For some reason, there's no "Start a new topic" button on this forum...it will only let me reply.
I found the A-frame very easy to build.
This wasn't part of the assignment, but I decided that I wanted to better understand the slope of my front yard for a future addition I have in mind, so I started here. Also, this area is the highest on my property and faces southwest so there was more bare ground, especially under the pines.
(Above) My first task was to figure out my contour intervals and mark them as starting points for my contour lines. I used grade stakes, an 8’ and a 12’ 2 x 4, a level, and a 6”block as a prop for the “free” end of the board. It took some patience, but I was able to find and mark the starting points of 5, 6” contour intervals down the slope of the yard. Leveling anything is always fussy work, so this step was harder than actually mapping out the contours with the A-frame. Finding the contours though, was kind of addictive. It’s fun to see where the line will go next.
(Above) Also, I did two contour lines as I wanted to see their relationship to one another. The orange (flags) line is 6” lower in elevation than the pink line. The lines “behaved” pretty much as I thought they would. A few flags seemed abruptly out of alignment from what I expected, but I double-checked them and they are correct. I wonder if it’s related to the frost that’s in the top inch or so of soil in some spots.
I'd really like to get out there and finish this using the remaining 3 grade stakes but it looks like the weather will delay things. We got several inches of wet snow overnight (no more bare ground!) with more predicted tomorrow. Eventually, I will transfer these lines to my base map, though I'm still deciding the best way to do that. I’ll be using this technique to map out swales, raised beds and elevation drawings of the addition I’d like to have built.