If you intend
to get involved in resetting gravestones, use caution and have materials
ready before you start the job. Don't try to move stones too heavy to
manage unless you have sufficient help and for large stones use a tripod
or lifting tool. Be sure that when using a lifting tool that:
- no metal is
to be strapped to the stone; use canvas strapping...
- the ground
you are working on is solid enough to hold the weight and equipment
without burying itself in the ground. The more hands on the better.
and buckets you'll need the following supplies: Water, a few old bricks,
a tamping device or couple of 2x4 pieces sand, (not play sand) and crushed
- Survey your
stone and area. Before you start digging out stone remove the surrounding
grass or moss at top layer of ground and set it aside on a sheet of
- Try to dig
away from stone and avoid hitting stone with shovel.
- Keep your
tarp or a sheet of plastic at work area to pile removed dirt on. Left
over dirt can be carted off easily leaving the cemetery looking neater,
minus the mud piles all over.
- While removing
dirt keep checking as the stone loosens it may tip more or fall on
- When hole
is leveled out, place bricks in to help with leveling. Gradually fill
back in by using layers of sand and stones. In between layers take
the time to tamp it down well, dowsing with lots of water to disperse
air pockets, more sand and stone, then tamping again and so on. Stone
should be stable and secure before you fill to the top. If not you
may need to bury it deeper and if this means hiding some of the inscription
then so be it.
- Finish up by
filling in with dirt, leaving some space to replace top layer of grass
or moss that was removed. If this is done correctly the stone will
stand tight and stable.
in a recessed (key) base We use a Portland cement with extra lime mix
to keep it softer then regular cement. Remember that if the stone should
be stressed - allowing to break at a natural seam is preferable and
fixable. Using a fast set cement or concrete in some cases might hinder
the movement and cause new breaks on an older stone.
For more on resetting
and building new bases for 19th century gravemarkers go to
tripod to reset a larger gravestone...