Monday, May 20, 2019

Curved Walls Made Easy w/TOOL's • Sola Inclinometer - Milwaukee Pocket Level

Myersville 2019 Project curved retaining walls
In this blog I'm going to share with you a tool which has helped me build curved walls (dry laid stone). Along with a simple and affordable alternative.


To start I just wanted to share my story of my first real curved wall build. It all started in 2010 on a DSC project located in Baltimore City Maryland at Wyman Park Dell. Neil Rippingale was running the project and was off site when I started my first section on the project with a curve not by choice. This was where I was in the production line up. Only having my level 1 DSC/DSWA I was very green. Well I don't think I felt like that - but it was the god's honest truth - I didn't have a clue. I started my build of a 24" high x 4' long section. Before I got more then half way up the other team leaders stopped me! They highly suggested I rebuild the section before Neil made it back. In English that would really mean Dude that section is pathetic, chop, chop strip it down and rebuild it before Neil asks you too.  LOL Ok maybe not that bad but it was BAD! 

Most wallers building curved walls by either setting up wall frames such as rebar or wooden frames in random places throughout the curve. For years this was how I did it (as seen below). It gives you a reference but also blocks you line of site. I often found I got hard lines behind the frames without smooth transitions around the frames. Hard to explain except for those who have experienced this first hand. You get it! 


Related blog:  How - To Wall Frames

In 2015 my walling friend Kim Coggin told me about this tool called a Sola Inclinometer. Which she learned from another waller Michael Murphy. Her exact words were "You need to buy one of these!" Sure ya why and what does it do? Well I trust Kim and Michael so I did just that bought one. 2015 I used this for the very first time on a 32" - 72" curved retaining wall. The first thing you have to do is set it to your wall frame to get the correct angle with the bubble. Then lock it in place. As seen in second photo up both are set at a 1:6 batter.

Now curves can be a mind game when you first start walling. I had a very hard time trusting this tool was correct - then again the bubble never lies! The other issue I had was getting the hang of reading it. Since I was not use to a vertical angled level. Not sure which mind game was harder building the curve or trusting the Inclinometer. When I got the wall done I was amazed how smooth everything looked - WOW game changer! From that day forward this is what I use. One important thing to keep in mind if you have stones that have bull noses or stick out this can often throw of your wall angle. Always be sure to keep you stones IE behind the string line. In this case the imaginary batter you have set for the wall. 



Now the model I bought was the Sola Inclinometer APN 60 T which has been replaced with the Sola Magnetic Analog Inclinometer w/Carry Bag - NAM 50. Prices range from $99-$150+ if you can find one! I would suggest trying both part #'s to see what pops up in search engines. If this is the way you want to go for a tool. The total height is only 2ft. When I'm building taller sections I place this on a 4ft or 6ft level set on the wall to be sure everything is correct. 

my DSWA Level 3A untimed test requirement. 
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SPECS:

"CHARACTERISTICS
Accurate, adjustable angular dimensions
Better, faster and more accurate reading through the patented SOLA FOCUS vials
Break-resistant acrylic block-vial with a tightness guarantee of 30 years
Measured values of circular scale:
1. Angular degrees 4 x 90°
2. Gradients 0 – 100%
3. Inclination ratios
Shock-absorbing end caps

APPLICATIONS
Horizontal measurement
Vertical measurement
Angle/inclination measurement"

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BUT-WAIT!!! I'm going to share a $$ saving tip below! 



With the love of the Sola and my passion to to help others. I realized that the New Sola Magnetic model didn't make any sense at that CRAZY PRICE!!

I began my quest to find an affordable solution for others to get the same results for less the $30 bucks.  In my travels I spotted the Milwaukee "4" Magnetic Pocket Level"Model # 48-22-5102 @ Home Depot for $20. The next thing I purchased was 36 in. x 1 in. x 1/16 in. Steel Square Tube $11. You can attach it to just about anything which is straight even a level. The other cool thing is it really will fit in your pocket. Last amazing benefit - it won't hurt your wallet. You can use it for just about anything. While you can't read the numbers as easy as the Sola. It really doesn't matter, you only need to set the bubble to your wall frame. Voila - Easy Peasy! 
--------------------------------
SPECS:

