Thanks guys, I'm a salesman and everything has a price so something should come up. I have not been unemployed in 20 years! Now I have plenty of time on my hands and spend it raising my 4 year old and dreamin about trains (and looking for a job of course). There are lots of things to do to the yard and I already have the trains. Rock is cheap and I have a truck and trailer. I learned I can re-bend what track I have to wider curves which will help. Thanks to Ray Dunakin I have the blocks and plan to put in some steps! Just a few problems...
Gotta find a neighbor with a bucket on his tractor!
It's FREEZING outside!
Maybe I can get some work with a Landscaper this Spring to get some experiance. I wish I would have invested in a dump truck and could lease a tractor to start my own dirt/rock/landscape business!
It's warmed up a little today so with shovel in hand I started digging... Although it's for putting in steps it does have to do with the layout. I also unloaded the blocks for the steps and hope I have enough (I knew I saved them things for a reason) It is too muddy to continue, boy I need an end loader right now!
Steps will go along this wall, maybe I should place a drainage pipe under it?
top view, look for rough drawn steps in white chalk..12" but will be more like 8 1/2"
I am sure you guys are getting bored with me posting but.... Your comments and remarks keep me motivated. Not to mention taking shots of stages in progress. I did manage to install the 1st row of steps. They will be capped off with flat stones and I'm wondering if anyone has cut masonry with their Skill saw using a $4 masonry blade I saw at Menards the other day?
I have cut retaining wall blocks with my worm drive and a dry diamond blade. I think I payed more like $30.00 for it but it has lasted through residing a house in concrete plank (you have got to love LP siding, good for mushrooms) and my brother in laws wall. Use a good respirator, not a dust mask, tight sealing goggles and ear plugs. It is messy.
1) Never ever worry about about anyone here getting bored with your post. I've found this community on here to be rife with wonderful supportive folks. If one of us is in need of moral support, they'll find it here in plentitude. You're among friends here, if you need us, we'll be there for you.
2) Something will turn up for you. My wife lost her position of 15 years in August. She was home for a few weeks, but now she has a new job and is doing additional work part time for an old associate from her previous position. Have faith, stay positive and enjoy what life gives you. You didn't lose a job, you gained endless possibilities for what to do next.
3) Keep the great pictures coming. You're really going to town there. It's looking great and I like the ideas you have. I fully expect to be able to drop over in 4.5 years when I get back in the neighborhood and run my trains untill I get mine up and running at my place..
I need to keep from having one giant step at the top, I suppose the depth of the steps will determine this mostly.
Blocks are 7 1/2" tall...
88" divided by 7.5 =
It would take 12 steps high (not counting the bottom one, I measured up from there)
117 / 12 = 9.75" deep steps?
So, If I offset the 2nd row 3" over the 1st (need to be over it anyway) I will have even 7 1/2" X 10" steps.
And if my calculations are correct the last step up to the sidewalk will be about 3" (nice and safe)
Does this make sense? It's been a long day and I need an engineer's help.
Those steps are looking great, and probably much more skillfully laid than mine! BTW, that concrete wall is much more substantial than it looked from the other angle, in your first photo. No worries there.
Sorry to hear about the job loss. Sad to say, there's a lot of that going around these days. Good luck and best wishes!
Freaky warm temp here today, must be in the 60's! Very Windy though...
I was able to install more steps as part of landscaping the front yard for trains this Spring.
All but one step left and I am wondering if I should place a drainage tube under the top step and then turn
90 degrees and run along the outside of the steps all the way down. I have the tube, it's perfect length and I
have no other plans for it.....?
As you can see here, it looks like water drains from under the sidewalk here. I definately don't want it to build up
and was away my hard work! I can get some gravel to fill around the pipe to help the drainage too. I am also
thinking of maybe cutting the top piece that runs cross ways in half so the water would enter easier?
Any engineers out there to give suggestions, or any of you guys that may have some ideas please?
Nice progress! Looking real good so far. It's hard to say for sure without actually being there and seeing what it's like when it rains, but my guess is you could be just fine without putting that tube under the top step. It would take a heck of a lot of runoff to wash away your steps, much more than it appears possible from your photo. Most likely the runoff would just soak in -- and/or seep through the steps since the blocks are quite porous.
There should be sufficient holes in the drain tube so I would think cutting the tube to be unnecessary.
I would be more concerned about the drainage of your retaining wall. You might check with a local landscaping contractor or experienced gardener about your wall and satisfy yourself that it has good drainage and is stable for the height and configuration as built.
I have seen in my local dry climate even low walls of only 2 feet high start to topple over without proper anchoring back into the slope. However we have an expansive clay here so my situation could be very different from yours, which is why I recomend you talk to someone local.
When you put in your track, pay attention to drainage. Don't let the track dam up the slope. Make drainage pipes and bridges in natuaral gulleys. Espeacially where does the water go when it drains off your roof? Your lucky to get work done this late in the winter. Keep us posted.
I think the standard for foundations around here is 8"-10" thick concrete and mine are 12"! There are also little drain holes in the bottoms of the wings too.
BTW I went to the quarry today and got some rock. I wanted the "rip raff" loaded in the pick up truck so it would be easier to unload. They were hesitant to do so but did it anyway, he dropped it in from a HUGE endloader as easy as he could but still damaged my bed I'm sure.... old truck, no big deal. I had the CA5= 1 1/2" gravel loaded on the trailer. I unloaded 2.4 ton of this stuff on the renters driveway yesterday by hand! Anyway, I am using the gravel as fill since I have no bucket to move my dirt/mud around. Sure won't hurt with water drainage either eh? The boulders will be mortared together making small retaining walls etc.
Today's load of Limestone was 3.6 ton and cost only $23~!
Thanks for your continued support Ray!
For those interested, here is what I got accomplished today. I am sorry that I seem to post EVERY single step I accomplish but it's in hopes of someone with more experiance may chime in and help me out.
I got most of the 6 ton of limestone unloaded...OH MY BACK!
Most of the gravel went for fill where the village of Biblegrove itself will be established.
The wife reminded me to place enough dirt on top to support plantings...I hope 6"+ will do here.
Here are some of the Larger stones that will have to be rolled off the tailgate.
Question: Shouldn't I use these for the base of me mountain?
Here you can see the steps are all but finished, only need to top them with stepping stones and face them.
much THANKS to Ray Dunakin and the In-Ko-Pah Railroad!
I did install the 4" drainage tube under the top step and along the side of the steps too, just in case.
Remember the waterfall will be right between the red blocks and steps
P.S. the steps don't "look" level in this shot but they are. I have them topped with Lime and dirt so they will be good and packed before placing the step stones on top. You can see them at the bottom of the picture.
Here you can get overall view of steps. The Village of Biblegrove will have an 8'-10' circle where it will start to make the climb up the Mountain.
I am more thrilled to get the township's base filled than the steps, I'm that much more closer to laying track!
I am now entertaining the thought of picking up some PVC piping so I can start laying grade before building mountains/retaining walls/cribbing/trestles etc.