Sunday, October 22, 2017

Pics Oct 14th 2017 Fundamental Workshop

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

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?