Thursday, July 22, 2010

Maneuver Board

There are times when a wooden board or two come in handy. A big stone is not as scary if you know you may not have to dead lift it to get it into a wall. By simply rolling or walking it up a plank the process becomes much easier. Dry stone walling is not about breaking your back, it is about letting physics and the stones work for you.

Scaffolding has been useful in two of the latest projects we have been working on. We stood on planks to be able to lift the stones higher on the chimney we were building last week, and this week we placed the heavy roof tile flagstones on the small shed we are working on using scaffolding. When standing on planks it's convenient too having a higher 'working area' at waist height. The planks act as a stone table. Caution must be taken while working up higher. Most walls don't require a lot of thinking about stones falling from where we are working on to somebody below. A load of stones piled on scaffolding boards is not something you treat lightly.

Last weekend we moved a huge stone we found on the property by three of us rolling it up two boards into a pickup truck. The boards swung upwards ( like a catapult) as the weight reached the top of the truck bed. They protruded like diving boards off the tail gate. We were going to have to lift and roll the big stone further back into the truck box in order to pull the boards out, when we realized their position was useful for when we would be unloading the stone. By merely driving to the wall (with the boards sticking out) and then backing up to the wall, the stone could be rolled onto the wall without any extra lifting.

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