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Poured Retaining Wall

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  • Poured Retaining Wall

    Alright so I wanted to share the project I have been working on for the last year or so. We have a sloped lot from one corner to another and we wanted a flat spot to play soccer or other yard games. I wanted to make a retaining wall to hold it back but I’ve also been wanting a more architectural look than typical stacked block. I also wanted the railing to be embedded in the wall to keep a clean grass line adjacent to the wall.

    with that I began designing a poured concrete wall. Step one was to survey the yard which I did with a Leica disto laser and then brought the geometries into cad to determine elevations.

    After having an engineer produce a section detail for the project I realized it was too expensive to go above six feet so I introduced two steps into the footer to deal with the existing grade.

    I spent all winter cutting and assembling 125 sheets of plywood into 72 form sections. I put a hexagon pattern into the wall to subliminally suggest a soccer field which will be the end result. I have lighting and integral flower pots built into the form work and poured in two pours. First was the footer then the wall.

    not complete but all done with a camaster and starting to take shape. I think it turned out pretty well! May paint it concrete color someday but we will see how it weathers. I do like concrete coloration and look.
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    This gallery has 4 photos.
    Stinger III w/ X3 and Recoil
  • #2

    Let me know if finished pic is pixelated. It is for me on my phone but may be different for others
    Stinger III w/ X3 and Recoil


    • #3

      Wow, I have built a few retaining walls in my time and yours is very impressive. Usually folks do not realize how difficult a strong structural retaining wall is to build especially if they expect it to last. I think your will be there after we are all gone from this world. Great job! Kudos to you. Where is your home, city and state? How many man hours and dollars does it take to build if you can share? Your pictures are very good no pixilation at all. Also if you can how much wood, rebar and concrete? Some of us love details.
      Keith Hyde, Winchester, VA
      2016 Stinger 1, 1.7KW HF Spindle HSD
      Performance Package Pro, Vac, lathe, Aspire 10
      Former Marine and retired Seabee Master Chief.
      Furniture is my hobby not my vocation.


      • #4

        Now that, sir, is what I call a project! Holy moly….very well done.
        Joe Garber
        Retired, Hobbyist
        Stinger 1 SR24
        Laser Pointer
        HSD 1.7kw Spindle
        Indexing Lathe
        WinCNC, Aspire 10.5, PhotoCarve
        Storm Vacuum

        How to count to 10 in Windows:


        • #5

          I am about 30k in to get the wall done. It’s about 125’ long, mostly six foot tall.

          about 6000 for plywood
          19250 for excavation footer work and rebar as well as two days booking line pumps.
          All concrete work was at cost as it was a family friend with a 30million/year legit business doing foundations.
          600 for styrofoam “plugs” which is the void spot in each flower pot.
          3500 for hardware to bolt all the forms together and whatever other miscellaneous items needed

          Roughly 14 yards of concrete for footer and 16.25 for the wall. Two trucks full was 18 yards. I had to run about a 200’ line pump truck. On pour day for the wall it wasn’t full when the guy ran up the hill and said “truck number two is empty.” I almost fainted… not really but they had to empty the line and had a little less than a yard of discharge slurry after it was full.

          The concrete company I worked with excluded there contribution to the form at all to limit liability.

          I worked 14 hr days straight for about four weeks between my full time job and erecting the dang forms to meet pour day deadline. I did delay it once.

          hours into the project? A lot… I wouldn’t even want to guess but I did all the cad work, survey work, CNC work, assembly of every form. Two prototypes to figure out how to do it. Kicked myself out of the garage so the forms could stay good and dry until all were assembled.

          it’s close to insanity… but yes I left a permanent mark lol. One that will be there beyond me.

          tons of thanks to my wife who allowed me the time to do it. It’s all so we can have fun in the backyard for years with our three kids under seven.

          backfill day is next Saturday!
          Stinger III w/ X3 and Recoil


          • #6

            Wow. An exceptional accomplishment!!
            Thanks for posting.
            Charlie L
            Stinger II, 48 by 48, 1.7 kW Spindle, FTC + Laser + Recoil + Vacuum, July 2012
            WinCNC 2.5.03, Aspire, PhotoVCarve, Windows 7 Pro SP1