Sunday, October 22, 2017

Pics Oct 14th 2017 Fundamental Workshop

November 4-5 2017 Freestanding Wall Workshop
Limited Space - Sign Up today.  Last Workshop for 2017

Octobers 14th 2017 1 day Fundamental Workshop was a huge success with women and men from PA, VA and Maryland attending. The course covered:

Walling terminology, definitions, examples of walls on site along with the stone materials used to build them.  

A Frames were also a big hit. Some had read in books about wall frames and how to build them. Instead they truly walked away with a better understanding of how to design them and build them. Sometimes hands on is the best way to help connect the dots.  Workshops are always a great way to start this process. Along with the different methods including line pines tools. 

Sorting stone was a great way for everyone to hands on.  Understand how from a pallet or bulk one should learn to read the stone before picking up just any stone. This takes years and years of practice. With the earlier day of walling ingredients the participants set out to make good choices. That they did with a palette set aside for different stone. Small, Med, Large Face stones Or as I like to call them "Sexy Faces"  Back wall stone, Cap stones are what we mainly had to choose from. With the pile of West mountain sandstone. 

Practicing how to set tie strings, spring clips, types of string and Single vs double lines. Examples of different styles of wall frames such as Rebar, 1x4, 2x4 and how to design and build them. Of Course yes we talked about Batter such as the 1:6 and what that means. So if you missed this workshop you have a couple more steps to catch up to this group. I'm sure they all will be happy to share their new learned knowledge. That's what us wallers like to do. Nothing is top secret with us stone junkies. 

Understanding how the basic operations of a Mini Skid Steer works. Giving each participant the confidence to consider renting. Working smarter not harder is the key. Moving stone can be very labor intensive. Hand carts / wheelbarrow can also be a very handly but not as much as one of these. If you rent one - the weekend rate is 2 days for the price of one. Best way to go to save a few bucks and to say off the ibuprofen. 

These pallets got filled up fast once the participants under stone walling ingredients. Understand how to Read / Sort stone based on size and where each stone can be best used in a Dry Stone structure. While some will try to spend hours shaping a stone. Making good choices saves you time. No one likes tennis elbow. 

Setting Foundation Stones below grade on earth with the prefered tools to do so. 

We also covered the 2 different styles of foundations. Then a basic tool run down of hammers, chisels, levels... how they should or should not be used when and on what types of stone. Key not a $1000 hammer will not make you a better waller. Learning to See Shapes and Sizes will! - Reading a Stone. Then we wrapped up the course with understanding how to best Assess work space and planning for a project. We covered quantity of stone, tools, safety just to name a few you would have had to been here to hear about the rest...LOL .... Great group. 

The day went by so fast I was lonely when it came for saying my goodbyes. Till next time. Please come and join use in future workshops. The word is out that stone teaches one life lessons. NOVEMBER 4-5th 2 Day Workshop. Limited Space. 

Thank you Mark Jurus - Rockin Walls Training Center. 

Sunday, October 8, 2017

April 2017 Freestanding Wall Workshop w/ Neil Rippingale

Sign up today for the last 2017 workshops of the year!
• Nov 4-5, 2017 Freestanding Wall Workshop
$385 All Levels, Homeowner - Contractor, 2-Day
Saturday - Sunday 8:30 am - 4:30 pm

April 1-2 2017, 2 day Freestanding Wall Workshop.  Rockin Walls Training Center hosted the first visiting instructor Mastercraftsman Neil Rippingale, DSWA-GB, DSC-US, from Scotland. We had a full group of eager men and women ready to learn the craft of dry laid stone. After a quick slideshow presentation of proper building techniques from Neil, the group hit the ground running. The task was to build a traditional freestanding dry laid stone wall. The stone of choice would be a flat bedded sandstone mixed with blue stone ties. 

