Dry Stack Stone Retaining Wall

I have a path in the back near the railroad that is below ground level on one end. I built a dry stack stone retaining wall with the native basalt I had dug up throughout the yard. First I established a string line to define the edge, and picked the “best” stones for the foundation. They should each be large and extend from the line to the back if at all possible. Each foundation stone must be on a level base so that gravity works to hold it in place.

Foundation stones

The wall is built up by finding stones that “fit” as closely as possible on the stones beneath. Try to use stones that cross a boundary rather than creating a “vertical seam,” which weakens your structure.

Building the wall

Don’t be afraid of break rocks to fit better, though I did reduce a couple to useless chips with the sledge hammer. It took some time, but I am happy with the result.

Finished retaining wall

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