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Mark the perimeter of the path using spray paint, increasing the size by 6 inches for the over dig (Image 1). The over dig is necessary to make sure that the outside edges of the stone remain stable during and after the installation. Using your excavator, excavate to a depth of 9 inches (Image 2). If the top soil or any unstable material is deeper than 9 inches, it must all be removed and replaced with modified stone. Compact and stabilize the sub-grade (Image 3). Two passes with the plate compacter should be plenty.
It's now time to install the mitigating fabric (Image 1). Be sure the fabric extends up the sides of excavation (Image 2). Where more than one piece of fabric is used, make sure the pieces overlap by at least 12". Sod staples can be used to secure the fabric in place.
After the mitigating fabric is tacked down, it's time to lay the modified stone base. Six inches of modified stone will be used, but only 3 inches at a time are placed (Image 1). That way it can be compacted really well and then another 3 inches can be brought (Image 2).
The setting bed sand can now be poured (Image 1). This sand will serve to set the stones into place. Use screed rails and a screed board to install the setting bed over the modified stone base. The setting bed should not exceed 1-1/2" in thickness. As the screed rails are removed from the work area, their depressions must be filled in (Image 2). After the setting bed has been screeded, do not walk on it. Install no more setting base than you can install with stone on that day. Even dew can cause the concrete to harden.
Now that the setting bed is in place, begin to place your stones. Start from a square corner (Image 1). In that corner, lay your first stone. Place your first stone (Image 2) and use your dead blow hammer to lightly tap it into place. Place your next stone so the bottoms of the stones are touching. Take your block of wood and span the two stones to ensure they are level in relation to one another. Continue to install the stones into your desired pattern (Image 3).
Once all of your stones are in place, sweep your joints with the polymeric sand. Install the sand 1/8" below the top of the stone. Make sure to sweep the stone free of all sand before applying water. Water will activate the sand and lock the stones into place. Apply water. Allow 48 hours before walking on stones.
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