The mission of The Rockin Walls Training Center is to preserve, teach, and share the craft of dry laid stone. Certified training and test site by the Dry Stone Walling Association of Great Britain (DSWA) Located in Hampstead Maryland USA. Established in 2014. Home of "Try Before you Buy" - Tools. The only training center sponsored by the leading mason manufactures in the USA. 501c3
Rockin Walls Training Center hosted the second Sold Out - reschedule spring workshop June 27th. This workshop was the Flatwork Patio. Great group with the owner Robert Lehnhoff's and 4 of his lead team members along with the Pearson Brothers, Tyler and Luke. Who for the last 2 days were busy moving Luke out of NY to PA. On a Hot high 80's everyone really put in some hard work. Many thanks to all. A big thanks goes out to certified waller Adam Fisher from Baltimore helping with instructing. Adam does a great deal with Bluestone sheet stock making some amazing patios, walls, steps... check him out. https://www.pescatorestone.com/
I'd also like to thank all our sponsors, Balducci Stone Yard, PaveTech, Swanson Level, PAW Wheelbarrow, Spartan Tools, Trow & Holden Tools VT just to name those tools we used this past weekend. Rockin Walls Training Center is the only training center with "Try Before You Buy" tools. See our full line up of sponsors:http://rwtrainingcenter.blogspot.com/p/sponsors.html
We started the day off with edging options and setting patterned blue stone called squares and recs. The Lehnhoff's team jumped right in on the 3/8th angular washed stone bed.
While the Pearson brothers started out on the concrete sand bedding. No time was wasting looking for all the right sizes. After making some great progress we took a slideshow break at the request of Robert Lehnhoff's to see how Adam and I work with large sheets of bluestone to make our patios. We also had the opportunity to show off other edge examples
Later in the day Nick Balducci owner of 2 bluestone quarries in New York. Stopped by to give some great wisdom about Bluestone quarries. Everyone had the chance to ask some very good questions. Nick offered any one who would like to see more to contact Greg at Balducci Stone Yard located at Maryland Line.
Many thanks Nick for taking the time to swing over to the training site.
After lunch we jumped right into demonstrating and teaching feather and wedging. This is another great way at a low investment on tools to be able to custom split large stones for caps, curves, tie stones... Robert Lehnhoff wasted no time eagure to see just how this would stack up compared to traditional methods used such as a 14" Concrete Saw. The first straight cut was just to easy for him.
He wasted no time making a curve to see just how well it would split on a 3"thick bluestone.
SUCCESS! Next the question came up would you and or how could you dress out the drill marks? Adam and I grabbed our go to chisels and showed the quick and easy way to clean things up. Normally this is not always necessary since this is a traditional method for splitting stone.
It wasn't long before Robert was up to just one more thing! Making the R for Rockin Walls Logo. This is truly one owner who is hands on all the way! Just like they say lead by example. Now the "R" was to small and did not work out as hoped. A for effort - Robert, can't say you didn't try to push the envelope on that one.
Once finished we moved right into stand up or also called flag, irregular. Now the biggest thing about this workshop was to cover all the basics. 1 day is not enough time to cover grades, base, compacting, so many other key topics when building a patio. While we touch base we really wanted to have the hands on with all the stone. Show off all the tools we use and last but least the tricks that have worked well for me and Adam creating for our clients.
Adam showing the over top cutting and scoring method of two stones
Next he demonstrated my method of angle cutting the side for 4 reasons. 1) giving the look that it is tight to the next stone. 2) hiding the saw cut sides 3) minimizing gravel snow plowing in the joints when setting, lifting...moving 3) the ease of chiseling the edge if the stone was cut to tight that it doesn't quite fit correctly.
Then once again Robert took all the stones we had just cut and give a spin in the PAW Battery assisted wheelbarrow. No joke this thing is a game changer for moving things around a jobsite any day! These stone would have taken 3 guys/gals to move.
The end of the day everything was cleaned up except for the remains of the irregular flagstone. Everyone did a great job keeping safe distance. JC from Lehnhoff's did an amazing job following up with sanitizing all the tools all day - many thanks. We had 2 wash/sanitize stations along with 2 tool sanitize stations, and 1 spray station by the ice cold water served all day. It was a hot one but we rocked it out.
