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Old Yesterday, 03:54 PM   #1
MrBob OP
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Erecting a headstone

While researching my family history I discovered the unmarked grave of a great-uncle. He was quite a buckaroo and figured prominently in the early days of Colorado as a sheriff, stage coach driver, cattleman, etc. I decided he should have a headstone as a gesture of respect and a place for future generations to visit.
So, I found a stone at a local quarry (Lyons Sandstone) and it's at the inscribers now.

I sized the stone so the lower foot can be below grade. I want the stone to appear to just rise out of the ground and I'll plant some native grasses at the foot of the stone. How do I provide enough below grade support?
The stone is about 2 1/2" thick and 18" wide with an above grade height of 36".
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Old Yesterday, 04:05 PM   #2
GSbiker
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A bag of Sakrete should do it.
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Old Yesterday, 07:33 PM   #3
Manuel Garcia O'Kely
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I don't think that slab stones like that are embedded in concrete - I believe you slot them in - I would take an edging tool, cut the BACK of the slope, just a bit of a lean back, then tamp in from the front - might want a temporary brace and a gandy-bar to tamp down the earth - as well as water if the soil is really dry.
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Old Today, 02:28 AM   #4
small_e_900
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I would just set the stone with at least a six inch gravel base. No cement.
This will allow for seasonal movement and allow a place for water drainage.
Just like a fence post.
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Old Today, 09:20 AM   #5
MrBob OP
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Manuel Garcia O'Kely View Post
I don't think that slab stones like that are embedded in concrete - I believe you slot them in - I would take an edging tool, cut the BACK of the slope, just a bit of a lean back, then tamp in from the front - might want a temporary brace and a gandy-bar to tamp down the earth - as well as water if the soil is really dry.
Most of the soil in that area of Denver has a high clay content and would probably tamp well with added water. Would you use something like a mattock to make the slot? How about the 12" depth? How about, as has been suggested, gravel at the bottom of the cut?
To reset a nearby headstone that had toppled I put down a 3" layer of tamped pea gravel on a leveled spot and situated the marble headstone on the gravel and it's still moving around.
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Old Today, 09:30 AM   #6
troidus
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Would a chainsaw with an old chain work as a trenching tool? Cut the four edges of the slot wit the chain (plunge cut on the ends), then clean out the middle with a garden spade if the dirt in the middle doesn't break free and lift out in large pieces. Use a spritz of spray paint on the bar for a depth gauge.
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Old Today, 02:23 PM   #7
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When I used to fight forest fires for the state we would use chainsaws to cut fire trail in tough ground. If it was rocky...no way would I try, straight clay it would cut like butter. Great idea.
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