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Old 08-02-2014, 06:57 PM   #676
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Re: biggerboat's building boondoggle blog

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Never heard of it. The benefit of sand is that it lets the stones float, and when the walk inevitably gets a bit wavy over the years, you just pop up some stones and re-level the sand. Something that hardens seems counterproductive to me.
After a little more googling I found it's called polymeric sand. For me the advantage is it prevents stuff from growing up in the cracks and maybe makes a surface that's easier to clean. Still not sure what I'm going to do.
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Old 08-02-2014, 07:00 PM   #677
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Re: biggerboat's building boondoggle blog

I worked about 1/2 day today. I ran this morning so I ran out of gas pretty early. And I did something to my knee.

I rocked the little area around my banana plants. I'm going to reveal tomorrow when I'm completely done with it. Gonna look good.

Then I continued on around the bamboo. I made a little progress but there is still a lot left.

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Old 08-02-2014, 07:04 PM   #678
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Re: biggerboat's building boondoggle blog

I think I"m about ready to get started on the front walkways.

I went to the stone place yesterday and got some samples (below). I think I'm going to go with predominately the grey stone and highlight it with the red and white. I'm hoping this ties in with the limestone and red door somewhat.

I'll mark it off tomorrow. Then I think I'm going to get a few laborers to dig and spread the sand. I'll probably ask for a mason to finish up the bamboo walls. I'm really not enjoying that at all.

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Old 08-03-2014, 01:53 PM   #679
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Re: biggerboat's building boondoggle blog

Finished up my banana planter. The bananas have just been in the hard dirt and they are hard to keep watered properly. The water just ran off. Plus, I've sort of neglected them. This should help a lot.

Really happy the way this came out.



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Old 08-03-2014, 06:47 PM   #680
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Re: biggerboat's building boondoggle blog

Did a little planning for the sidewalk today. I think I'm going to make a walkway across the yard that goes in front of the porch and then a walkway from the porch to the street.

I'll need about 2 1/2 tons of stone and 2 yards of sand.

I've been sort of debating how to do this. I thought about getting the metal edging to line up the edges. This will let me make better curves I think and keep it a set width. But that stuff is pricey. My old walkway was made of paver stones - red and grey. I might use them to edge it something like this.



I dunno. Having natural stone with pavers seems a little goofy.

Anyways, here is the basic outline. Pics suck.



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Old 08-03-2014, 09:37 PM   #681
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Re: biggerboat's building boondoggle blog

Planter looks good. You gonna stick with the same limestone for the walk?
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Old 08-04-2014, 08:20 PM   #682
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Re: biggerboat's building boondoggle blog

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Planter looks good. You gonna stick with the same limestone for the walk?
Probably not.

I went to look at limestone today. It really isn't like flagstone. They have flattish pieces but the surface is really rough. Probably not good for a walkway. They do make 2" slabs of it (about 2' x 4'). I would have to break it up which isn't a big deal. It is super smooth since it is sawed (sawn?). I went around the neighborhood to see if anyone else has used it and they have. It gets rather dirty. I noticed they did a walkway at the gym I work out at. They did it about a year ago and it is pretty filthy. It will need a power washer to clean. I'm not sure I want that sort of maintenance.

I'm leaning back towards the grayish stone. It has streaks of red tint in it. It's pretty dark though.

I agonize over this sort of stuff since there isn't any way to know what it's gonna look like until you've committed.
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Old 08-04-2014, 08:23 PM   #683
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Re: biggerboat's building boondoggle blog

Looks like this:

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Old 08-06-2014, 06:21 PM   #684
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Re: biggerboat's building boondoggle blog

I went to the stone place to order my walkway. The guy helping me was super helpful. They had a lot of pallets of the type of stone I wanted and he let me pick out which ones I wanted. He then gave me a lot of good info about putting down the stones properly - base, sand, etc.

We then talked about filling in the gaps. I just wanted to avoid gravel or sand between the stones because my yard is just a big tree trash can. Leaves, twigs, pollen, bark, etc. And every tree drops stuff at different times. The gravel I put down several years ago in the back is almost completely covered with junk that has just turned to dirt. Looks horrible. Anyways, I asked about that polymeric sand and he thought it would be a bad idea for flagstone and super expensive. He said it was really made for pavers.

I did some more googling on the polymeric sand and the consensus is that he is correct.

So, I ordered some crushed gravel about the same color as the stones. Just enough to get a good sampling. If it looks good and I need more I'll just load up the pickup.

Anyways, it gets delivered Friday.

