Tuesday, October 14, 2008


I have to build a retaining wall on my property. I have built a couple small ones, but to this point I have left the bigger ones to the contractors. This new one is not contractor worthy, but still a bit more involved than anything I have done before. To do it right, I needed a tool called a tamper, which is used to pack whatever base layer (gravel, sand, road base) you are going to use under the blocks.

It looks like this:

Home Depot wanted $40 for one. Yep, forty bucks for a stick and a metal plate. Well, I just couldn't pull the trigger on that one.

Enter . . . do-it-yourself guy.

First I built a cement form out of scrap wood (anything to use the nail gun). Then I found a handle from an old, broken-down hoe. I drove two bolts through it so it wouldn't pull out or twist.

Secured the handle perpendicular to the ground:

And poured the cement. This is what I got:

It ain't pretty, but it will do the job. Cost: nothing. Everything I used was left over from other projects.

I know, I know. My talent makes you feel inadequate. Sorry.

- CW

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