No woodworking on the 4th (but plenty of manual labor)

My dry spell of wood working continued for the long weekend but extensive progress has been made in the back yard.  for the past several weeks, every day after work involved digging up dirt and removing concrete so Friday I took the day off and had a disposal company come buy to remove the sand and concrete.  Sounds easy enough but how to get three cubic yards of dirt (probably weighing 3-4 tons) and pile of broken concrete out to the front for pickup?

The answer is buckets, a hired day laborer, and a sonotube (aint city living grand).

The weekend hasn’t even started and I’m already tired.

Saturday I was already sore but luckily by buddy Andy came over in the morning to help before his flight (something about manual labor appeals my St. Louis friends).

Digging the base trench
Compacting the gravel base.
First course in.
Oh look, buried treasure.  That two foot wide concrete footing somehow escaped notice in my test digging.

Sunday was spent adding more tiers of blocks and adding gravel back fill.  Monday I added the last course of stones and back filled with soil over the drainage.  This wall only fixes a little over half of my slope problem (the fence gives a good idea of how bad the slope is) and phase 2 is a second wall at the base of the yard.  Overall, I have 5 feet of drop over a 25 foot run (San Francisco is known for its hills).  I’m going to do some yard clean up tonight after work and then give my body a couple of days (I hurt everywhere) to recover before I start digging the footings for the second wall.

Cap stones will wait until later.

Overall I like the look of the VersaLok system and it’s very homeowner friendly (though the large block weigh over 80 lbs).  The weathered mosaic blocks do a nice job looking like a stone wall and I think as it ages it will look even better.

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