Oh and he showed me some black limestone. It was beautiful. Only $25 per square foot.
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Old 08-07-2014, 02:44 PM   #685
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Re: biggerboat's building boondoggle blog

I've been having a bad hair week due to work so keep that in mind when you read this.

I went to Lowe's to get the extra materials I need for the walkway. Mesh to keep the weeds from growing through the walk, metal edging, some pvc for to run under the walk for the sprinkle guy to run his stuff. Also needed some more mortar for the bamboo walls.

So, go to the edging first. I need 22 pieces. This crap is the most difficult crap to handle that I can imagine. First of all it is 8 feet long and it flops all over the place. You can't pick up more than 2 pieces or the middle one just slides out of your hand. And, they have it in a box underneath a shelf where you have to sort of squeeze in to even grab one.

Not only that, but it is in the outdoor area which is pretty much a sauna in this heat.

So, I finally get all 22 pieces out and on my cart. It was apparent very quickly that they weren't going to stay on the cart under any circumstances. It was almost like they had been dipped in oil. They just slid right off.

So, I decided I would get the bags of mortar on another cart and use them to sort of hold in the edging. Of course the only mortar bags left were on they very back of the pallet which meant I had to contort my body to reach them. They ain't light.

But I got them and pushed them back to the cart I had the edging which was on the exact opposite end of the store. Not kidding either. The mortar is on the last aisle on one end and the edging on the last aisle of the other end.

So, I get back to the edging only to realize I had left the cart in the direct sun and it was hotter than hell. After burning my hands with the first three I realized that wasn't going to work.

By now, my temper has reached the boiling point. I just shoved the cart towards the nearest shade which meant almost all of the edging was now on the ground. In the sun. So, I just started throwing the pieces into the shade. This caused quite a bit of noise but fortunately the employees there didn't seem to care. They certainly weren't going to come over to help.

After a lot of noise and a lot of sweating I got them all on. Pushed the now heavy cart to the register and got a clerk that for some reason was incapable of checking me out. I never quite figured this out but another clerk came over and did it for her.

Then, I had to load all of this crap in the truck. By now I was just livid about, well, work, life, and this *********** edging. By the time I got the mortar in the truck, the edging was now sizzling hot again. So I just threw them in the back, cussing the whole time. Mostly from anger, not because they were hot.

I really lost it and I'm really glad another person wasn't around.
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Old 08-08-2014, 11:34 AM   #686
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Re: biggerboat's building boondoggle blog

The stone was just delivered.

While waiting for the delivery, a City of Austin truck parked in front of my house, presumably to **** with me at some later date. Then, when the truck got here some guy in a pickup was driving by, stopped, turned around, and parked down the street to watch.

I'm amazed at the number of people/organizations that just seem to want to **** with other people.

Anyways, pics of delivery truck, pile of sand, pile of base, pile of filler rock, and stones.








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Old 08-08-2014, 02:54 PM   #687
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Re: biggerboat's building boondoggle blog

The filler for between the stones is really bothering me. I bought some gravel to fill it with but I know that it's going to just fill up with leaves and stuff and the little rocks will be all over the stone. I really want a clean smoothlike surface. I just don't think I'll be happy with the gravel solution.

That polymeric sand seems too expensive and a lot of people said since it was basically glue sand it got all over the stone and was difficult to get off.

Pretty much everything I've read says don't use mortar unless you put the stones on concrete. But, I'll have quite a bit of base material. I think I'm probably going to try a spot with mortar and see what happens. Actually I think I'm going to put nothing in the cracks for a while, walk on them, spray them down with water, walk on them some more. Hopefully I can get them to somewhat settle then put the mortar in. I'd rather have some random hairline mortar cracks than a bunch of gravel or glue sand all over the stone.
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Old 08-08-2014, 03:32 PM   #688
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Re: biggerboat's building boondoggle blog

Wow, here's some weird ****.

Lance just came by out of the blue. He just replaced/repaired someone's stone walkway that was done by putting gravel in between the stones. The owners weren't happy with it.

He said what he did was just pour a thin layer of concrete over the base. Just enough to set the stones. Then grout them after it dries. Makes sense to me.

I didn't even ask him about this. He just came out with the suggestions. Sort of weird considering my last post.
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Old 08-09-2014, 10:16 AM   #689
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Re: biggerboat's building boondoggle blog

Today I went to get 3 laborers. I found Tomas, the guy who helped me pour concrete. He's a pretty good mason. He doesn't like my idea of putting base down. He said it would hold up better with a concrete base. But that would pretty much require getting a concrete truck. And, I've got a huge pile of base material in my driveway.

