Sunday, September 11, 2016

The Stone Trust "Only" Indoor Training Center VT USA

Brian Post Excitative Director ( shows what can be found inside the barn on the Scott Farm located in Dummerston Vermont. Brain also goes over the what is expected when your planning to take a test for your DSWA (Dry Stone Walling Associations UK) level 1 or 2.

For years I've trained and tested @ The Stone Trust. The Scott Farm is such a beautiful place to be. Easy lodging on site or down in town. May 2016 I was asked to come and teach with many other incredible DSWA examiners / instructors. I such a good time. What I really love the most about the team of certified DSWA members/instructors/examiners is the TRUE desire to share the craft. Teach, train and test - a life skill which others cold consider a direct threat to there own trade. Not with these certified wallers men and women -  sharing there passion which we have all learned to someone else. This can be best put was a trades family. A wiliness to share the love for what we do day to day. To often I witness personally in the trades the ignorance to keep everything to one self. A fear generated because you could take business away from someone else. I was taught early on that there is plenty of pie for everyone. Those who don't want to share are the ones who miss out in life. To bad for them!

I'll post some photos in the coming month of the May 2016 events.While I was up there I asked Brian (Professional DSWA Certified Waller/Instructor/ VT Certified Landscape Architect) if he would be ok being filmed. He had said they've wanted to film something but just didn't got around to it. While I have no plans to trade my trade for a new career in film. I do love the opportunities others have given so I may share with the world professionals in the trade of dry laid stone construction. Thank you all!!!

Monday, August 15, 2016

2016 Fall Dry Laid Stone Workshops Dates


Yes it's that time of year to think about FALL DRY STONE WORKSHOPS @ Rockin Walls Training Center. Ok if you're still at the beach or on vacation this might be the best time to think cooler temps relaxing with the stone under shady trees.  Be one with mother nature and learn the craft of dry laid stone.

I'm always thinking of NEW MIXES of First Ever workshops to be taught in the USA. I believe in offering interested wallers workshops which fit their desired needs for their personal projects. The 2 day workshop line up will have dates coming shortly for end of September and October 2016.

2 Day - October 29-30
• Day 1: Fundamentals: Building Wall Frames, Intro "Try before you buy" -  Tools, Build Foundation.
• Day 2: Short Dry Laid Stone Freestanding Wall with formal Flat Caps - PA Blue Stone
8:30 am - 4:30 pm
4 - openings remaining

WOMEN'S WORKSHOP by Kim Coggin assisted by Mark Jurus as needed.


 If you would like to be the first to hear about current workshops please sign up for Rockin Walls Exclusive walling workshop E-Newsletter
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Friday, August 12, 2016

HPTC Project 2016 @ Hopewell Furnace National Historic Site

Understanding Proper Dry Laid Stone Techniques - Hopewell Furnace National Historic Site PA - HPTC

Rebuild of east headrace sections 3' +/- H dry laid stone retaining wall most likely built in 1771 to supply the water to the water wheel to run the furnace. The wall was then rebuilt in 1939 by the CCC (Civilian Conservation Corps) and then again in 1984 NPS Williamsport Preservation Training Center of Williamsport, MD. Documentation of the project can be found in the park’s central file H3015, and in the archives
accessioned as HOFU- 936. Black- and- white photographs documenting the deteriorated condition of the wall in 1983, and its reconstruction in 1984.

Hopewell Furnace National Historic Site in southeastern Berks County, near Elverson, Pennsylvania, is an example of an American 19th century rural "iron plantation"....Wikipedia

Sunday, July 10, 2016

Historic Preservation Training Center HPTC - Trade Rodeo - National Park Service / June 2016

- Key Points of Repointing

I had a great time at the Historic Preservation Training Center HPTC. Which hosted there first ever Trade Rodeo for the National Park Service NPS this month. HPTC could best described as the Navy Seals of the NPS. When a repair, updates, replacements, new items needs to be created the HPTC comes to the rescue. Armed with many craftsman and women along with architects... the list just keeps going. I'm so honored that the HPTC is located in Frederick Maryland which is only 1 hour away. Right in my backyard. The Dry Stone Conservancy DSC had worked hand in had the NPS in the past with a great deal of training and repairs of Dry Laid Stone Constructions all over the USA. I'm looking forward to future projects within the surrounding states both new builds along with repairs of old structures. 

The Rodeo was a 2 day event which covered many basics as seen below in a few of the photos. The topics covered:

- Get the Lead Out
- Log Hewing: Carving a Timber the Pioneer Way
- What's Mud Got To Do With It: Adobe
- The Nitty Gritty of Mortar Analysis
- Getting Keen on Sharpening (wood tools)
- Documenting Historic Structures
- Roof Installation: Keeping Your Structure Dry
- Getting To Know Terrazzo
- Something Old, Something New, Something Dutchmanned, Something Glued
- Key Points of Repointing
- Stay in Your Lane
- Look - Don't Touch: Blood-borne and Airborne Pathogens

I was invited  to the rodeo since I will be working along side HPTC staff at the Hopewell Furnace State Park in PA July 2016.  With the initiative to train youth in the trades to help bring awarness to the endless need for services of historic landmarks all over the USA. We will be working on repairing sections of wall with removal of mortar and fixing failed dry laid stone retaining wall sections. As a Certified Dry Stone Instructor with the Dry Stone Walling Association of Great Britain DSWA UK. I'm honored to be the lead instructor. 

