Wednesday, December 24, 2014

2015 Workshop Schedule @ The Stone Trust in VT USA

As I work to get my 2015 Rockin Walls Workshop schedule together I wanted to take a moment to ask everyone to share and pass on this information.

Please help others see all the wonderful workshops that are happing At The Stone Trust located at 707 Kipling Road Dummerston, VT 05301

For more info check out their website.

Be sure to LIKE them!

The Stone Trust is the only Training Center in the USA offering the largest group of DSWA Certified Instructors under one roof.  This is a great benefit to participants giving the opportunity of diversity. 

DSWA Certified Instructor Brian Post

DSWA Master Craftsman Dean McLellan
APRIL 11, 2015 SAT. 
Indoor workshop – Contractor Focused
Brian Post, of Springfield VT
One day workshops cost $240, and run 8:30am-4:30pm.

MAY 9-10, 2015 SAT-SUN. 
Spring Outdoor 2 Day Workshop
Chris Tanguay of Yarmouth ME  (Certified DSWA & DSC Master Craftsman) , and Dean McLellan of Holstein Ontario. (Certified DSWA Master Craftsman)

Indoor Workshop – Test Prep Focused
Seth Harris, of Springfield VT
One day workshops cost $240, and run 8:30am4:30pm.
Two day workshops cost $340

MAY 11, 2015 MONDAY
May Certification Day 2015
DSWA Certified Instructor Seth Harris

Instructors Certification Course
Two day workshops cost $340

DSWA Certified Instructor's Kim and Jerry Coggin
MAY 23, 2015 SAT. 
Woman’s One Day Indoor Workshop
Kim Coggin, of Johnstown PA
(This workshop is open to women only)
One day workshops cost $240, and run 8:30am-4:30pm.

JUNE 21, 2015 SAT. 
Indoor Workshop – Father’s Day Edition
Open to everyone!
One day workshops cost $240, and run 8:30am-4:30pm.

SEPT. 12-13, 2015 SAT-SUN. 
Fall 2-Day Outdoor Workshop
Two day workshops cost $340

SEPT. 14, 2015 MONDAY
September Certification Day 2015

Learn The Trade
Share The Craft
Become A CERTIFIED DSWA WALLER ................... Today!

DSWA Dry Stone Walling Association UK, the home of the oldest known dry laid stone walls in the world.

Dry Stone, Dry Stack Stone, Dry Laid Stone, Workshops, The Stone Trust, DSWA, DSC, Dry Stone Conservancy, 

Saturday, December 13, 2014

Becoming a Dry Stone Mason - Interview with DSWA Master Craftsman, Stephen Harrison, UK

Mark Jurus Interviews DSWA Master Craftsman Stephen Harrison, North Yorkshire, UK at StoneWurx 2012. Stephen talks about becoming a Dry Stone Mason. He reviews the basic principles and rules used in the craft of proper dry laid stone construction. (Dry Stack)

Thursday, December 4, 2014

How To - Set Large Steps /Cap Stones W/Magic Wedges

Recently I finished up some steps and cap stones. On this project I realized I needed a better mouse trap to help me with this job of placing 44 2'w x 3'l x 2'.5"-3'.5"h. Each stone weight in around 150-250 pounds. Just enough to make these easy to move but not really. 

I started with moving the stones into place with my dingo and PVC 1" pipes to roll them around. 

Related Blogs:
Tool - BIG Stone Rollers (by DSWA Certified Mason/Instructor T.J. Mora)

This second step I placed a string line on my rebar across going back so I had a quick reference for my height. The chalk line on the first steps just gives me my placement for my over hang edge. 

This is what I found in my work trailer for my better mouse trap. I had made these to help me adjust my arch frame (seen below) to make it level. 

They didn't work as I planned since I made the angle to steep. So they just sat, and sat and sat some more in my trailer un-used. With out a purpose they felt left out. Until now!!

I had cut 2 2x4's and screwed them together making wood wedges.

I use them by place them under the stone that I need to set. First to help me to get to my height. Next I slide them in or out in order to help level off the stone (or pitch the stone down for water run off)

I use a level on top to check to make sure the stone is set level. With the string line across I can easily get the stone to the correct height with minimal guess work or measuring over and over again. Wait theres more - Yes your right thats children's play chalk! You caught me.!! Sometimes I get board working alone so I leave myself notes like - Good Job keep up the great work or I just play Tic Tack Toe. - No just kidding only to help make removable markings.  Little self motivation on rainy days could be nice. O wait it will just wash away : (

Now when all else fails I just get the big arms out to do all my heavy lifting. Yes I do have a thumb on this machine - Some times the strap is just a softer solution for placement. Now if you don't have one of these amazing machines to assist you maybe an extra person will do the job or just roll them into place. I place large boards down on my wall to protect the small stones during placement. Then I place my caps down. First in order for me to see what needs to be cut, trimmed or modified before wedging them up. Notice my collection of wood boards just incase my wooden wedges are not tall enough. I place extra wood or stone underneath then build up with stone under the cap/step then slide my wedge in to give me the chance to fit the last of my stone in under to cap/step stone. 

Related Blog:

So let me recap since I missed the most important part stone under the cap. 1) Roll cap/step stone into place. 2) Lift stone to height with wedges. 3) Use wedges to adjust stone to level or pitch down for water run off. 4) MISSED content -Place stone under the caps/step stone in order to fill the voids with correct sizes stones typically needing to be tapped in. Helping to make good contact to help set the stone on top of the wall. Now I could talk more about this subject but I have another blog that does just that. I just wanted to share my Better Mouse Trap - The Wooden Wedge. Of course this is just my madness of how I do it. 

What's yours?