"The Milwaukee® Pocket Level offer users a compact, yet heavy duty alternative to current protractors and angle finders, while also functioning as a traditional pocket level for quick checks. Amplified Rare Earth Magnet Technology utilizes magnetic circuits to redirect and focus the magnetic field for industry-leading holding power. Providing functionality similar to a protractor, a Locking 360° Adjustable Vial secures the vial in place so users can identify and repeat any angle needed. A locking screw protects the accuracy of the vial whether it’s taken in and out of pockets or pouches. SHARPSITE™ Vial Technology magnifies the bubble so it’s easier to read, and the vial is engineered with high-impact acrylic for ultimate durability that will protect accuracy over the life of the level."

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my DSWA Level 3A untimed test requirement.

Something else both can be used for is determining a grade/slope. All you would need to do is grab a 6' level or something else long and straight. Place the level on it and adjust the bubble then read the #. For example I needed to build my DSWA Level 3 features on a 20 degree slope (seen above). The hill I found actually turned out to be 25. After learning how to do it the right way with measurements and math.....etc.  I was able to come up with the same answer much quicker without doing a lot of work under 2 mins. Now this is only really works for short distances but it does give you a good starting point.

After reading this blog I'm sure you now have a better understand how I build curved walls and the tools that assist me day to day. I'm sure these tools can be used in many applications. Walling is the one I know the best. 

Myersville 2019 Project curved retaining walls
Thank you for reading my blog I hope either tool offers years of joy walling. Please be sure to put in the comments below what you use or how you like to build curved walls. 
Mark J-

Monday, March 25, 2019

WHY I DO WHAT I DO EVERY DAY! Myersville Straw Bale Home, Backyard Patio Systems Current 2019

Current - March 2019 5'ft now underway above 4'ft wall below

The back end work can take months and months of building and planning. To often when you see a finished project it is hard to image what really goes into a project of this size! Currently I believe I'm well over 200 tons of JUST back wall stone to build this out. To avoid settling over time and the cost difference. The plan to go with straight stone instead of compacted earth just made sense long term. I've included a few pictures to help tell the story along the project journey currently still on today. The process of this project with the stone has taught me so much everyday about myself. What I'm should I be doing, Where I'm at in my skills and speed, How I should be doing it, Who I am as I work in the, freezing temps, snow, rain, sick, dark and WHY I DO WHAT I DO EVERY DAY! THE LIFE OF A CERTIFIED PROFESSIONAL WALLER.

Let me tell you a bit about the project I first meet the clients back in 2015 when the home was first being built. Like anything it was so hard to image what was being created by Sigi Koko, WHO specializing in designing natural buildings, plans and hands on workshops. See more www.buildnaturally.com

As my part of the project started I encouraged the clients to reach out to a few artist to determine the best way to go about the railing system. They felt most comfortable with their builder and his ability to create amazing woodwork on the 3 inside steps and railings.  The felt he would be best fit to handle the job. When we meet he explained to me some of the requirements for the original clay model design. I soon realized a lot of things just didn't make sense. While I don't build rails and never have I quickly learned some new things. To start if you have more then a 2' ft drop you need a railing. If you have more then 2 steps you need a handrail. I also believe there is one in there if the span is to far a way say the steps you can't touch both sides you need a handrail on both sides. From county to county, state to state this can vary I'm no expert. For the most part many of these are just common sense. So when designing the retaining walls or stairs be sure to consider including the contractor if you can. So you can design around his/her needs to install properly without frustration. This is what I did and in the process I quickly realized a lot of things just wouldn't look right or made any sense. For example the seating wall on the clay model is the right lower wall. A 3' railing would have to be installed on top of this since the overall height would have exceeded over 7' ft. from the ground. Talking about blocking the view when you walk around the house to the backyard. Or just sitting on the wall with a railing behind you YUK! Ya that just wasn't going to work. So with a few hours sitting in the seat of my mini excavator, staring, thinking, thinking some more, imagining.  I came up with a rough quick sketch (seen below) where new design needed to go. 