It just so happens that he did the walkway for my neighbor about 10 years ago. I had no idea. It's held up pretty well.

what to do, what to do
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Old 08-09-2014, 06:27 PM   #690
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Re: biggerboat's building boondoggle blog

I made an executive decision. I'm going with the base material, then setting the stone in either a thin layer of mortar or thin later of concrete.

We didn't get to the base today, though. That was a lot of digging. The two guys worked pretty hard and by the time we were done with what is in the pictures below, they didn't want to work anymore. They finished about the same time Tomas did so it worked out well. Here's how far we got with the sidewalk







The walkway replaced a paving brick walkway. I piled them next to the rest of my rock piles. I'm thinking of opening a stone quarry.

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Old 08-09-2014, 06:31 PM   #691
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Re: biggerboat's building boondoggle blog

Tomas did an excellent job with the bamboo wall. These pictures don't do it justice. It really changes the back yard. I am super happy with the way it turned out.









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Old 08-10-2014, 08:55 AM   #692
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Re: biggerboat's building boondoggle blog

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Old 08-10-2014, 10:40 PM   #693
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Re: biggerboat's building boondoggle blog

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I really like the winding-through-the-bamboo paths. Right up there with the steps between the garage and house that I can't quite explain why I like so much.
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Old 08-12-2014, 09:00 PM   #694
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Re: biggerboat's building boondoggle blog

Thanks!

I really don't know when I'm going to find the time to do the walkway. I'm tapped out moneywise so it's all me now. It looks a bit overwhelming right now but I guess I'll try to just chip away at it.

So, I decided I would do a little every evening. I spread about 6 or 7 wheelbarrow loads of base material. Even that is hard. I generally hit the gym after work so this is on top of that.

I'm already a bit worried I don't have enough base. We shall see.
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Old 08-16-2014, 07:28 PM   #695
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Re: biggerboat's building boondoggle blog

Today I spread the base material. My body is a bit beat up so I wasn't sure if I'd finish. Plus it was 104 here today. But, I took it really slow and got it done. Tamped it down, wetted it, tamped again, and wetted again. Looks pretty good.

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Old 08-23-2014, 01:44 PM   #696
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Re: biggerboat's building boondoggle blog

Having a super bad hair day and it's only half way through.

Trying to lay the stone.

First problem is I don't have near enough sand. The base material isn't good for getting the stone to settle in.

I'm really having issues trying to chop the stone. It's pretty tough. I really need a saw or something. My plan was to get the stones really close together so I could just pour in the polymeric sand in small gaps. But that isn't happening.

Also, the stone on one pallet isn't the same thickness as the stone on the other pallet.

So, I'm going back to plan something or other where I leave bigger gaps and fill them with the grey gravel. I did a small test area (pic below). It looks ok now but I know it's gonna look like crap after a year or so. Leaves and junk all in that gravel. And the gravel will constantly be popping out onto the stones.

But, all of that isn't the root cause of my bad hair day. Basically I'm doing this because I really need to stay in my job to retire at some point in time. But, I'm at the breaking point. I just can't tolerate this job anymore. And, I don't want to live here anyways. The whole point of trying to fix up my house just seems pointless now. /whine

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Old 08-23-2014, 06:50 PM   #697
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Re: biggerboat's building boondoggle blog

I continued to fret about the between-the-cracks filler for a while. I asked my neighbors, the mailman, and pretty much anyone that walked by what they thought. I think it the gravel looks OK but I'm pretty sure it won't in about a year. But, I made the executive decision and went with it.

Things started going a lot faster once I committed.

One good thing did happen. This bad boy didn't bite me. At least I hope it didn't. It was under one of the stones I picked up. I got real careful after that.

If you don't know, it's a brown recluse. They leave a nasty flesh eating bite.



Here's my progress.



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Old 08-23-2014, 09:30 PM   #698
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Re: biggerboat's building boondoggle blog

If the neighbours aren't complaining - either they like it or they are good neighbours to have (cause most neighbours complain about everything) or both.
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Old 08-23-2014, 10:39 PM   #699
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Re: biggerboat's building boondoggle blog

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Poisonous wildlife ranks real high on my list of things I don't miss at all about Texas.
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Old 08-24-2014, 05:36 PM   #700
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Re: biggerboat's building boondoggle blog

Based on yesterday's progress I thought I might be able to finish if I got an early start and hit it hard. So, that's what happened.

I haven't quite let go of the whole gravel in the cracks deal but it's growing on me. Looks pretty good actually. It really works with the brown and blue in the limestone wall of the house and the porch. I'm pretty happy with it.

I can't get a really good straight on picture because of the sun but here's some pics.







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