We Are Done! Photos Post 5! Stone Dust in the Barn!
We are finally doing it! DH, DS and I are covering the dirt floor in the barn aisle today with limestone screenings, and then topping off with stall mats. We've got all of our supplies: limestone, compactor, stalls mats, etc.
I suddenly realize that I am not 100 percent how to get the stone dust level ... I have some ideas, but suspect there are some tricks to accomplishing this?
Any tips that would help the three of us fairly inept people accomplish this job are greatly appreciated.
We are not exactly the Three Stooges, but I suspect a video tape of today's activities might prove fairly comical!
Last edited by King's Ransom; Apr. 22, 2013 at 04:47 PM.
We did exactly this a decade ago, and it is still in place. We included cross-slope to drains, so ours was a bit more complicated. Anyway, use a level and place marks on the boards on either side of the aisle. Use a long 2 x 4 from one side of the aisle to the other. Be sure to compact with a machine; we used a mechanical plate tamper.
Final tip; do not cut the mats in the sun. They can expand in the sun, and contract in the shade of the barn. Good luck!
Use a long level or carpenters square to check that the 2x4 that you are using is true (not warped).
You can use the 2x4 to check for an smooth surface by pulling it across the tamped screenings. It will pick up and drop off screenings into the areas that need it. Re-tamp each time.
Then place the level on it if you want it to be truly level side to side and front to back. You may actually want a slight slope to allow for drainage.
Well ... we didn't get completely finished, and we didn't get completely level ... but we worked our tails off and we're about 3/4 done. Here are some photos of the day (not exactly Three Stooges, but ...)
Bluey, I bought clamps for this purpose, but didn't know what I was doing. They looked like good clamps, but they broke on first use! Clearly, I bought the wrong thing! Michael is only 28, so yeah -- you can do a lot when you are 28 and run marathons and the world is your oyster! ha ha! Tack on 30 years and and ... yes I need a rest!
So excited for you. Looks great and I always feel like the DIY efforts are so memorable and valuable just for the fact that you did it yourself. (Plus, imperfections are a lot easier to forgive).
Timely post because we are waiting on our dumptruck(s) of crushed stone to arrive so we can do this exact thing! The area we're filling is 19 x 30ft, so getting it level across such a broad area will be hard. I ran string from one side to the other and used spray paint to mark the side walls at what should be *close to* level. Figure that will be good enough for a first pass, and from there we can use a screed and carpenters level for subsequent layers. Can not WAIT until it's done.
To have a fairly level area, you can also use string on two stakes.
To mark boards or sheet metal to cut or nail or level by, use string with chalk, tied on one end and run across to the other end and flip the string and it will leave a chalk line for you.
That is how we put sheet metal on surfaces and get the screws all lined up right.
Those matted areas are wonderful, you will really appreciate how much easier it is to keep clean also and much less dust walking thru there.
I haven't taken any more photos because we were all working as fast and hard as we could, and we are exhausted! But -- it is beautiful!
Not perfect by any stretch. But as far as I am concerned, it is fabulous!
And, we got done just as the rain / thunderstorms started -- so we can bring the horses back inside!
Thanks to everyone who thought DS handsome ... I am his mom, so I no longer notice these things. But when he was a little boy, it was almost impossible to discipline him because he has these gorgeous blue eyes that just melt you. And he's still single!
This was an incredibly hard job, not technically, but just hard work. We ended up using the Sawzall to cut the mats. We did not have any good luck with the carpet knife. We did the wash bay, the tack room, and the barn aisle. I am tired and aching ... but VERY HAPPY!
BTW: we used 32 stall mats, 4x6. Got them on sale, $10 off each, so saved $320! I think we also got 16 tons of limestone, but only used about half of it for this project.
Last edited by King's Ransom; Apr. 22, 2013 at 05:18 PM.
I am thinking we started with about 3 inches of stone dust, then compacted it with a vibrating plate compactor ... Of course we had to use more stone in some places than others in order to get the floor close to level. I needed to raise my floor a bit to get rid of a huge dip between the concrete-floor building and the dirt floor building. The dip was about 4 inches, and it's gone now after laying down the stone and the 3/4 inch mats.
Our hard costs:
32 mats at $29 each = $928 (we picked them up ourselves, so no delivery charge)
16 tons of limestone screenings = $187, delivery included
Rental on vibrating compactor = $65 for the day
Misc. tools and supplies that we mostly had on-hand:
Sawzall and blades
dust mask for me
metal straight edge ($14 at Home Depot)
yellow crayon-marker for marking our lines
miscellaneous scraps of board for tamping the edges that the vibrating compactor couldn't reach
gasoline for the compactor
And big kudos to my compact JD tractor and front-end loader for moving and dumping almost all of the stone dust. Little guy couldn't get into the tack room, but did great maneuvering everywhere else. If we'd had to shovel that stuff ... oy vey!
Should have had, but didn't: ear plugs. The compactor and the Sawzall were both pretty loud.