With the threat of rain from the day before a nice shade canopy was set up. Just incase! Thankfully no rain came but the sun did. The added shade kept everyone moving and focused. As they learned to make good choices. Along with understanding some of the bad ones too. Mark and Neil worked both sides to help give each and everyone the best walling experience. 

With arms length sections the group of 9 were split on each side producing a 22' Long x 4' High section of new wall. 

Besides the overwhelming volume of tools to try, clients also had the opportunity to try day to day equipment used on any jobsite. The Dingo shown here is just one of those many machines. With the confidence of operations and understanding of how to work smarter not harder. With this added experience one is more inclined to rent such equipment for their projects. 

Periodically the group was stopped to offer those words of walling wisdom from Neil and Mark. Along with stepping back to look at the wall and just take a water break. Often tasks not taken enough by excited to learn students. 

Banker tables were set up on the each end for participants to try their hands with "Try Before You Buy" Tools from our sponsors. Another one of the many exclusive offering which sets Rockin Walls Training Center from others.

Neil R. takes some time to explain how and when many of these "Try Before You Buy" Tools, Hammers and Chisels should be used properly. What application is best fitting for each with what time of situation or stone. Tool safety, names, handling and maintenance for sharpening carbide tools was also covered. While no one tool will make you a great waller. Understanding Dry Stone Principals and Fundamentals will. Learning when and how the tools will work will assist you on your journey with stone. 

Mark explains and shows one of the building methods for foundation course. A below grade protruding foundation. The team sets there first stones to the string line and below/to grade. Much of the new wall section for this 2 day workshop had been built by previous 1 Day Foundation Building Skills/Practice workshops. During this task students tried out the Rapid digger and Pave Tech's paver hammers to set each and every stone in earth. A good solid foundation is the success for a long lasting structure, dry laid wall, a home or even a relationship. Everything starts from the ground up. 

Neil showing half of the group how to set the vertical copes on the contractor wall from the day before. While the others half of the group tries their hand at building foundation.

At knee height 18" +/- the tie stones go in set on 3' center stone to stone. The ties protrude 2"-3" from the wall these are about 27" total length blue stone. 

After 2 full days the group of 9 finished out the 22' of new dry laid stone wall. Well done team. 

Are you ready to come learn
 Proper Dry Laid Stone Construction Fundamentals?

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Carbide Chisels For Sale, Masonry Tools

Rockin Walls now offering my favorite Carbide Chisels For Sale.  

Spartan 1 1/2 Heavy Duty Carbide Chipper 1" stock $90.00
Made in Georgia

The chipper is a great chisel for directing energy out. For example if you have a stone with a extra ledge or you would just like to make a cleaner face. This is the chisel for you. Great for shaping cap stones with less chance of undercuts.  2-2.5 pound hammer suggested no more. Lighter hammer means less body fatigue. 

Spartan 1 1/2 Carbide Tracers  1" stock $80.00
Made in Georgia

This is the narrowest Tracer on the market today.  Great for splitting stones, shaping,  and so much more. For me this is my go to must have! Does just about everything! If you can only afford one carbide tool. This is the first one to add to buy to get you started. 2-2.5 pound hammer suggested no more. Lighter hammer means less body fatigue. 

Rebit 3/8" Carbide Pointer 1" stock $70.00 # PKM25
Made in Sweden

I've owned a pointer from Vermont for some time. I rarely used it based on my flat bedded stones. But over the years I've come to understand just how important this tool can be.  Removing small little bumps or areas you just can't work with wider chisels. The pointer is just that it digs in where you need it to. Once you open up an area often you can come back with a larger faced chisel,  like the chipper or tracer to clean up the surface. The Rebit hands down doesn't get any better since it has a beautiful directed flat point. This keeps the energy from shooting the chisel off the stone as you work. 

We also stock the: Spartan $95 and Kraft $78 - 3 pound shaping hammers.

