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Stone Dust In Aisle... How To?

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  • Stone Dust In Aisle... How To?

    I need to level my aisle floor. Concrete is not an option but stone dust and mats are. How do you do this? i have seen it done well but no idea HOW it got done!

    "Kindness is free" ~ Eurofoal
    The CoTH CYA - please consult w/your veterinarian under any and all circumstances.

  • #2
    We've talked about doing it at our barn and the idea seems to be to cart in lots of stone dust and then have a tamping party (call in everybody able to wield a tool, hah) so it gets packed flat and level before you put the mats down.
    The Trials and Jubilations of a Twenty-Something Re-rider
    Happy owner of Kieran the mostly-white-very-large-not-pony.


    • #3
      I have done this...a lot!

      How I do it, is bring in the stonedust and wheel barrow it into the stalls(nothing I own or can rent has a bucket that can fit thru the openings), but if you have a machine that can bucket it in..go for it.

      Once the stone dust is in the stalls, level it with a rake(metal straight kind, not a leaf rake) best you can, then I take a long 2x4 and with two people on either end, we drag it across the space to see the uneven spaces. rake again if needed, 2x4 drag until its even.

      Then, instead of renting a tamper, I take a hose, and spray the stall. I get the stone dust pretty damp, being careful not to hose it so hard I move the stonedust.
      Next day, its pretty tamped down and hard as a rock. Then we put mats over the stonedust. Works pretty well.

      YOu will get the idea when you lay the mats, how important it is for them to lay even. At this point, you will get down on your hands and knees and scrape away or add stone dust depending on the need.

      Its not 'hard' as far in difficulty, but it is physically hard shoveling stone dust and dragging mats.
      The rest is easy.
      have fun.
      save lives...spay/neuter/geld


      • #4
        You should also put a bubble level on the 2x4 to check the area for levelness before you install your mats!!
        Breeders of Painted Thoroughbreds and Uniquely Painted Irish Sport Horses in Northeast Oklahoma


        • #5
          Having seen the aisle, there is no "level" LOL

          But you can still make sure things are even, no lumps. And then yes, what they said - wheel/somehow dump the screenings in there (wheelbarrow is a lot more work, but you're aisle isn't huge and you're not having to fill it ALL in), wet, and tamp. You'll be much better served with a mechanical tamper.
          The CoTH CYA - please consult w/your veterinarian under any and all circumstances. - ET


          • #6
            We have stonedust as the base for our stalls (with mats) and down the ailseway in front of the stalls with no mats. Pretty much just watered it well and it packs on its own


            • Original Poster

              Originally posted by JB View Post
              Having seen the aisle, there is no "level" LOL

              But you can still make sure things are even, no lumps. And then yes, what they said - wheel/somehow dump the screenings in there (wheelbarrow is a lot more work, but you're aisle isn't huge and you're not having to fill it ALL in), wet, and tamp. You'll be much better served with a mechanical tamper.
              I will have to build UP. Thank god for the front loader
              "Kindness is free" ~ Eurofoal
              The CoTH CYA - please consult w/your veterinarian under any and all circumstances.


              • #8
                Well, with a FEL you're 3/4 of the way there!

                You'll really want to set up string and a screed so that at least the footing will be on the same plane, no matter the slope. Flat and hard is really critical to having the mats lay right and stay there.
                The CoTH CYA - please consult w/your veterinarian under any and all circumstances. - ET


                • #9
                  In that stone-dust is fairly impermeable, you may not want to make the stone dust entirely level.
                  "For some people it's not enough to just be a horse's bum, you have to be sea biscuit's bum" -anon.
                  Nes' Farm Blog ~ DesigNes.ca
                  Need You Now Equine


                  • #10
                    We did this nearly ten years ago, and the mats and aisle still look good. Our aisle is 140 feet long and nearly 12 feet wide.

                    I designed a drain line down the side, with a very slight pitch across the aisle to a swale, drained by square plastic yard-drain grates into the 4-inch drain line. We used a surveyors level and hammered in pins to set grades for the stone, and a long 2x4 as a screed.

                    Rent or buy a mechanical tamper.

                    We then placed the mats, cutting them with a razor blade as needed to fit. One hint, the mats REALLY expand if set out in the sun, so you may want to set them and cut them in the shade.

                    Every time someone spills something in the barn aisle, the rain comes in through a door, or the hose end comes off, you will be thankful that you put in a drain.

                    Good luck, and get lots of help!


                    • #11
                      Our aisleway is finished in stone dust and I really like it. My husband calls it "poor man's concrete." We spread the material and leveled it as best we could, then watered it and rented a small compactor from a tool rental place (the kind of compactor you walk behind, it has a big plate that vibrates). Compact the rock and keep spraying with water, not too much water, just enough that it will help the fines knit together. You run the compactor until it "creams up" on the surface, ie, the surface starts to look very smooth. Then allow it to dry without any foot traffic for several days.

                      I can rake and even sweep the aisleway, it's so compacted and smooth. Good luck!