complementing shapes or a combi- nation of large stones and smaller ones. Apply mortar and replace the base stones after you determine their final position. Experiment with different stone shapes and orienta- tions to ensure a good, sturdy fit, because the rest of the wall rests on the base course. Try to use stones that are partially squared off on two sides, or use the brick hammer to change their shape accordingly. Note that a freestand- ing wall should be built with a base that is wider than the top course. For the following courses, you should also use “tie stones” (also called bond stones) at each end of the wall and every 6 or 8 feet. Tie stones are long enough to span the thickness of the wall. If the tie stones don’t reach all the way through the wall, use pairs of stones that each reach 3/4
Mortar applied to the back edge of the stones will hold them in place while maintaining a naturalistic appearance on the face of the wall.
Shown is the construction of the first wall of a freestanding wall, which is basically made of two walls that lean against each other.
A freestanding dry-stack wall begins with the largest rocks along the first course.
Choose stones that nest well together, which might be stones of complementing shapes or a combination of large stones and smaller ones.