I had an amazing time meeting the talented team of tradesman/women at HPTC. I'm look forward to a life long relationship.  Now I have my government Dun and Bradstreet number this will allow me to bid on Government contracts and work with the NPS directly if chosen. How cool is that? Helping to preserve history while teaching others what you love?!

Life is amazon, how our paths are chosen when we choose to follow them. 

- Key Points of Repointing

- Something Old, Something New, Something Dutchmanned, Something Glued

- Getting To Know Terrazzo

- Getting To Know Terrazzo
- Getting To Know Terrazzo
- Getting To Know Terrazzo

- Getting To Know Terrazzo

Now what is really cool in this photos is the red vacuum looking machine in the back round. What you might not notice but the demonstrator is using a grinding wheel with no dust mask. Because he is hooked up to the Pullmer Ermator S26 HEPA Dust Extractor. If you don't know OSHA has come out with a new list of requirements to protect workers from Air Born Silica. This device has adaptors to fit to any of your tools as you cut, grid.... just about anything that generates dust. Extremely cool. Pricy if your a one man show - but what is your life worth? Safety first!!!

- Getting To Know Terrazzo

- What's Mud Got To Do With It: Adobe

Water test of Clay to sand ratio in jar which if you really look or click on this photo you will see this is a 50/50 ratio. This is a test which was do in order to know if anything needed to be added to help produce the Adobe blocks. 

- Log Hewing: Carving a Timber the Pioneer Way

- Wood working shop

- Getting Keen on Sharpening (wood tools)

The Mission of the HPTC: The Historic Preservation Training Center (HPTC) is dedicated to the safe preservation and maintenance of national parks or partner facilities by demonstrating outstanding leadership, delivering quality preservation services, and developing educational courses that fulfill the competency requirements of Service employees in the career fields of Historic Preservation Skills, Risk Management, Maintenance, and Planning, Design, and Construction.

Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Nick Aitken - Scotland @ The Stone Trust VT USA - Feidin & Galloway Dyke Workshop

WWW.THESTONETRUST.ORG First Every 2 Day Workshop to be taught in the USA.  May 14th-15th, 2016 Dummerston Center Vermont. 

Lead Instructors Nick Aitken - Scotland (as seen in video) and Dean McLellan - Canada  both DSWA Master / Examiner / Instructor.

Scottish And Irish Wall Workshop, Dry laid stone construction. (Dry Stack)

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

For Sale Local Landscape Boulders - Barn Foundation Stone

Local Cockeysville marble and Preatyboy Shist Landscape Boulders. Starting at $15.00 - $25.00. 

Bulk or Palleted also available starting at 100.00 and up. 

White Limestone Cockeysville Marble historic barn foundation stone.

Preatyboy shist barn foundation stone

Local bulk hauling available.

Saturday, May 7, 2016

4/2016 Millers Station Springhouse Foundation

4/2016 Millers Station Springhouse. 34 day build, 42 ' long freestanding dry laid stone construction. What a killer way to start 2016 year off!!! My neighbors John and Christina had asked if I could build a structure which would look like an old foundation. Me and John talked a bit about his vision of having a water feature coming out of the back corner of the tall walls. Yes in time this will be covered up. I sure can't wait to see what's in store for next chapter of this project.
Freehand sketch of illustrated design

As a team we discussed and planned with his vision in mind. I had suggested the placement of the structure be turned in order for it to be seen easily when looking from inside or when sitting inside the closed deck.

Wall specs: Primary stone Butler Stone which is a quartzite material - super hard. Mixed with West Mountain and PA colonial blue stone. From right to left 5' H x 12' L, Back wall 5' H x 16' L, 4' H x 6' L, left wall 4' H x 8' L. 2 cheekends (wall head), 3 corners, 12 tie stones, 2 window frames, 1 bench made up of 3 stones cantilevered from wall, 1 lental. Batter angle 1:8 with 16" tops 32" base on tall wall with 39" protruding foundation set below grade on earth. 

The PA Colonial tie stones set at 18" high centered on 3' and staggered at upper level.

Building cheekends (wall head) or any kind of corners requires stone which are referred to as squares and rectangles. This project was all primarily palleted local Butler stone from Butler Maryland. While Butler stone in general is very pricy by the ton.  Squares and recs are all produced by cutting the chosen stones with a guillotine splitter. To some the price of this produced stone can seem out of space. But the truth of the matter, one can spend all day hunting and hoping the right stone is somewhere on a pallet. Or you can stop wasting valuable time and just purchase what you need! After all time is money - your time is not FREE!!

I like to think of building a wall like baking a pie. YOU have to have all the right ingredients before you start. Knowing what you're going to build and how you plan to build it is key. I'll talk more about this in the future blog on this project. 

This is the corner section where the water feature will coming down into a large pond in the front. 

If you look at each corner, cheekend or window you will notice a dovetail weave with stone. Just like well built wooden drawer.  Take a closer look and you will see every other stone goes length into the wall. This helps tie the stones into the structure. 

This is the 4' section. I love the angle of the wall section with the floating benches.

The 20" lentil was built as a feature in the 6' wall section.  Giving a little more light in and a bit of zing as a hidden surprise. 

One incredible project with lots of technical challenges. Pushing me to build at the highest level of my ability.  What a pleasure it was to create. 

Let me help you build your dreams!

Many thanks to John and Christina for believing in what I do!

Top of 5' cheekend a level never lies.