The new plan simplified some things but also complicated a few others. The removal of the floating steps. To more master curved steps in the middle lower walls. The left lower wall would be dropped by 12" to match the right 4' wall. Which now added a smaller circle plan at the bottom of the upper strait steps (as seen in drawing above where you see the word DOOR) So much to think about so hard to see. Just like the first day I saw the home being built in 2015. I could have ever imagined what it looks like today. WOW! So while we had a clear path, we let the stream guide us down the the now river as we occasionally bummed a few rock on the way. Adapting to the space. I could go on on and on about every little thing which really is a big thing when it's all finished. Just like the saying the butterfly theory. To often I think of those large landscape firms that have a design team who come in, measure it all out, sit at a desk in front of computer using some software to create the perfect plan. Is there ever a perfect plan in life?  The crew sticks to it and when it's all said and done it looks planned. Just like it was. Life is full of surprises, everyday we make choices good ones bad ones but are they really either or just the river taking us on a new journey. Allowing to be open, listen, feeling, trusting your gut that's what living is all about. Follow what feels right. If you don't like something change. Have a plan just be open to letting in the light and making changes. It will always show in those who do. 

In the beginning - nothing but burlap on the walls to protect the lime plaster from drying to quickly.
This was my canvas when I started. Not much in the way of any compacted earth over the 5 years of home being built. The biggest challenge how to create a upper patio that you could walk out on but also get to the lower level master bedroom. ONLY 9'ft below. Wait and lets not forget there is the lower breezeway doors limiting how far you can really come out on the upper patio. Sure yes you could build a 9ft retaining wall. Most walls you would divided the height by 2 and get how wide your base is. Yes 4.5 ft wall at the bottom wide. I've ever heard from engineers about gravity walls add 1 ft to be safe 5.5 ft wide base. Thats alot of walling and stone. Thankfully nothing had to be dug out. There is nothing there to start really. Hardscape patios for future plans boulder back walls layered in reduced sizes of stone as I got closer to the top. 


The placing and setting of locally quarried limestone boulder set by a my mini excavator became a new process for me. I can't begin to tell you how much I enjoyed this back wall building with boulders. It was like a arcade game sitting on the mini excavator using the joysticks to set each large stone in place.  


I will say it goes quick - just like any placement of stone you have to look for similar sizes and be sure to break the joints as you go. A few safety tips particle board to avoid the 10' tall doors from being damaged. I can't image the replacement cost.  The $40 dollars wood and $4 for the pool noodles were a smart safe investment. This photo also shows the protruding foundation set on earth not gravel. The gravel is only outside the walls incase you don't know how much rain we have seen in the last year. Hard to work in mud with machines or walking safely with stones in your hand. You can also see the white pipe. This is perforated schedule 40 connected to the builders black corrugated french drain so it now has daylight out the wall but can handle any weight load if by chance the bridging of lintel stone settle. 



As I made progress on the job I had to consider daily the planning of the site to be sure to best optimise my time. For example the placement of the bulk stone, The banker table the generator, the stone splitter the job box with tools not in the job trailer around the front. Every step adds time. How best to save a step helps with time management when possible. Not all things are possible on every site. Always think about one's movements on your projects. 


With winter season at hand many of the stones were placed on pallets to avoid breezing to the ground.  Later more large gravel was put down to minimize the bulk pile from freezing to the earth. Now as seen the shape is starting to come together the first small onsite boulder was a hit with many more to follow as they kept getting bigger and bigger (as seen above in pic with mini) . The mini excavator was push to the limits but with a few little learned techniques it all come together nicely. Thank you mini for making my job easy except when you drop a boulder it breaks the wall and you have to repeat the steps twice to build a wall drop a boulder fix the wall, try to place the boulder - drop the boulder to fix the wall. Ok make that's 3 times the charm. NOT I know I used some words I never use. Like jungle gym or buttermilk. Ok maybe not those exact words might have sounded like that over the running engine of the mini excavator ...


The start of the master circular steps were next on the list to build. With a total of 30 stones all saw cut on the sides, natural faces, feather and wedge faces or dressed faces. Build time about 1 month. Nothing easy about making steps unless you pre-order them to size. Which can be the easier route to take when you get what you want. I don't like to have my design dictated by my opinions. This can really limit your creative ability. Each option has pro/cons. Just stick with what works for you and the client. This is always a win win solution. 


