Lightweight Block Template
When presented with the prospect of repositioning over 50 concrete reinforcing-wall blocks, my bad back and shoulders cringed. I came up with the idea of the lightweight template shown here. It is made of 3⁄4-in. plywood and 1x cedar. The template weighs 4.8 lb., in contrast to the 60-lb. concrete blocks. Its light weight allowed me to place it many times so that I could adjust the adjacent blocks and add or remove gravel base.
I made the holes on top of the template big enough for a gloved hand, and the holes on the bottom mimic the concrete bases. A small strip on the bottom helps set the courses in alignment.
I used an 8-in. spirit level and a 2-lb. maul to make the exact location and support for each concrete block. I then had only to lower the concrete block once into position and tap it into its final place. I saved myself from having to lift over 3000 lb. of blocks several times, and my body was grateful.
John W. Dueringer, Camano Island, WA