June 15, 2006

Stone Stem Wall

Using locally sourced stone pulled from nearby mountains and dry river beds, two-foot wide masoned stem walls have begun to rise from the top of the rubble trench footing. My technique is to place and mortar stone along the inside and outside of the trench and then 'infill' with additional rock and mortar, thus tying together both sides of the wall.

I am planning to lay a first course around the perimeter of the studio and then work vertical from there.


Ian & Zanne said...

Hi there,

My wife and I are planning a strawbale home with a mortared stone stemwall. What did you use for your mortar? We're hoping to find something natural but able to handle a wet climate. Any suggestions?


Ian & Zanne

Barton Santello said...

I use 1-shovel Portland Cement, 1/2 shovel Type-S lime and 4-1/2 shovels sand for the mortar. Not sure what you can use that is defined as 'natural'. Lime and Portland cement come from the earth; but what people object to with cement (and lime) is the 'energy' that goes into making the product. I try to do the best I can find 'natural' and low embedded-energy products for the project. However, I want the building to be well-built also.