Hard to believe I started this build back in Sept 2018. When I meet again with the clients, Serge and Joan in Myersville MD. To come up with a patio system which would fit there needs and the homes style. As seen in this clay model as I began this blog. Little by little each new section was being created almost like a room in a house. It felt so great to have a section done. Giving that new sense of space. I'm sure this blog has really helped to give a bit of sense of the timeline involved with such a build. Walling is very quick when your just walling! It's everything else that adds up. Stating that fact I lost count (my invoices didn't) of how many 14" diamond saw blades I used. All adds up! 



8 Pound Hammer,  www.ziplevel.com,  Swanson Levels,  Analog Inclinometer in my hands, Gorilla Step Platform




Close up of the first wall and small boulder. Plus the schedule 40 french drain to daylight. As mentioned above the white pipe. 


Upper steps will have 5' retaining wall now started. This will be the upper patio to back doors. In this same pic you will see what I like to call mountain shadow the title for the walling around the large boulder on right with all native stones placed around to give a timeless feature in the wall. Notice that banker table and stone splitter keep finding new homes as I build. Why you forgot already... every step should be made into a small steps. Less movement saves you time and the client money. 


Second of 2 walls finished with built in stainless steel railing rods for the home builder to build on. I call them plug and play. 

Mark Jurus in Large Planter
Eamon Espey in Small Planter
The larger planter is about 4'x5' and the small planter is 30"x 36" this is for unknown planted shade vide on upper system as see in pictures with full house in view. 



Now in the home stretch as I've started the last of the 3 walls of which is the upper patio to the back door. I'm so excited to so you more. I have a great deal of Vblogs I've created and will show up on my YouTube channel to come. Please subscribe to stay tuned. I'm really excited about the Pro Series intend for those of you in the trades or learning the trade. My goal helping others as others have helped me. http://www.youtube.com/c/RockinWalls

Thank you for reading my blog. I hope you found information in the blog helpful to you. 

The clift note specs on this project:
2019 March, Myersville Straw Bale home, 2 of 3 retaining walls 4 ft + including many large local boulders from the property. 1:6 batter wall, flat caps, stainless steel railing rods built into wall 3 courses down, all tie stones plumbed with electrical pipes for future Low Voltage Led lighting. Protruding foundation below grade. Small planter built 3' x 30" at end of wall by house for above vine trellis system. Dollar store pool noodles just for the fun of it. To protect the stainless steel all thread rods which the home builder will be installing 3' Locust logs for post from property. Stainless steel rods to be installed 4" spacing for code and to tie in with upper vine trellis system. 7 custom cut onsite - feather wedge faces curved steps 7" rise w/ 16" tread 30 stones cut to fit singles with some double stacked. Railing rods also installed. Wall built on steps. Boulders built out from home including bridging of 2 french drains and 1 out of wall lintel. Wall to be built behind this patio 5' tall for upper patio to back door as seen on background.

Monday, March 4, 2019

2019 Mailchimp Newsletter Workshops


Spring / April 2019 Workshops 

 
NEIL RIPPINGALE from Scotland RETURNS! 
In 2017 Neil was our first visiting instructor to the training center. We offered two workshops -  Contractor workshop and a freestanding wall workshop. WE SOLD OUT. Neil has worked extensively here in the US working with the Dry Stone Conservancy for over 15 years. During this time both past and present he continues to offer his expertise in directing and supervising larger projects many of which are with the National Park Service. You don't want to miss this rare opportunity to learn and ask key questions from a master of stone. DON'T MISS OUT! 
(read more about Neil on Preservation Trades Network)



April 6th 2019 1 Day Fundamental Building Skills workshop (Saturday) $300 All Levels, Homeowner - Contractor, 1-Day  8:30 am - 4:30 pm  
Mark Jurus (Maryland) Advanced (Level 3) DSWA-GB - Journeyman (Level 2) DSC-US/ Instructor DSWA-GB.

This is our most in demand workshop every year. We highly recommend this workshop to everyone even if you're a contractor. Learn all about different wall frames, how to use them, build them and why you need them. What is a batter and why. This workshop will be hands on how to build 2 styles of foundations with the best tools for the job. Basic overview of tools of the trade. How and when to best use them and with what types of stone. Last but not  least how to read stone and how to put it to the best use. Hands on sorting and palletizing material.

BUT WAIT THERE'S MORE!!!.... Assessing Space, Planning, and Wall terminology. Learning the Fundamentals are the starting point for any waller. A skill set which will be needed for any project regardless of size.

