Dry Stone Wall Construction : 4 Basic Rules~ Ancient And True

  1. Lay one stone over two, lay two stones over one (a.k.a. “covering the joints” ).
  2. Lay the length of the stone going in to the wall. (Think stacking firewood)
  3. Lay the stone level.
  4. Pack hearting from the inside – underneath & in between .

More Dry Stone Construction Essentials

  1. Lay one stone and pack that stone.
  2. Lay 5 stones, step back and look.
  3. Do not use the wall as a table on which to cut, shape & hammer stone.
  4. Lay the stone to the string line.
  5. Raise the string line as you build ~ according to the thickness of stone – never build above the string line .
This is a freestanding wall being built which offers an “exploded” view . I took this photo from above – while standing on the wall. The steel re-rods are sloping inwards towards the wall and driven into earth . This sloping inwards expresses the “batter”. In the case of this freestanding wall the ratio is a 8:1. This means that for every 8″ of vertical rise, the wall becomes narrower on each side by 1″ . The paired wooden cross frames on top are clamped together . With a curved wall such as this , a string line is utterly impossible to use . The white tubing used establishes the curved wall’s building line. Several tie stones spanning the full wall width are visible . Note significant “length in ” of building stones and the smaller hearting material in the middle of the wall cavity . The tubing became rather cumbersome (and as a more or less “virtual stringline” is actually inaccurate) , thus I removed it and used a tool known as an “inclinometer” to gauge batter for setting stones.

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