Lack of suitable joint spacers is driving me crazy (my 1st flagstone walkway)

Here is a picture of my current (lousy) attempt at uniform spacers between flagstones to be set into mortar tomorrow:

The board in that picture, placed with the tall side up (instead of flat as it is in that picture), is still too thick.
Q: What do YOU use to space flagstone while you're cutting the last piece and when you start mortaring them down?

Note: It matters greatly even a little bit because the errors add up over the 20 or so pieces and you're cutting the last (middle) piece to fit.

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Chuck Banshee wrote:

It doesn't appear thet you are laying flagstones; it appears that you are cutting stones into tiles and laying tiles. NP, it is your walk.
I've never done flags but I have done considerable Saltillo tile (which is pretty irregular). I space them with my fingers and eyeballs. _______________

Lay the others then cut the last to fit the space.
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dadiOH
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On Fri, 03 Feb 2012 05:13:50 -0800, snipped-for-privacy@optonline.net wrote:

Here is the final laid stone.
It turned out that spacing them wasn't all that difficult. I did it by eye as I gave up on my spacer ideas, all of which turned out to be unworkable in practice.
Here is a pic of the final spacing: http://picturepush.com/public/7517997
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Chuck Banshee wrote:

You can get dowel rods, round or square, in almost any width from 1/16th to 1 inch or more at the box store. I used 4 of 3/8ths-inch to lay ceramic tile. They worked out FAR better than the little foam crosses.
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On 2/3/2012 6:35 AM, HeyBub wrote:

you don't need a spacer for the entire joint. you can cut 1" pieces of your pencils and use them on end, one near each end of the joint.
i've never seen any pro use spacers with flagstone; they're usually too irregularly shaped to use spacers. you appear to be making tiles with your flag, so approach this the way a tiler would, not a flag layer would. you can get plastic X spacers in the tile section in various sizes.
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On Fri, 03 Feb 2012 08:31:43 -0700, chaniarts wrote:

Up until you said that, I hadn't realized that you are correct.
My flagstones edges are cut so evenly that, in effect, they're tile.
I was just trying to mimic the original cuts.
Maybe I misread what the original cuts were ... so .... I'll snap a picture or two of the originals and ask you if they were laid as tile or as flagstone.
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On Fri, 03 Feb 2012 15:56:33 +0000, Chuck Banshee wrote:

Maybe I mis-interpreted the straight cuts and even joints in the original flagstone step that I am trying to mimic?
Would you say this closeup of the original flagstone shows they laid it as "tile" or "flagstone"?

All I was trying to do was mimic the same style:

Any suggestions before I proceed?
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On 2/3/2012 2:28 PM, Chuck Banshee wrote:

you misunderstood. the material is flagstone. usually, flagstone is laid in large uneven chunks.
<
http://www.sitepalace.com/lazygardens/landscape/atrium_starting4b_small.jpg
you're cutting your flagstone into very regular pieces, to LOOK like tile. in that case, you're trying to get very even grout joints, something that is not usual with most flagstone installations.
so, think like a tiler rather than a normal flagstone layer. use tile spacers. you can purchase plastic tile spacers that are very regularly sized, or you can make your own. if the pencil you're using is the size joint you want, then just cut a couple up into small pieces and use them on end.
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On Fri, 03 Feb 2012 14:50:41 -0700, chaniarts wrote:

atrium_starting4b_small.jpg>
Ah, I see.
I'm laying flagstone 'as if it were' tile!
Tile = Regular sized, regular pattern, & regular spacing Flagstone = Irregular sized, irregular pattern, and irregular spacing
I bought a another twenty Home Depot pencils to use as spacers for my 'tile-like' flagstone layout.
But what was the ORIGINAL layout?

Were they laying that original stuff as flagstone or as tile?

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On Sat, 04 Feb 2012 03:33:23 +0000, Chuck Banshee wrote:

Actually, today, after cutting all the sandstone to shape (as tile), I laid out the remaining pieces as a (very rough) flagstone walkway.
The walkway needs quite a bit more work (it's just plopped down on the grass at the moment) - but there's a clear difference in that there's absolutely no need for spacers.

So, thanks for the advice!
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Chuck Banshee wrote:

Yes, they have been cut so they have straight edges.

Continue as you are doing.
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dadiOH
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On Sat, 04 Feb 2012 07:27:50 -0500, dadiOH wrote:

Thanks. I've never done this before ... and I'm on my own ... so ... I do very much appreciate the advice!
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On Fri, 03 Feb 2012 07:45:40 -0800, Larry Fishel wrote:

That's EXACTLY what I did!
For better or worse, here's the final result, set in concrete & mortar: http://picturepush.com/public/7518004
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Chuck Banshee wrote:

Regarding the cracks on the existing end wall on the highest tier...
Stucco over block? When/if you paint it, fix the cracks by rubbing caulk into them before painting. I've used both acrylic and urethane caulks, acrylic for thin cracks (1/16 or so) urethane for wider ones. Some of the acrylic repairs are now about 15 years old, still good.
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dadiOH
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On Wed, 08 Feb 2012 07:22:13 -0500, dadiOH wrote:

I had mentioned offhand in one of the posts that these cracks are leaking water slightly. Over time, I'm sure that will get worse.
Someone had mentioned, IIRC, 'hydraulic cement'.
I didn't yet have time to research how to fix the crack. I'm not sure what 'caulk' is (I'm used to bathroom caulk but I wonder how that's different than grout).
BTW, is it "stucco mix" that the yellow wall is covered with?
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Chuck Banshee wrote:

You need to fix the leak(s) on the *inside*, not outside. When I suggested caulk on the outside it was solely a cosmetic fix for cracks in the stucco(?) before painting. ____________

Most people think of "grout" as a cementatious material. One that gets hard. One that doesn't flex. It CAN be other materials but not usually. ______________

I have no idea what it is covered with. Is it a block wall that is covered with a cementatious material? If so, it could be "stucco mix"; around here, lots of the stucco people use Type S mortar for stucco. When I stuccoed my garden walls a few years ago, I used thinset.
--

dadiOH
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On Wed, 08 Feb 2012 14:30:44 -0500, dadiOH wrote:

Ah, I see. Makes sense. Lots of sense. Thanks.

I see what looks like the outline of blocks ... so I'd say yes.

Sounds like a good plan for me.
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On Wed, 08 Feb 2012 11:59:15 -0800, Oren wrote:

It 'looks' like the same stuff...

Thanks for that hint.
I agree. It's not smooth and it's not rough. It's just in between.

I'll see if I can snap a picture.
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