
  3. You have to use the mortar. You have to commit to at least a few stones and stick them together to avoid the constant wobblies that I am dealing with.
  4. You can break stones if some are too large or you can't find the right size. Use the sledgehammer.
I'm getting there.

What a learning experience.