I need to do quite a lot of pavers. I am going to make a roller out of some
very thick pipe, about eight inches in diameter. I have seen mechanical
compactors used a lot in my area.
I want this base for pavers not to settle, but I don't want to rent a
jumping jack for $85 a day for very many days. I'd find and buy a used one
I was just wondering if they were that necessary for paver substructure, or
if hand tamping with a short piece of 2 x 12 on the end of a 4 x 4 and going
over it with a roller would be sufficient.
Our soil is sandy, just like beach sand, with quite a bit of volcanic rock
and lava pieces in it.
Mechanical compactors are used primarily for tamping soil that has been
removed then recently replaced. If the area you are paving does not
have any recent fill, compaction is probably not necessary as most soil
types, given sufficient time, will settle (compact) on their own.
If you are adding fill (soil or sand), but not a lot as if just to
achieve "level", hand compacting is probably sufficient.
Don't know how many is 'quite a lot' - but you should only need it for
two days. Once when you get the sub-base of gravel down. Then
again when you've spread the landscape cloth and
Then- place one paver at a time & set it in a 1/4" or so of your
stonedust with a 4-5lb deadblow hammer-- After a while it gets to be
routine- throw down some dust, set the paver- bang-bang- next. . .
BTW- I wouldn't use a jumping jack, but a plate compactor. [with
your skills- you might want to keep an eye out for a broken one--- or
better yet, go to your local paver supply house towing your refurbed
SA200 & tell 'them you'd like to trade some services for their
Not even close. I tamped my gravel to death, I thought. Happened
to be picking up some pavers at my supplier on a Friday night. He
talked me into renting his plate compactor for the weekend for $75.
Considering I spent a couple grand on pavers, a couple gallons of
sweat, and most of a summer on that job- the $75 was a real bargain.
4 NY winters later and there is a single spot that puddles a bit- but
you can't see it if it's dry.
I'd excavate so I could put in 3-4" of #2 crushed stone. Lay
landscape cloth between the sand & stone-- machine tamp until it gives
no more-- lay another layer of landscape cloth & put down 2-3" of
stonedust. Tamp until it gives no more.
Don't see how a manual roller could give good compaction. Pound per square
inch would be very small compare with a jumping jack or a plate vibrator.
The rollers I see is the driven kind as large as a car and vibrates.
It will settle even with compaction given enough time.
Hand tamping ok for small areas or where a plate vibrator couldn't reach but
you said lot of pavers.
That would be a poor foundation with too much give, couldn't see how you
could compact this. Try 6" of 1/4 minus lift than compact it with a plate
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