Mix the Mortar for Building the Wall
Before setting any stone, your first step is to mix the mortar. There are two different ways to mix mortar — by hand or by machine. For a large job, consider renting a mortar mixer. A "one bagger" will hold one bag of mortar, plus sand and water. First, add the water. Generally speaking, one bag of Type S mortar will need one 5-gallon bucketful of water. However, the amount of water necessary can vary, depending on the wetness of the sand, so first put in about 3/4 of your 5-gallon bucket of water. Next, add in the sand and mortar. One bag of Type S mortar will need about 16 shovels-full of mason sand. With the mixer going, you can add the rest of the water as needed. For a smaller job, you can mix the mortar by hand. In a wheelbarrow, dry mix Type S mortar with mason sand, then slowly pour in the water. Use the same rations of sand and water, (about 16 shovels-full of sand, and about 5 gallons or water).