Step 4: Lay the Base

lay the base
Photo: Kolin Smith
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Create a strong, tightly packed base for the stones with a crushed-rock-and-stone-dust mix known as paver base. Put down the base in layers so that you can pack it well, building it up until the depth of the remaining trench is about half the thickness of your stone. Shovel 3 inches of paver base into the trench.
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    Tools List

    • mason's line
      Mason's line and Line level

    • square spade
      Spade

    • tamper
      Hand Tamper

    • four-foot level
      4-foot level

    • mallet
      Rubber Mallet

    • mason's chisel and maul
      Mason's Chisels and Maul

    • brick hammer
      Brick Hammer

    • caulk gun
      Caulk Gun

    Shopping List

    Cast Concrete Block:
    Choose a block made specifically for freestanding walls, not retaining walls or pavers. To calculate how many blocks you need, multiply the length of the wall, in inches, by the height, and divide that figure by the area (length x height) of the side of one block. Add 10 percent to account for cuts and breakage.

    Paver Base:
    A mixture of ¾-inch crushed rock and stone dust. One yard covers 108 square feet 3 inches deep.

    Stone Dust:
    One yard covers 324 square feet 1 inch deep.

    Masonry Construction Adhesive