As all good tools these were recommended to me by a certified waller.  Who has spent countless hours shaping, shaping and shaping. When you find incredible tools you like to share them with your colleagues. I've owned my first set of Carbide Chisels for over 10 years. They still work like new when properly sharpened.  

When you take a workshop at Rockin Walls Training Center you get to do just that. "Try Before You Buy" tools.  The only training center in the US which offers this amazing opportunity to try the best of the best. Allowing you to pick what works best for you. See our sponsors page for more information and links. 


Call or email if you have any questions. 

Tools can be purchased by check. Priority Shipping available for all US residents. No overseas sales.  Maryland residents please add 6% sales tax.

Paypal available add 3% handling fee to total. 

Local sales and pick up by appointment only. 

Friday, August 25, 2017

2017 Fall Workshops, Dry Laid Stone

Read all about this incredible • Fall line-up! 
located on the Workshop Page!


Oct 14, 2017 Fundamental Workshop

$275 All Levels, Homeowner - Contractor, 1-Day
Saturday - 8:30 am - 5:30 pm

You can't begin to spell words if you don't understand the alphabet. Don't belittle the basics.



• Nov 4-5, 2017 Freestanding Wall Workshop

$385 All Levels, Homeowner - Contractor, 2-Day
Saturday - Sunday 8:30 am - 4:30 pm

Certified DSWA UK Instructor Mark Jurus -

The Free Standing Wall workshop is an Introduction into the Basic skills of Dry Stone Masonry. Over two days we will cover the fundamentals of Dry Stone Construction, Theory, History, The Uses of Dry Stone in the present day, How to determine the size of a batter frame for your project set a frame, selecting the right stone for the right place in the wall which develops confidence, efficiency and the importance of rhythm and minimizing unproductive actions, but not at the expense of quality.

"Try Before You Buy Tools"

• Spring, 2018 Level 1 & 2 DSWA Certification Testing
April to have the first DSWA Testing in our region. Why drive 10 hours when you can stay in your own backyard?  We are extremely excited to provide this amazing opportunity to help those gain certification.

Interested?  Please contact if you would like to be placed on our contact list with more info as it becomes available. 

Spaces are limited. 

Sunday, July 30, 2017

2017 Spring / Summer - Projects Pics

Stone Projects of Spring - Summer 2017

The year has been full of all kinds of fun unique projects keeping me on my toes. So much I haven't taken the time to share with everyone what I've been up too. I felt one blog would be a great start to show how the year has been going. Some of my high lights for me were working with the DEWA National Park Service again on a historic wall rebuild in Delaware Water Gap PA. Along with the first chance to build with a new Mountain stone from my Amish buddy Mark P. from PA. The Tuscarora Mountain Stone has a very rustic look giving a beautiful weathered appearance. I'm excited to have this exclusive product to build with. This type of product is the highest sold patter for thin veneer on new home builds in our area. 

July/August 2017, Sparks - Glencoe, Blue Stone path makeover / resetting, New Blue stone steps to doors with patio landing and granite cobble stones. 

Before Makeover

Before Makeover, Blue stone filled with river gravel. Note to self never do this! What a pain to rake out of dirt.

New Blue Stone Steps with repurposed blue stone steppers and cobbles to make a beautiful new landing to enter the side door used as the primary door. 

Before Makeover

June/July 2017, Mount Airy  - Tuscarora Mountain Stone PA(exclusive) New Retaining Wall


June/July 2017, Delaware Water Gap  PA - Childs Park, Retaining Wall Rebuild, Training - National Park Service


May/June 2017,  Falls Rd - Cockeysville MD, Preatyboy Schist with local stone, Retaining Wall, Blue Mount #57 gravel walkway

Before makeover


March/April 2017, Woodbine MD, Makeover calibration w/Andy McEvoy.  Butler - Merritsville Stone, w/ PA Blue Stone Flag stone, Blue Stone steppers and edging, repurposed brick edging, Patio, Steps, Retaining Wall

After makeover

Before makeover