-----------------------------------------

April 26th 2019 - 1 Day Shaping Workshop (Friday) $375 All Levels, Homeowner - Contractor, 1-Day  8:30 am - 4:30 pm  
Neil Rippingale (Scotland) Master Craftsman ~ DSWA-UK, DSC-USA Examiner.
Mark Jurus (Maryland) Advanced (Level 3) DSWA-GB - Journeyman (Level 2) DSC-US/ Instructor DSWA-GB.

This Workshop will help the participant look carefully at the stone before choosing it for a specific use. This helps increase productivity and the economy of effort.

• There are many ways in which we can mark stone, this will be described and demonstrated throughout the workshop.
• Which Hammer should I use? What is its purpose? When should I use it? Which one should I buy? All part of the workshop.
• Which Chisel should I use? What is its purpose? When should I use it? Which one should I buy? Again, all part of the workshop.
• Using Diamond Blade Saws and Diamond tipped Grinders, Do’s and Don'ts.
• Working on Banker Benches, design and ease of use and practicalities.
• Texturing Stone for a finished surface.
• Tips on Drilling Stone including Feather and Wedge...and so much more!

• Shaping workshop, Hand Tools, Power tools, feather wedging and so much more!
(Note: YOU MUST HAVE - PPE (Personal Protection Equipment) for this workshop.  Safety and use of this equipment is of paramount importance during the workshop.)
-----------------------------------------
April 27-28 2019 2 day (Saturday/Sunday) Freestanding / Cheekend Workshop $450 All Levels, Homeowner - Contractor, 1-Day  8:30 am - 4:30 pm  
Neil Rippingale (Scotland) Master Craftsman ~ DSWA-UK, DSC-USA Examiner.
Mark Jurus (Maryland) Advanced (Level 3) DSWA-GB - Journeyman (Level 2) DSC-US/ Instructor DSWA-GB.

Freestanding 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, how to make 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.
(Note: this workshop will be a strip out and rebuild of existing wall, tools will not be covered in this workshop)
- 7 spots remain - Freestanding workshop All Levels

- 3 spots remain for Advanced Level - Cheekend (2 people per cheekend)
(YOU MUST HAVE EITHER DSWA/DSC LEVEL 1 / TAKEN PRIOR WORKSHOPS OR PROFESSIONAL MASONRY SKILLS - to sign up for this Cheekend workshop)
(Note: you must have your own PPE, along with tools for shaping and dressing stone)
A cheekend / (wall head) is the most common way to end a wall.  Cheekends are one of the most important first features to learn. This two day workshop will cover strip out, rebuild and the proper method to finish off the end of a wall. In this workshop you will be partnered up with one other person to take on a traditional freestanding wall cheekend. You will learn how to tie the end back into the wall along with understanding how to pick, choose and make the stones you need to make it right! This workshop will also cover the setting up of a wall frame. This workshop is great for those gearing up for their Level 2 DSWA Certification. 
• Read more about workshops Click Here!
• To Sign up for a workshop Click Here

Dry Stone Certification WHAT TO KNOW for DSWA Level 1 TESTING

NEWS
With the new year in front of us. This is a wonderful time to consider the steps needed to becoming certified as seen in the video above. The one question which comes up often is what do I have to do to become certified?

Many times we see folks think it is just as easy as taking a test. Yes and no! If you have never taken a workshop and you happen to be an experienced stone mason or just looking to start into a new trade. We suggest taking a freestanding wall workshop first.

WHY? The workshop will teach you the terminology, the steps of disassembling a freestanding wall-which is a very important process or organizing your stone before you rebuild your wall, learning to keep tooling to a minimum, making good choices quickly, and working next to someone just to name a few. All which will happen during the testing process. Watch the YouTube Video above to learn more. I've put this together to help others understand the steps to becoming certified.

  2019 Rockin Walls has started a Pro Series of videos.  This is intended to help other professionals with tricks, tips, tools and techniques to name a few - Get on the fast track of learning today. Please Subscribe! www.youtube.com/c/RockinWalls

Read More about Cheekends links below.

