Removing 1 row of concrete block

Hi, I'm building a courtyard wall using mortared concrete block (8x8x16). According to my wife, I've built it one row too high. Is there an easy way to remove the top row without destroying the row underneath? I used type S mortar, which I assume is a lot stronger than the block itself. Thanks.
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On Tue, 30 Oct 2007 14:27:55 -0700, snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.com wrote:

A two pound hammer, but only hit the top blocks and not the course of block below. This will work; unless you have steel our poured the top blocks.
-- Oren
"The voices in my head may not be real, but they have some good ideas!"
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On Tue, 30 Oct 2007 14:27:55 -0700, snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.com wrote:

Safest way would be to cut through the mortar joint with a diamond saw from both sides of the wall. If you can only get to one side, you can rent a saw big enough to saw all the way through. It's a messy, dusty job, (unless you rent a wet saw, in which case it's only messy.) But it will leave a nice clean edge that won't require much clean up.
If you just built the wall, the mortar may not be full strength, and a well placed whack with a small sledge may do the trick. Of course you run the risk of damaging one or more blocks in the lower row, which would then have to be sawn out and replaced...
Third option, get a less fussy wife :-)
HTH,
Paul
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wrote:

Thanks Guys! So what is the cure time of mortar? I put the last course on 2-3 days ago.. I think I'll go out tonight with my hand sledge hammer and see what I can do. I do have easy access to both sides, so a rented wet saw is option #2. My neighbors would kill me if I used a dry saw; I have about 38ft linear feet of wall. Regarding a less fussy wife, that was option #1 for a good while :) Bruce
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snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.com wrote:

(snip)
In that case, It would be really tempting to add 8" of dirt to the courtyard.
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On Oct 30, 4:37 pm, snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.com wrote:

Not familiar with type S. I suspect that as long as you don't have anything on top of the wall, the first layer will come right off. Give the end block a couple raps with the end of the handle as your first try. I have removed block from teh middle of a wall (plumbing access and install a new door) that was laid back in the 40s with no problem. The mortar is more a leveler than a glue.
Harry K
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On Tue, 30 Oct 2007 16:37:51 -0700, snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.com wrote:

Grab and/or pull a block loose. Work from there across the top course to remove.
Trust me the mortar in a few days is not set.
The block mortar is not the strong point; nor, will it be.

Pull the first / top course off by hand....
-- Oren
"The voices in my head may not be real, but they have some good ideas!"
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On Oct 30, 5:27 pm, snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.com wrote:

just in case, find out the permit office specifications on height width depth and foundation footers for support of the wall, and zoning requirements for setbacks from the property line. you may be taking down more than even your wife planned. -b
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Yeh, I had a nice little chat with the city's head building inspector *before* I started the project to make sure I met all setback and height requirements. I don't know if other towns are like mine, but my town has the inspector's do 'desk duty' for certain hours in the day so any dummy like me can go in and just discuss a project to insure all permitting/zoning codes are met. I think the theory is that this cuts down on unpermitted work. Anyway, I find it to be a helpful service -Bruce
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snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.com wrote:

Have you tried telling the wife you intentionally built the wall that high to enhance privacy, discourage peeping-toms, etc.?
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On Oct 30, 5:27 pm, snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.com wrote:

Wow! Your wife wasn't supervising while you built the wall? Ask her if she'll marry me.
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She was supervising of course. After I put on the last row she change her mind. I explained to her this isn't like moving furniture around. At the end of the day we compromised like married couples do: the wall will be the height she wants and I'll do the work....:-)
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On Wed, 31 Oct 2007 13:37:31 -0700, snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.com wrote:

You explained to her? How did that ever happen?!
-- Oren
"If things get any worse, I'll have to ask you to stop helping me."
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snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.com wrote:

Take all day and part of the night to do the job. Don't outwardly complain, suffer in (visible) silence, i.e., be seen taking 4 asprin, creaking around, etc. Mention, in passing, "No effort is too great to please you..."
The results on her could go either way.
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On Oct 31, 1:37 pm, snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.com wrote:

Ah the great compromise and rule #1. If she ain't happy, you ain't happy. One must learn that the pants is the boss and what he decides is what happens. Of course he must be sure that what he decides is what she wants.
Harry K
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