Below you will find an easy guide on how to fill gabions with stone or alternative materials. This blog will walk you through different methods.
- Experience Required: Medium
- Tools Required: Pliers (if working with tying wire)
- Materials Required: Gabions, Helicals, Stones, Partitions
STEP 1: Choosing the Right Stone
- Interlocking, angular stones are the best for filling the baskets (Class 6G).
- The stones have to be around 100mm – 200mm in order to be suitable for the cages, so they do not slip through the holes.
- If you want to prevent bulging, use 5mm wire for large, round stones.
METHOD A: Using One Type of Stone
- Make sure to have the larger stones on the bottom and the sides.
- Try to place flat stones to face the walls of the cage.
- Leave no voids and pack the stones as tightly together as possible.
METHOD B: Using Rubble Bags and Decorative Stones
- Place rubble bags or sandbags at the back of the cage.
- Add the decorative stones to the front, facing the panels with the flat side of the rocks.
- Leave no space between the rocks and the bags.
METHOD C: Using Rubble and Handlaying Partitions
- A stone separating panel will make the job much easier and cheaper.
- Connect the panel to the sides of the basket with tying wire or helicals.
- Make sure the rubble is tightly packed, then start with the front – you only need the decorative stones here.
METHOD D: Machine Filling
- Machine filling is the quickest option for large jobs.
- There will be bigger gaps that you will need to sort out by hand to make sure that there are no voids between stones.
- Use a support pole to reduce bulging. If large amounts of stone hit the panels with force, they will bulge during the process.
STEP 3: Securing the Lid
- You will only have to close the cage and secure the lid.
- This can be done with either tying wire or helical connectors.
CHOOSING LOCAL STONE
- You can use local stones that are freely available to you.
- No matter what material you choose, always make sure that the size is between 80mm – 200mm.
- You can always use loose building material that you may have lying around, like bricks.
- Because of the rectangular size, bricks will help keep a straight-edge finish.
USING RECYCLED MATERIAL
- You can even choose glass or plastic bottles to achieve a unique look while saving on the materials and recycling in the process.
- It is required that the items that you are using are hard, heavy, durable, and can also drain water.
USING LARGE ROUND COBBLES
- Large cobbles require a 5mm wire in order to prevent bulging but they look just as good as angular, interlocking stones.
USING GRANITE STONE
- The flat side of the granite that you can see above should always face the wall of the basket.
- This will guarantee a uniform look and prevent bulging as well.
USING SMALL ROUND STONES
- Smaller round stones are less likely to make the baskets bulge but still need a thicker wire (4mm or 5mm).
- These are great to use for projects calling for taller structures.
TIPS AND FURTHER READING
- How to Assemble Gabions – The baskets come flat-packed and already clipped together at the bottom and lid. They can be assembled with tying wire or helical connectors.
- If you are working with a thinner wire cages, you can cross-wire them or use support panels.
- Take some tying wire and connect the front and back panel with it.
- The wire will reduce the pressure on the panels while filling the basket.