Professional Column Wall Ends Part 1
Professional Column Wall Ends Part 2

TOOLS
We stock and sell carbide chisels (CLICK HERE), $70 Rebit Pointer, Spartan $80 Tracer and $95 Heavy Duty Chipper. Please call or email for more details.


Thank you for taking the time to enjoy our love for stone. Take the time to share this with others.
Rockin Walls Training Center - The only Sponsored center in North America by the leaders in the masonry industry. Offering "Try Before You Buy Tools"
 
Please Support & Thank: 
BonTool • Trow & Holden Company • Kraft Tool Co. • Swanson Tool Co. • Pave Tech • Block Shear • Balducci Stone Yard • Micon Products (Rebit Chisels) • Spartan Tools • Zip Level -Technidea Corporation 
 

Thursday, February 21, 2019

StoneWurx 2012 Dry Laid Stone Stable Canada VIDEO


StoneWurx Project 2012 - Dry Laid Stone Stable Building located in Hanover Ontario Canada. The building is a total of 40'L x 21'W x 7'H. The stone is quarried Limestone (www.uppercanadastone.com) with large stones set for as the foundation. This built took over 2 years on and off with DSWA Certified Wallers from Canada, US, UK and worldwide.

The building was built on the property of www.groundeffectsinc.ca. Wedding, parties and events are held at in and around this incredible structure. The project was organized and created by Dean McLellan Stonework. A wonderful example of a Dry Laid Stone BUILDING. I Revisited and Filmed this May 26, 2018. I had the great opportunity to work on the upper chimney and front corner of this structure during a 1 week period. Where I had the chance to meet many of my fellow wallers I had been friends with online for years. So Much Fun! I love all the small Features inside the building incredible example of what can be built with natural stone.


Sunday, January 27, 2019

Pro Series - Setting Granite Cobblestone Edging


Please subscribe to my YouTube Channel

Pro Tips on setting dry laid naturals cobblestone edging for a patios or walkway. I find it takes about 3 mins to set a cobble. For estimating I would suggest factoring in a total time of minimum 5 mins start to finish. Just add up your total length of the cobbles and their sizes.  Add a few extra to cover any stone which may break while setting. Cobblestones are granite which is a free grain stone. Less likely to break over time with mother nature. Other edging solutions are available such as plastic, timbers, pavers, or concrete. I prefer natural stone it typically will be the most expensive. It looks natural and will outlast any other option. Fitting the visual look and clients budget is key!

Granite cobbles colors:
White & Black speckled Grey called salt and pepper - Most common!
Yellow/Tan (as seen in video)
Black ( some of the hardest I found)
Pink
Phoenician Buff

Most common Sizes :
Jumbo Cobbles 4"x7"x10"
Regulation Cobbles 5"x5"x9"
Cube Cobbles 4"x4"x4"
Natural stone will very from stone to stone in size!

Bedding materials may very from area to area or the material you are using for a base with your patio/walkway...Typically the same methods.

Many thanks to just a few of Rockin Walls Training Center Sponsors.
• Pave Tech
- Larger Pave Tech Hammer: WALL MALLET 80mm Wht/Blk 
- Smaller Pave Tech Hammer: PAVER MALLET 60mm Red/Blk

Please subscribe to my YouTube Channel
www.youtube.com/c/RockinWalls

Sunday, January 13, 2019

Dry Stone Certification WHAT TO KNOW for DSWA Level 1 TESTING



This Video is intended to simply cover some of the basics to assist and guide others in the process of pursuing Dry Stone Walling Association of Great Britain DSWA -GB Certification. Experience, practice  and workshops are some of the best ways to prepare. 

Many thanks to Jeremy Bishop Owner of Stone Craft Stonescapes https://b-m.facebook.com/StoneCraftStonescaping/ for taking the time to help others.  Eamon was to shy to be on camera : (  Thank you Eamon for all your help at the site for prep. I'm proud to say both passed there DSWA level 1 April 2018 at Rockin Walls Training Center. Great job guys and gals who have invested in our trade!

DSWA Level 1 Requirements: Each candidate will strip down and rebuild 27 sq. ft. of free standing wall, within a seven hour period.  27 sq ft is roughly equal to a wall 4 feet 6 inches tall and 6 feet long.  (The square footage is measured on one face.)  The test is done in the presence of the Examiner to meet minimum Level I requirements.

