Wednesday, June 3, 2020

Day 21 - Westminster MD - Step 4 Finished

Little by little I'm getting to the top step 4 of 9! I started off the day working on setting up the upper patio. I needed to get a sense were I was going and check all the grades with the Zip Level. I also want to take a moment to let everyone know I have included Amazon links to help those interested in the tools I use. With our purchase I will receive a small portion of the sale to help support me. Thank you

Buy Now Amazon:  ZIPLEVEL PRO-2000 High Precision Altimeter

Upper patio space getting mapped out.

Next did a quick check with the tape measure. I was 10 feet away from the top. Lots of extra space to work with. Currently there was really no upper patio. The goal is to give a bit more room when you step off the porch. 

All my rebar rods I like to use duck tape to mark where my string lines go. This way if I need to remove them I can always place it back on the rebar where the tape is. Simple system that works well every time. 

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Now if you can make heads or tales of my measurements thats amazing! These are just some quick notes to help guide me on the road map to the top. 

Buy Now Amazon: Johnson Level & Tool 595 Structo Cast

I wanted to take a moment to share a very simple tool that can help when your working on patio or steps. You don't need a Zip Level when you can keep it simple with a little string and line bubbles. The yellow one is nice because it show fall such as 1/8, 1/4.....

Buy Now Amazon: Swanson Tool LLA001 4-Inch Aluminum Line Level

Every day the property owners daughter Rachel brings me little snacks. Today took my snack break early to build my mini steps and stone wall. Yummie! 

Once I finished up doing all my measurements to the top patio. I then began working on feather and wedging the last stone I set yesterday. I needed to make this into 2 stones. I would then take the back piece and place it next to the front. These will be the underneath of the 4th step. 

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Buy Now Amazon: Slim 25” Durable Telescoping Magnetic Grabber/Retrieving Magnet

Everything worked as planned. I just wanted to show how I use the magnet tray store my feather and wedges. Along with the retrieving tool to gather them when they fall. I try to get them up as soon as I'm finished not to loose any. 

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Next it was time for low voltage pipe #4

Then gravel on the back of the lower steps.

Now I was ready for the top tread. This was 55" I only needed 48". I was so excited the only thing I noticed was a fracture crack on the front. So I started tracing it only to find one in the middle. Well this stone was a real dud at that point. It was off to the stone splitter for what ever happens. 

Got it in and it did split in half on the middle fracture crack. This would be the right side of the 4th step. Beautiful colors on the face. Size wise only around 24" long it would work. 

You can see it sitting in the photo. Next it was time for something at least 36" long to run past my wall line. I found this stone would work just right. 

I placed it on the 4x4 and a sheet of plywood to bring it up a little higher along with the rollers to get it all lined up. Next it was time for a cut with the gas saw. 

Everything worked as planned. Next it was time to lift it and remove all the wood underneath of it. 

End of the day it was time to go home. It was the hottest day so far. The small breeze sure did help. 


  1. Funny, I watch every day to read your description of the progress and Rachel watches for you each day to deliver the day’s snacks! Makes both of us happy!