Well I finally got around to attempting the mortar replacement on the top of my retaining wall with more to come in the future. I chose a wall to attempt that has no real structural impact so messing up wouldn't turn into a huge expense. The wall is 2' high and edges our driveway.
The process was easier than I imagined though lugging 60lb bags of mortar was not fun. I cleared loose debris, scrubbed the area with a wire brush to prep the surface, then mixed mortar....so much mortar. My first estimate was 2 bags which turned into 4.5 bags in total. The walls are partially hollow so some holes just swallowed quite a bit of mortar but after a while everything filled up. I finished it with a smooth top coat so in all I spent roughly 5 hours figuring it all out. The next walls will be quicker.
Has anyone ever put in a stone mailbox or something similar? The going rate is $1,500 or so in our area and may attempt this in the future. I need to search for some DIYs of this and see if it is something I want to undertake.