A pin or chink are small stones placed in the front of a dry stone wall. The pin as we will call it being used to help lift a large stone to match the one next to it. Or place in the wall to fill a void or gap. Some dry stone masons use this to help make walls look visually attractive or to help get a stone to the needed height. The down side of this process is over time the small stones may fall out of the wall or be crushed by the larger ones they hold up. Moral of the story avoid front pinning or chinking. The space in which the stone is filling will not be seen when building proper walls without them. Some times a pin may be needed. Back pinning is ok when packing your walls. To read more pros and cons of pinning-refer to Dry Stone Walling
: A Practical Handbook
A few examples:
Notice all the small stones missing? Others still are holding. These larger stones are 2-3ft in size. I don't know the history of this wall located in Baltimore County on Factory Road. The wall is amazing in size and only one of a kind in the area. Seems a little over the top with all the pinning 90% still in place.
The stone mason uses some stones to help get the lift he needs to the next stone. Other areas he uses the stone to fill the voids. Not all pinning can be avoided.
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