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Dry Stone Walls

 
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Jonnyboy



Joined: 29 Oct 2004
Posts: 23924
Location: under some rain.
PostPosted: Mon Sep 19, 05 8:36 pm    Post subject: Dry Stone Walls  Reply with quote    

Went on a great two day course over the weekend, based in Castle Espie WWT.

We were taught the basics of dry stone walling by a very talented guy, great craic and good people on the course.

I wont give too much away as there is an article in the pipeline (saves you bugging me miss) but it is a beautiful and practical way to secure your land or control stock.

It's a fantastic mix of practical and artistic, you spend a huge amount of time contemplating the wall and thibking how to deal with a particular section or achieve the right look. I found that you almost meditate on things.

I'm looking forward to building a wall on my own, I think it is a very solitary and personal thing to do.

gai



Joined: 31 Dec 2004
Posts: 407
Location: Ireland
PostPosted: Mon Sep 19, 05 10:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

You forgot backbreaking, extremely fustrating when that particular stone you hoisted up into position just doesn't look exactly right and painful when the stone falls back down on your foot (and you neglected to put on your steel toecaps).
But I agree that it is a practical and beautiful method of building a wall. We've got an abundance of stone and turned an ugly, scrubby slope into two terraces for fruit bushes using dry stone retaining walls.

Lloyd



Joined: 24 Jan 2005
Posts: 2699

PostPosted: Mon Sep 19, 05 10:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

It's something I'd love to do again, JB. As a kid I rebuilt the walls around our fields in South Wales that my grandfather had built in the 1940's. I don't have stone on my land now, and suspect the cost of buying it in might prove prohibitive.

Jonnyboy



Joined: 29 Oct 2004
Posts: 23924
Location: under some rain.
PostPosted: Tue Sep 20, 05 6:52 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Yeah, getting a supply of stone at the right price may be tricky. We used a knocked down stone house on the course, but even that is becoming expensive as people build a lot of stone houses here.

A good wall will use about 1.5 tonnes of stone per square metre, so it soon adds up.

cab



Joined: 01 Nov 2004
Posts: 32429

PostPosted: Tue Sep 20, 05 8:08 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

But doesn't a tonne of stones look really, really small?

I think that dry stone walls are marvellus where the material is locally available; the walls you see in the Lakes and up in the Dales are an exquisite way of using what's available locally, in the fields, and in building the walls inhabitants also did a lot to make the fields more workable.

If such stones aren't to hand, I might be tempted to go for alocal style of hedge isntead.

So, Jonnyboy, did you chaps get a nice wall end done?

Jonnyboy



Joined: 29 Oct 2004
Posts: 23924
Location: under some rain.
PostPosted: Tue Sep 20, 05 9:21 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

er, yes but just the one. We didn't get as far as right angles. Really please with the work we did though. The stone wasn't great, mainly sandstone and basalt, but I was rather chuffed.

Have some great pics as well, did a few in sepia for effect, will look good in an article.

Lozzie



Joined: 25 May 2005
Posts: 2595

PostPosted: Tue Sep 20, 05 10:43 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Too late for you now JohnnyBoy, but I remember you asking in another thread about steel toe-capped boots - well, Aldi will be selling Ssafety shoes from 22nd September price 14.99 - might be handy for someone else to know about!

JB



Joined: 08 Jun 2005
Posts: 7748
Location: 91 N
PostPosted: Tue Sep 20, 05 10:46 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

So where, if at all, did you get steel toe cap boots? I remember seeing the rigger boots but they seemed over the top in both protection and price.

Blue Peter



Joined: 21 Mar 2005
Posts: 2400
Location: Milton Keynes
PostPosted: Tue Sep 20, 05 10:47 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Jonnyboy wrote:
Yeah, getting a supply of stone at the right price may be tricky. We used a knocked down stone house on the course, but even that is becoming expensive as people build a lot of stone houses here.

A good wall will use about 1.5 tonnes of stone per square metre, so it soon adds up.



And how long does it take to do, say, a metre of wall (presumably at roughly 1 metre in height)?


Peter.

Jonnyboy



Joined: 29 Oct 2004
Posts: 23924
Location: under some rain.
PostPosted: Tue Sep 20, 05 10:50 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Hard to say as you go in courses rather than in blocks, so you would do a long row and then build up. Plus I was working in a team.

I'm going to build some at my place, so should have a better idea on how well a beginner can do then.

Lozzie



Joined: 25 May 2005
Posts: 2595

PostPosted: Tue Sep 20, 05 2:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

JB wrote:
So where, if at all, did you get steel toe cap boots? I remember seeing the rigger boots but they seemed over the top in both protection and price.


These are the aldo ones -


cab



Joined: 01 Nov 2004
Posts: 32429

PostPosted: Tue Sep 20, 05 2:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Blue Peter wrote:

And how long does it take to do, say, a metre of wall (presumably at roughly 1 metre in height)?


If you're average to good, you might get that much done in a day.

dougal



Joined: 15 Jan 2005
Posts: 7184
Location: South Kent
PostPosted: Tue Sep 20, 05 4:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Lozzie wrote:
Too late for you now JohnnyBoy, but I remember you asking in another thread about steel toe-capped boots - well, Aldi will be selling Ssafety shoes from 22nd September price 14.99 - might be handy for someone else to know about!


And yes, from time to time Lidl also offer protective shoes and boots...

gai



Joined: 31 Dec 2004
Posts: 407
Location: Ireland
PostPosted: Tue Sep 20, 05 5:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

The painful foot I was referring to was mine not Jonnyboy's. I'm sure he was well prepared and remembered to put on his steel toecaps.
My boots are army surplus, got them about 5 years ago for about 10 quid. They are worn almost every day and still look nearly new when I can be bothered to clean them. They've stayed waterproof too.

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