Sunday, February 10, 2013

Merrymount Project Lintel Drain Build and Rebuild.


Special Thanks to Master DSWA/DSC Stone Masons: Neil Rippingale and Dan Snow for their help with guidance on this make over.

11/06/2012 Merrymount project lintel drain build and rebuild. My foundation was built and marked out with chalk to build a required feature for my DSC Journeyman level. (Note: most functional lintels would have a large flat stone built into the foundation. Lintels are traditionally built to allow for the flow of water to pass threw a wall or to bridge over an object such as a Tree Root.) This was built to me more decorative - opening up the wall visually to allow for light to travel through. This was not originally planned in the build for this project. With the permission from the client to add this element at no extra charge I began the process of building my first lintel.

Start of build from the cheekend (wall head) headed in the direction of the corner.


 Lintel structure corner side (view of the inside top and bottom pics)

Lintel structure cheekend side (wall end) This section will have the red stone and those below (one row) replaced when rebuilt. The red stone has the length across the wall but as seen the corner of the stone as no real visual edge. Structural this stone is suitable - BUT when you walk up to the home it just stands out. Being such a same wall with a short section you see more then if this was a taller wall with a longer length. The stone was an eye sore. The only fix for this- REPLACE IT! with a nicer one. (that comes later on the make over)


Outside - Notice inside the hole the stones I'm using "the red stone" lack strong edges. Those on the right side.

Inside - As I worked I try to use all stone I have on site before I bring more in. This was bit of a issue. Why? I used what I had but I should have had better choices for this part of my build. If you ever have that gut instinct something isn't right - go with it! Or just be sure to plan ahead with the appropriate materials. Since I was working with bulk stone trucked in with a dump truck its a shooting match what might show up on the ground for the job. 

Inside - Lintel stone goes up. This stone was only 1'.5" thick (oppsie!) It happened to be the only stone I had that was that wide and long. At the time it seemed like a ok choice. 

Outside - for this size of a wall it most likely would have been ok. But if the wall is ever added too or something extremely large is set on top it cold be compromised. Causing a failure.

Outside - Wall going up.

Outside - Finished first round. With small lintel stone. Wall height at this end with cap stones is 22" .  This section of wall was built level - Not following the falling grade. The benefit? - When you walk up to the house the wall follows the same lines as the home - LEVEL. 

 Inside - couple of running joints on left.

Inside - Boy that looks rough - I think I can do better then that.

Inside -  STRIP OUT - make over. Less then A DAY to build it better then it was. To bad not every contractor has the same type of pride in there work. A true craftsman trained in a craft will! Its not about the money. Its about doing the job right! Make something that will last. An example of ones skill with the desire to be proud of the finished product. That's True Pride. 

Never stop learning. Pass on your knowledge and skills to someone else. Life is only what we make of it.

Out Side - You can really get a sense of how much stone I remove in order to focus on the correcting the section. It is always easier to rebuild an old wall then building from scratch. Why?  Some one has already touched each stone helping to slim down your choices of stone you can put back into the wall. As you strip out an old wall if you like you can always sort the stones. This can help when you first begin learning who to wall. Or you just want to be organized with your space.

Related Blog:

Journeyman Testing DSC KY


Out Side - Little by little I get everything back together - you can now see the new stones I replaced on the left to help give a little stronger edge. As this is being build I think of the same process of having my stones tie back into the wall just like you would with a cheeckend (wall head) or corner.


Inside - I work out my running joints on the left but now later you will see a few show up on the right. Since I already have my corner built I had to work with the stones in this section. When you have little room to build left or right you sometimes can run into a few choices you have to just go with because of your limited length of wall. You can break any stone rule as long as you understand them..... or as some will say nothing is set in stone......

Inside - Wise feedback from Dan Snow ....."the stone reaches into the body of the wall in both directions a combined length that's as great as the width of the opening, the center of the lintel can't move down." I wanted to share this because this rule makes great sense once you understand this simple concept. With this in mind you now can choose what stone would be best suited for you projects. (thanks Dan! I had not read that in any of the books I own)

Outside, New larger lintel stone bridging the gap. 3" thick stone a real monster but still a one man stone. 

Inside - A nicer key stone with a little more visual face had replaced the first one. 


Inside - Now it was time to build out from the keystone in the middle - always a good time when you have to find that one right stone to fill a void between two stones. 

Outside (Question: How many times have you seen a level? (pics above) - Answer a sure heck of a lot. You might think I like making sure everything is in line. As I rebuilt this the original batter frames had be remove. Since I'm not using string lines I check from time to time to be level. I enjoy using the 2' and 4' Swanson Levels for my work.

Related Blog:

Tools - Swanson Level's 2 ft - 4 ft

Outside - Added a little touch if you notice the key stone in the middle of the lintel - I added PA Blue stones on each side to give a little more definition and focal point.  


Outside - Now doesn't that look so much better? The client and her mother said they couldn't tell the difference from the first one I had built. I said ya because you haven't seen the pictures of the first one compared to the new and updated model! Night and Day. Like they say - practice makes perfect.



BEFORE - First build.

AFTER - Second build

This full section looks much tighter with the placement of all the stones around the lintel which bridges the gap. The size of this passage is 12" wide x 11" high. 

I'd like to add this lintel is well loved by chip mucks for a quick get away from the dog. I enjoyed it for blowing all the leafs threw and out. Now the wall is built it gives little room to blow them back into the woods on the hill. 

Related Blog:

Merrymount - Roland Park MD, Project Story, Dry Laid Retaining Wall 11/2012

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