Monday, February 24, 2020

Rockin Walls 65 Ton Splitting Force • Portable Stone Splitter ~ Has Arrived!



8 Months in the works the Rockin Walls Splitter has made it home to get to work. Just in time for Spring 2020 projects. Do you have a project you would like us to take on? This splitter is crushin' it.
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How it all started...

Since 2015 I've enjoyed using the Block Shear Stone & Slab portable 20 ton air assisted Splitter. I have to say this splitter coming in at 400 pounds and under $3000 was paid for by projects in the first year. Made in Pittsburgh PA. Great way to get started with a tool that can help you with pavers to natural stone on your hardscapes. Tell Ray I sent you! https://blockshear.com/

Mason & Dixon Project 1/2020

Why a splitter? Traditionally walling should be as simple as just pick up a stone and placing it in the wall. Yes this is the best way to maximize production. When it comes to walling in my area much of the stone I purchase comes on a pallet. Typically a pallet ranges from $200-$300 sometimes by the ton. This adds $$$ up quick when you are building a proper dry laid stone wall. You just never know what you will get on a pallet. Often you end up with small stone in the middle great for packing/hearting in the middle of the wall. Not great for face stones on the outside. Every stone needs to have a job. 

How I put the stone splitter to use? I can maximize a lot of stones which may not have faces. I'm always amazed at what I find on a pallet of stone. The spitter helps make the most of what I have to work with.  I can produce stones with faces, caps stone, tie stones or even square up stones for corners such as cheekend or corners. This is where a splitter can really come in handy. As seen in the project above Mason & Dixon Project 1/2020. The Block Shear Splitter w/ a portable gas powered air compressor helped me out a good bit. Also other big benefit are minimizing wear and tear on my body. Back in 2015 I got tennis elbow shaping quartzite stone for a retaining wall. Quartzite is extremely hard causing a great deal of kick back of vibration from a tool such as a chisel or hammer. I never want to get that again. 

This investment will help save me time-money and human failure which can then be passed on to saving for the client. WIN WIN for everyone long term. 

Please keep in mind not all stone walls or stone require splitting. Just like all tools they have there time and place. For example a rustic wall with natural faces may not be best suited to have snapped face stones. Time & Place For Everything. The stone and/or client dictate the the desired look and out come. 



For years and years and years I've documented portable stone splitters (seen at very end of blog) many of which were custom made. One stood out to me with its unusual design. This inspired me to dream big. I had hoped to one day purchase one. That day never came before the owner passed away. The splitter was passed to partner who then sold the company. The new owner to this day has yet to produce a updated version that I'm aware of after many of phone calls I gave up hope. 


The Inspiration - 50 Ton, splitter 11" h x 27" w (9" single 3 blades) 
Honda 13 hp gas engine,1200lbs.

So it was time for me to take action build my own. Now after 8 month in the works the day has come to get to work. During the 8 months little by little I kept added more an more little details. Why not?! I waited this long why not have a umbrella stand or a engine cover? I knew I wanted something with more than 50 tons. My good friend Mark Peachey has a portable Cee-Jay 50 ton "Stone Mason" splitter with a folding hydraulic tower and well lets just say some amazing power. At $60,000 for new or $20,000 +/- used that was clearly out of my budget for my application of walling.  A splitter like this really is great for those producing snapped natural stone veneer for buildings. At that price that's one really nice pickup truck RIGHT?! 

Turn Again Cee-Jay Stone Mason 50 ton mobile splitter

While I don't do wet work I just couldn't justify the expense even when I was offered to purchase the one from my friend Mark. Not to mention sometimes it just couldn't snap every stone put on the table. They did push it more than they should have - I will say. 


