Pennsylvania Drystack Stone Wall In Progress

Penn Wall step down – Shepherd Stoneworks

We are currently working on a relatively large-scale project in West Seattle that, among several other features and a full landscape design/install, includes this Dry Stack Stone Wall made of a mix of Pennsylvania Split-Face Ledgestone and some Chilton Limestone pieces.  This gives you an idea of the behind-the-scenes structural work that goes on with our walls.

In addition to having perforated drainline and filter fabric behind the wall, all of the backfill is done with various sizes of scrap rock and larger crushed rock pieces (this process is referred to as “hearting” in the drystone world).  This ensures that there is considerable mass behind the face of the wall which also drains well and is impervious to long-term sedimentary damage.

I’m happy with how the corner turned out here – I wanted to make a 45° turn by using stones that already have that angle, and it’s coming along nicely.

The wall will be 24″ tall when complete and the capping will consist of the same material, carefully placed and fit to make a square, level top.

In the foreground you can see our new Husqvarna electric cutoff saw – I can’t tell you how happy I was to find this machine after suffering through the insane amount of noise made by the more common gas-powered models.  And it weighs about a third less, making my lower back so very appreciative.

There are some slab stairs made of snapped Pennsylvania Bluestone Risers.  They provide access to the upper terrace which will be a hangout area for a very large St. Bernard that lives there.  To the left of the stairs is this little curved section that gracefully  allows optimum access to a doorway while leaving enough room behind for an Italian Cypress.

One more shot here shows the right leg of the wall, the top of which will step down every few feet to follow the sloping grade.

It’s a long, slow process, but building a drystack stone wall is a very satisfying experience.  (Especially when it is finished!)

by Mark Shepherd

(206) 618-0558

Bringing the finest in Stone Masonry to the Greater Seattle Area.

Natural stone walls, patios, steps and rockery of all sizes.

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