Getting going with gabion

Yesterday we started building the retaining wall. This is going to be a lot of work. But it was a fairly easy start.

The first step, after leveling and tamping down the ground with gravel, was to roll out protective sheeting and a thick non-woven mat. Then we started to assemble the cages and set them into place.

I liked that part. Screwing the coils through the corners and edges is requires the sort of concentration and flow that I enjoy. Maru-chan taught me how to use his wire tool to make closures. I did a bunch of both and hopefully my work will hold up. I am a little worried about the first edge I did before I really understood how it worked. I guess time will tell. If there’s ever a bust-out box of rocks near the bedroom, blame me.

The next step was to anchor the bottom row of cages with some massive posts. My job was to manhandle the posts and sit on them to keep them steady while Shimizu-san chainsawed points onto them. Then I carried them over to the cages an Maru-chan and Abe-san banged them into the ground with the backhoe.

Near the end of the (very hot) day, the concrete rubble came into play. Dumped into the cages by the backhoe bucketful, each chunk needs to be positioned and puzzled together to make a fairly even, dense fill. Abe-san worked on this and I watched, then I did some myself. Imperfect is okay for this part, thank goodness. We will fill the visible parts at front and top with nicer stones. Sakaguchi-san will lead the way there; his attention to detail will ensure it looks great.

For the rest of the week, I expect we will be working with rubble, rocks, and cages. I wonder how far we will get by Friday?

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