Related Blog:
How To - PA Blue Stone Steps - Beechdale Rd, Roland Park MD

Monday, November 17, 2014

Oct 2104 2 Day Dry Stone Workshop, 4' Rock Fence I, PA Field Stone

In May 2014 I made the trip to The Stone Trust in VT. For a 2 day workshop to become a Certified DSWA Instructor. The event was run by Steve Jonas of Concentus Consulting. I never expected to learn as much as I did. Steve works with all different types of business truly top notch trainer. 

When I was younger I was part of another movement teaching snowboarding in Colorado and PA. In a time when most ski mountains had band them at all resorts but a hand full. I loved to teach. When this opportunity came up to be able to be apart of the second group of which our class was made up of 9. I jumped at the chance. For those who follow my blog you know I've always enjoyed sharing and teaching what I've learned. Now I'm able to do this in person at our Farm located in Hampstead Maryland.

Now on to tell you a little bit of what you missed. 

We started each day in our summer kitchen were breakfast snacks, hot tea, cocoa and coffee was served up. The best way to help warm up the brisk mornings as we introduced our selves. Then moved on to a short Video: Walls of Stone, by DSWA Master Craftsman Richard Tufnel. 

6 participants from PA, NJ and MD came together for my first 2 days of walling workshop event. Saturday we had light rain so I had set up my 10' x 30' tent and 12' x 12' to keep the space comfortable. I also put down my stall mats to keep the area from being so messy under students feet. 

Sure its a workshop but I like to take those extra measures to ensure the comfort of others. After all they paid to have a memorable experience so why not go that extra mile?!

The goal of the 2 days was to work with PA Field stone building a traditional 4' Rock Fence. I choose PA Field stone for this event for a few reasons. 1) The irregular stone is a little more forgiving with new wallers - visually when placing on the wall, 2) most common stone found in stone yards in the surrounding states. 

I built the below grade protruding foundation ahead of time to help expedite the fun for the students building a wall. Frames were also set up ahead time. We went over all the basics of how to build a foundation, batter, frame options, wall ingredients and setting up string lines just name a few key points. 

12 NOON Sharp! 

Yes Hot Lunch - provided for the 2 days:

Day 1 was hot chili with a toasted salad, lots of extras and pumpkin pie
Day 2 was a traditional meal - hot dogs, hamburgers, macaroni salad, potato salad, and apple pie.

Can you say YUMMIE? 

After lunch it was back to the wall. 

You'll notice in the background hanging some of DSWA handouts made into out side banners. The full batch of these documents were also included in each students folders. The folders also included Richard Tufnell's walling book, our sponsors documents from Bon Tool Co coupon and Trow and Holden tool catalog.  

We saw the SUN on Sunday. Which turned into a beautiful warm day helping all of use shed those extra layers. Included in this day I went over each of the workshop sponsors tools along with a brief description on how they work. 

No other workshop currently offers "Try Before you Buy" Tools. The best tools to learn the craft of dry laid stone is your eyes to spot the stones, your hands to pick them up and place them on the wall. 

Lots of extra contractor buckets were used to help gather up the needed packing stone for the middle of the wall. 

Finding packing stone at the banker table is the best way to help clean up the sit without going far.

With the banker table on site this keeps the back strong without having to bend down on the ground to trim or shape a stone. Now I don't know about the table being a cup holder for the water bottle? 

Vertical caps go up quick at the end. Normally if your out on a field wall you would place your string lines over the existing stones. Since I had the frames set up with a 4' mark we just tie the string line to the outside frames. Then all the large stones that had been set aside from the pallets got set on top of the wall. It's extremely important to identify all your needed types of stone before you build. What does this mean? Well with this wall we needed nice 12"x12" +/- stones for the vertical caps, tie stones, packing stones... just to name a few. 

A great time was had by all. Stay tuned for the Nov 2104 Dry Stone Workshop 4' Rock Fence II. 

Spring workshops will be posted soon. Including new 1 day workshops. 

Thank You, John (me) Jennifer, Jack, Ryan, Carrie and Heather for making my first workshop GREAT!!

A BIG SPECIAL Thanks goes out to my wife who helped me with the folders, the Killer hot meals, getting everything set up, the support and everything else that made this workshop go as smooth as it did. Great team work.

Also many thanks to my October sponsors:

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

My Wife Rock's!

I'm so proud of my wife who started a Non-Profit this year. She is extremely dedication to here clients with Special Needs, Autism and Asperger's at our horse farm.

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Kraft Tool Co. 2014-15 Rockin Walls Workshop Sponsor, "Try Before You Buy"

Ron Meyer and Si Kraft established the Kraft Tool Co. in 1981. Thirty years later Kraft Tool Co. continues to maintain high standards of manufacturing only quality products make in the USA. As a trusted name in the hand tool industry, Kraft Tool is proud of the"Hand Krafted" workmanship attribute to every product. Our goal is simple: Maintain quality, provide good service and offer new innovative products. 

Kraft Tool's product line is manufactured for the Professional Craftsman. Our tools are created for everyday use by the professional stone masons, brick mason, cement finisher, asphalt paver, tile setter, plasterer or drywall craftsman.

3 lb Stone Mason Hammer  BL333 - 16" wood handle. Made in the USA. Made of forged and tempered steel. Great single hammer for breaking stones or splitting with the back end.  The wide front face give for good solid contact.  $78

In 2014 I saw this hammer in use at the  Willowbank School Event, Niagara Canada. Dean McLellan DSWA Master Stone Mason was hosting a competition for all the professionals. This hammer along with a Rock Hammer was the only tools being used. The workshop students also had their hands all over these. The photo above shows the hammers sitting on the Through Stones at lunch break. 

To see everything Kraft Tool Company has to offer visit their website Click Here

Please support my Sponsors.

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