Tuesday, 8/26: The most painstaking part of the project was doing the layout. I wanted the wall to run parallel to the fence, about 8 feet from the fence. And I wanted the layout to be very precise, so the wall wouldn't look off-kilter when finished.

Getting the layout correct was not easy because the grade sloped away from the fence, and there is also a slight grade running parallel to the fence making the ground at one end of the trench higher than the other end. Also, the grade in both directions was uneven.

Using basic geometry, I suspended lines from the fence to make two 3:4:5-ratio triangles (one triangle at each end of the trench). The sides of the triangles were 9, 12, and 15 feet, which helped me to plant two stakes precisely 9 feet from the fence (one stake at each end of the trench). I used line levels to make sure the sides of the triangles were perfectly level, then a plumb bob to make sure each of the stakes was planted vertically at the triangle's vertex.

The front side of the trench was laid out to intersect these two stakes. I made the trench 2 feet wide, so that the center of the trench, where the wall was to be centered, was 8 feet from the fence.

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