Helpful Links:

2019 Is a fresh year to begin your journey to becoming a Certified Waller ! 
Consider taking a workshop(s) or Prep classes to gear up - plan for success. Invest in knowledge from others in our trades.

Workshops can be found at:
www.RWTraingingCenter.com

2019 Certification / Testing 
US
The Stone Trust VT - https://thestonetrust.org/upcoming-certification-tests-ee/

CANADA
Dean McLellan Stonework - www.facebook.com/events/1698950410211750/
July 19 2019 DSWA UK Certification Day w/ MasterCraftsmen Jim James R Hanson and Laurie Lambeth (incredible fair, knowledgeable and great guys to top it off) Helped me alot for my level 3! TY Guys..m-

Tuesday, January 8, 2019

2019 ROCKIN WALLS NEWS FLASH! Start of a New Year

Time flies when you're having fun. Do what makes you happy everyday!



I'm so excited to share with you some of the wonderful things to come.  Along with a few that just happened. Man I'm so pumped for this year..

First NEWS FLASH Workshops are up with PayPal Buttons! More important NEWS - Master Craftsman DSC/DSWA Neil Rippingale from Scotland RETURNS to RW Training Center to teach 2 workshops this Spring April 2019. 


• April 6th 2019 1 Day Fundamental Building Skills workshop (Saturday) $300



• April 26th 2019 - 1 Day Shaping workshop (Friday) $375 W / Neil Rippingale
• April 27-28 2019 2 day (Saturday/Sunday) Freestanding or Cheekend Workshop $450 W / Neil Rippingale

All the information can be found at www.RWTrainingCenter.com

What's new with YouTube? Well this coming year I will be making plans to begin more Video Blogging. Stay tuned and please subscribe. Check out all YouTube  Videos with my Brand New Custom URL - www.youtube.com/c/RockinWalls



My Top 10 favorites! Yes see my all time favorites at the Baker Awards. A site dedicated to Maryland Artist of all types. Each year I list my work under visual arts. I'm a proud Graduate of MICA – Maryland Institute College of Art with a BFA - Visual Communication Graphic Design please check out my portfolio along with all the other amazing talent http://bakerartist.org/portfolios/mark-jurus-rockin-walls


Wicked BIG! Yes too large to put into words. I've been having the time of my life creating the most amazing backyard space with multiple landings. I just can't begin to explain. So I will show you as I continue my journey creating. Stay tuned.


My work hits the NEW STANDS. Yes November Brian Post DSWA Mastercraftsman executive director of The Stone Trust, wrote part one of dry laid stone. My 2016 Millers MD Spring house just happen to be the Main article spread. How incredible is that? Thanks Brain for all you do spreading the good word of stone! 



Also at a Website on line you can pick up one of these amazing Dry Laid Stone Calendars from The Stone Trust. Rockin Walls the June centerfold of 2019. Highlighting Nick Balducci owner of 2 Bluestone Quarries in lower New York. You know your having fun when you get to pick any stone you want! See it on YouTube https://youtu.be/PfQMk8ox2ls

To purchase a 2019 calendar $12.00click here: 













2018 I finished out the year with 2 New Levels of Certification - Level 2 Journeyman DSC - Dry Stone Conservancy US and Level 3 Advanced DSWA - Dry Stone Walling Association of Great Britain. For some this might not seem like a news flash but let me explain I'm currently only 1 of 11 to be DSWA Level 3 Advanced in the US. 1 of 11 the US is a big place..... and in addition I'm one of a few to be dual certified.



In order to reach these levels you must build several different stone features, then once you pass those you move to the timed test. For DSC you must strip out and rebuild freestanding wall 4' tall by 10' long measured at center of wall tie stones. = 40 square face feet in 8 hours. For DSWA you must strip out and rebuild a retaining wall 49 square face feet in 7 hours. As Seen at top of this Blog. That's what I call moving. Rockin and a Rolling to get the job done. 

Many thanks to my Wife Teresa for all the support with this Journey, Kim Coggin, George Gunn, Lydia Noble, Jared Flynn, Laurie Lambeth, James Hanson, Chris Tanguay, Brian Post, Dean McLellan and so many more who helped me understand the ins and outs the ups and downs. TEAM WORK ALL THE WAY.