How to repoint a fieldstone retaining wall

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Old 09-16-14, 10:31 AM
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How to repoint a fieldstone retaining wall

In front of my house is a fieldstone retaining wall. A lot of the mortar holding the stones together has dried, cracked, and fallen out.
I had a mason look at the wall and he guessed that I have between 2-5 years left before it needs to be rebuilt. Quote to rebuild it was about $3800, which seemed fair but out of budget for this year given I can still get ~2 more years out of it.

What I'd like to do in the meantime (and before winter) is chisel out the old mortar and repoint the especially flaky bits to give it as much stability as possible and make it look less messy. Right now it looks fairly poor from an aesthetic point of view.

The problem is, I've never done something like this before. Are there any good step by step directions? What type of cement do I use to make the mortar? What do I mix it with? Do I chisel out all the old? What do I use to chisel?

Obviously I am not qualified to rebuilt the whole wall --- I will hire the mason for that. But what can I do in the meantime to help provide additional stability and improve the appearance in the short term?

Here is an image: Please note the far left was rebuilt previously
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  #2  
Old 09-17-14, 05:50 AM
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its either mortarboard & pointing tools OR grout bag & pointing tools,,, we prefer raking chisels to remove failed mortar,,, any masonry supply house can sell you the pre-bagg'd lime mortar OR you can mix your own
 
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