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Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Slipforms – Rock Hunting...

9:23 pm - 57 degrees - cloudy...

The rock hunt has started, so far I’ve gathered 18 sq ft of rock! 

My goal is to only pay for concrete and coloring oxide mix.  The rock will be collected from around the mountain.  The slipforms will be made from scrap materials lying around the house.  And I’m hoping to find some scrap wire and rebar somewhere.
Two days of gather rocks - 6' x 3' pile.

Our home is a 36’x36’ square and I plan on rocking the first 4 feet all the way around the house with slipforms {click here} – so that equals 544 sq ft of surface area that I’ll need to rock.  Actually, I will need less rock than that due to door and window openings, but I’d rather have more rock than needed on hand.

Over the years we have dug up so much rock we have piles of it everywhere, so I have started to dig through those piles looking for rocks that have at least one flat side and nice coloring.  I have also been walking around the mountain and just picking up nice rocks here and there that are lying on the ground. 

Now that I have a small pile going, I think I need to actually start sorting them out according to size – small, medium, large, extra large.  This will help when it comes time to actually building the wall – I can go to the specific size pile that I need instead of having to dig through one large jumbled mess.

I’ll also have an “uglies” pile – the rocks that go behind the front flat-faced stones – these will be used as filler, we’ll use less concrete that way.

Sorting rocks - small, medium, large, extra large.

Since almost all of our rocks have a rough, jagged look to them, we will have a “random rubble” look.  Random Rubble walls don’t have perfectly square or rectangular rocks or stones laying in nice straight rows, instead it’s a technique in which a coursed or obviously horizontal seaming effect is avoided.  A random rubble wall is just that – random.  Stones of various shapes and sizes are placed according to their best fit.  This technique is perfect for a beginner since there isn’t any cutting or fitting of stones required.

As I sort out the rocks, I’ll also have to clean them off.  Any loose dirt, debris or anything else that can end up between the rock and the concrete needs to be removed – a clean surface is needed for the concrete to properly adhere to the rock to produce a strong wall.  With that being said, I’m keeping the lichen on the front flat-faced rocks.  I’ll clean the lichen off all the other side’s where the concrete needs to adhere to, but I like the unique designs the lichen creates and I think it will add more interest.

Rock with lichen on the end.

Rock covered in lichen.

Rock covered in lichen.

With the use of the natural, rough, jagged looking rocks, I think our home will reflect that same characteristic and will have an interesting rugged appearance.  I can’t wait to see what the finished product will look like!

“The fact that the stones are used in their natural state as they come from the fields on which the house is build, gives a sense of self-improvement through thrift, rather than by acquisition from others... The material itself combines that sense of permanence, solidity and security so necessary for the establishment of a home.” ~ Frazier Peters, HOUSES OF STONE 1933

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