Granite snapped to 7" depth x 24" wide ~ like butter~

My first testing today allowed me to easily snap a 8" H x 24" W Granite tombstone. The same stone at 29" was just a little to big. So I would have to say most likely I could max at the same stone with a 26" width. That's amazing being granite is one of the hardest stones. In no time I made a 6 pieces of curbing out of one large tombstone. Traditionally I would have been able to create the same results by feather and wedges. With a smaller investment and a great deal more time. What's time worth? My friend Jason always says " You Can Never Get Time Back"


The other great thing about a portable splitter is I can produce stone at home or on the jobsite. No limits to what I can do or were. As long as I have a way to get into the space I'm working. I'm all set to start snapping way. 


I'm so excited to continue on my next journey of stone. Maybe I'll even learn how to do wet work so I can start snapping my own stone. For now I'll stick to dry stone walls without mortar. Friction and gravity making the most out of every stone. Leaving no stone left unturned or left behind. 


This will go into testing for 1 year before considering producing more for sale. If you would like to learn more and be added to the stone splitter list please contact me. As for the Block Shear while it was up for sale, at this time I've decided it will be great for small scale projects. Or will be available at the Rockin Walls Training Center for all to give a try during the required workshops. 


Splitter Specs: Guillotine style pull down / low tower model-designed for flat bedded stone.

• 65 tons of mobile cutting force, cylinder specs (4) : 4" piston x 12" stroke, 3000 psi  lH series - tie rod
• Process stone 36” wide up to 11” thick, current blade specs-carbon C1060, 12" removable blade made up of 3 pieces per cutting blade. Main base blade 1.1/4" thick
• Table height 34", 3/8" gauge
• 22HP V-Twin Predator (670cc) Horizontal Shaft EPA, gasoline engine, electric start
• Removable engine roof, keeping the engine protected minimizing the elements long term
• Fuel tank capacity: 4.5 gallon
• Hydronic flow / Pump 28 GPM Dynamic splitter pump, 20 gallon tank
• Valving handle: Prince 3/4" Log splitter valve


Trailer Specs:
• Frame 10" steel channel with a 8" channel welded inside.
• Removable 3 hole adjustable 2" receiver for safety while walking from side to side, or security to avoid theft.
• Single Axle Dexter p-12 model SLR, 15x5 rims w/5 lug bolt pattern,
• Removable rotating jack stand, 2000 lbs.
• Battery Deka Gold 12-Volt 650 CCA
• Easy transport, no set-up or tear down to operate
• Umbrella stand, protect the operator from sun or rain
• Low center weight with tower style compared to many tall towers with cylinders above the blade pushing down.
• Unit weight 2900 lbs (w/fluids)



Testing out a Umbrella, just needs cut the right one to height and raise it a little.

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Other splitters in the order I found in my journey of wishing. Helping me learn more about what I wanted from a stone splitter and what I did not... ie a tall tower as seen with all listed below. 


The first one I ever saw in my area. Believed to be a 70 ton. Used a good bit by a wet mason. One large machine that's for sure!

Copy of model below "Vinci"with changes, built by the same builder as mine 10+ years earlier, still in use by a wet mason 70 ton with Honda 13 hp gas engine. 

Production model out of business. 3 are known to exist at a operational quarry in PA. No interest in selling but clearly not in use from what I can tell.  Said to be 70 ton Honda 13 hp gas engine.

Custom 20 ton air assisted jack model. Sold locally as is $1500.00 needed a bunch of work. 

I hope you found this article helpful and educational. Thank you for taking the time to read more about stone splitters. 

Thursday, January 9, 2020

SPRING 2020 Workshops




• April 4, 2020 Fundamental Building Skills Workshop $195-
Saturday 1-Day  8:30 am - 4:30 pm, All Levels, Homeowner - Contractor

• April 18-19, 2020 Freestanding Wall Workshop $395-
Saturday & Sunday 8:30 am - 4:30 pm  All Levels, Homeowner - Contractor

• May 9, 2020 Flatwork / Patio Workshop $195-
Saturday 8:30 am - 4:30 pm - All Levels, Homeowner - Contractor