How high can i rock pond wall


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[/QUOTE]
GO TO THE DEPOT AND RENT A MINI EXCAVATOR WITH A THUMB MONEY WELL SPENT

If i had to guess i would think that is basalt or very similar make sure you protect the liner that stuff can split and fracture very easy and it is extremely sharp when it does
 
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Jhn

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GO TO THE DEPOT AND RENT A MINI EXCAVATOR WITH A THUMB MONEY WELL SPENT

If i had to guess i would think that is basalt or very similar make sure you protect the liner that stuff can split and fracture very easy and it is extremely sharp when it does
[/QUOTE]

Was thinking the same thing with the excavator.

That load of rock is granite, fairly typical blue gray color. Would still protect the liner with 8oz non woven fabric, as when that stuff is dumped some of the rocks can chip causing very sharp edges just like the basalt you mentioned.

Derek one other suggestion is make sure all the rock especially the smaller stuff is actually rock and not compressed dirt. Fairly common to get a few of these with that size rock bought by the dump truck load. It looks just like the rock but it will crumble and fall apart over time. Just don’t want you using a rock like that to do anything structural in the pond. The compressed dirt looks slightly different color wise and edges can be a little rounded and if you aren’t sure about one of the rocks just bang it into another one, the granite rocks make a tinny sound almost like metal being banged together, if it is just hard dirt it won’t make that sound and may even crumble abit.
 
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One other mention for those who might decide to rent equipment where they have never done so before. The gas /throttle if you keep it low the machine has less power and speed and this is where you should start for several hours or until you get use to the controls and let no one in to the area of the swing of the machine you can easy hurt maim or kill someone very very quickly . thumbs on an excavator are a very useful tool but they do damage rock. What is called an endless sling is what you see the pond builders using. But make no mistake the rocks can slip out of that set up and you definitely don't want it to hit someone or the boulder poking a hole in the liner because it slipped. Left over fabrics old carpet sleeping bags what ever can help keep this from happening but the end result having larger stone is beyond worth the effort.
 
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Try a rock shelf all around...but you’ll need flat rocks...my shelf goes down about 15” and is about 12”
wide...it’s filled up to the top with flat rocks and the rocks extend over the liner edge.

This drawing was made by a friend. I described our shelf and she drew this...our rocks are flatter
then the photo shows.
 

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GBBUDD and JHN - thanks for all of the tips!

I have a coworker that has an excavator with a 20 foot reach that can fit through my gate. Trouble is we just need an equipment trailer to get it here. I am hoping I can rent it from him to set the largest rocks (perhaps for the waterfall) with that.

I tried out the mortar again yesterday, and it seems to be working well using some of the tips from folks here. Main thing is to keep the mortar wet. I probably sprayed it down 50 times yesterday. That seemed to do the trick and prevent it from cracking. Will post some more pics here soon.

Hoping I can use waterfall foam towards the end to adhere to the mortar and push in some small river rock to make it look a bit better so you're not staring at a grey wall of mortar :)!
 
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Try a rock shelf all around...but you’ll need flat rocks...my shelf goes down about 15” and is about 12”
wide...it’s filled up to the top with flat rocks and the rocks extend over the liner edge.

This drawing was made by a friend. I described our shelf and she drew this...our rocks are flatter
then the photo shows.
That's the trick - i barely have any flat ones :(. But I will try to use those for what the left side of the picture shows...
 
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Our neighbor rented an excavator a few weeks ago and I watched him for three minutes and realized he had no clue what he was doing. Sure enough, 5 minutes later we heard a giant BANG - he tipped the whole thing over trying to get up on his cement patio. He was fine, but embarrassed.

@GBBUDD gives good advice... practice and work slowly if you've never done it before.

Your rock almost looks like blue stone to me... very pretty!
 
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JHN works with rock every day i would listen to his take as well. He restores shore lines a very tough job mother nature can show you who's boss in a hurry he has to know what rock he's getting or she will tear it apart and spit it out

Some times i wish i bought my rock i would have gone for the weathered lime stone. they call it weathered but i say highly fractured and worn.
 
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@GBBUDD gives good advice... practice and work slowly if you've never done it before.
Thanks @lisa but after this covid thread i doubt many pay attention anymore but thats ok its to help future ponders learn before they pull the trigger
 
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Our neighbor rented an excavator a few weeks ago and I watched him for three minutes and realized he had no clue what he was doing. Sure enough, 5 minutes later we heard a giant BANG - he tipped the whole thing over trying to get up on his cement patio. He was fine, but embarrassed.

@GBBUDD gives good advice... practice and work slowly if you've never done it before.

Your rock almost looks like blue stone to me... very pretty!
Wow - that's really scary. Hopefully nothing even close to that happens to be if I use one!
 
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Was thinking the same thing with the excavator.

That load of rock is granite, fairly typical blue gray color. Would still protect the liner with 8oz non woven fabric, as when that stuff is dumped some of the rocks can chip causing very sharp edges just like the basalt you mentioned.

Derek one other suggestion is make sure all the rock especially the smaller stuff is actually rock and not compressed dirt. Fairly common to get a few of these with that size rock bought by the dump truck load. It looks just like the rock but it will crumble and fall apart over time. Just don’t want you using a rock like that to do anything structural in the pond. The compressed dirt looks slightly different color wise and edges can be a little rounded and if you aren’t sure about one of the rocks just bang it into another one, the granite rocks make a tinny sound almost like metal being banged together, if it is just hard dirt it won’t make that sound and may even crumble abit.
jhn - thanks for the tip! I'm using geotextile on top of the liner for this very reason. On the walls and waterfall I'm using in this order:
- 1" coating of mortar to protect against chipmunks
- carpet
- geotextile
- liner
- geotextile
 
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after this covid thread i doubt many pay attention anymore but thats ok its to help future ponders learn before they pull the trigger
I'm not going to stop taking your advice on ponding just because you went off the rails in an OT thread. We can't all be experts in every area. ;)
 
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@DerekOR: Did you end up solving this problem? How'd it go?

I'm just up the road from you in Portland, and your rock looks just like the piles of basalt they pull out of the Columbia River and sell at every stone yard in the area for about $60/ton. But I also don't know anything about rocks! What was the cost of that granite?
 
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@DerekOR: Did you end up solving this problem? How'd it go?

I'm just up the road from you in Portland, and your rock looks just like the piles of basalt they pull out of the Columbia River and sell at every stone yard in the area for about $60/ton. But I also don't know anything about rocks! What was the cost of that granite?
it went really well actually. some of the advice I got from members here was fantastic. the trick was to keep the mortar not too wet when mixing and keep it moist with a spray hose every 20 mins or so for a couple hours. I've put a couple pics below as well as current look of pond. rock was $895 delivered for 16 tons. I live about 15 mins from a knife river granite quarry.
 
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Great! Looks like you found a good solution. I don't have any tall wall shelves like you do, but I have pretty sandy soil, and my 18-24" tall shelves are already collapsing a bit as I walk on them after digging on Friday. Will keep this idea in the back of my mind as I rock in the pond.
 
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looks pretty good to me well done. i like the water flow to the right of the photo makes it look real and not just a round puddle or kiddie pool . you'll get all kinds or interesting things to grow there like moss. and pitcher plants love that type of area mix peat and sand and just keep the feet wet keep the main plant out from sitting in the water.
 

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