Next workshop SOLD OUT July 11-12 2020 Freestanding wall workshop with visiting instructor from UK/TN Martin Beevers.
Oct 19-20, 2019 - 2 day (Saturday/Sunday) Freestanding Wall Workshop $450
All Levels, Homeowner - Contractor, 2-Day
8:30 AM - 4:30 PM
Freestanding Wall Workshop is an introduction into the basic skills of Dry Laid Stone Construction. This workshop is one of the most commonly taught classes worldwide. Over two days we will cover the proper fundamental methods outlined by the Dry Stone Walling Association of Great Britain DSWA-GB.
Are you considering the path of certification? Understand why you should in the video below by Brian Post DSWA Examiner Master Craftsman. The freestanding wall workshop is the place to start your journey. You will learn the proper process of what is involved in a DSWA level 1 test by strip out and rebuild of a freestanding wall. (DSWA Level 1 6'L x 4'.5" H wall stripped out and rebuilt in 7 hours.) A workshop is a great place to work at a comfortable pace learning the steps for success.
All workshops are a simple and easy pace with no heavy lifting, plenty of stone and a beautiful scenic environment with horses grazing in the background.
What you will learn:
• Proper dry laid stone methods
• Strip out, organizing and rebuilding of existing wall
• Sorting and selecting the right stone for the right place
• Basic tools - overview & demonstration - Hammer and Chisels
• Feather and wedging overview & demonstration (great technique for making caps, tie stones, steps and much more)
• Walking Tour of on-site examples of dry laid stone walls (discussion)
• Safety, tools, worksite, equipment
• Demo - Operate - Mini Skid Steer Ditch Witch SK850 (participation is optional)
• Possible Slideshow presentation Saturday end of day (Dependent on interest level)
Stone type: Flat bedded sandstone local to region. Wall stone including Laurel Mountain, Colonial Blue Stone and PA fieldstone to name a few.
This workshop is also great for those who are interested in Retaining Walls. A freestanding wall is the same fundamental principles.
(Note: this workshop will be a strip out and rebuild of an existing wall. Some tools will be covered in this workshop.)
With the year coming to an end, we would like to ask you to consider Giving. Help us help others One Stone @ A Time.
Please consider a Tax Deductible Donation Today! CLICK HERE
Rockin Walls Training Center is a proud supporter of The Dry Stone Walling Association of Great Britain DSWA-GB. Our training site is committed to both training and certification. In 2018 we offered our first Level 1 & Level 2 certification. Stay tuned as we prepare to announce another Level 1, 2 & 3 certification test date in October of 2020. If you wish to reserve a space,
Contact Mark@RockinWalls.com Subject 2020 DSWA Certification reservation.
If you would like to understand why Certification is Key - Please take the time to watch the YouTube Video below. Brian Post explains in depth the value and importance of the DSWA Certification.
We highly encourage all those interested in Level 1 to sign up for a Freestanding Wall Workshop. Hands on over and over will help you gain the confidence and understanding.
Read more about the 4 levels of DSWA certification: CLICK HERE
DSWA Mastercraftsman/Examiner Brian Post (Vermont) explains the benefits of certification
Rockin Walls Training Center - The onlySponsored center in North America by the leaders in the masonry industry. Offering "Try Before You Buy Tools"
Oct 19-20, 2019 2 day (Saturday/Sunday) Freestanding Wall Workshop $450 All Levels, Homeowner - Contractor, 2-Day
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.
Stone type: Flat bedded sandstone local to region. Wall stone include Laurel Mountain, Colonial Blue Stone and PA fieldstone to name a few.
This workshop is also great for those who are interested in Retaining Walls. A freestanding wall is the same fundamental principles.
(Note: this workshop will be a strip out and rebuild of existing wall, Some tools will be covered in this workshop)
We are honored to take the training center to the next level as we continue to grow our training site with more walls. Our future plans include adding a level 3 test retaining wall and to offer scholarships, build a permanent structure to accommodate unexpected bad weather, an onsite storage for all tools and equipment, as well as more sponsors and tools to our current line up. Please help with your support while we continue to promote and support the Dry Stone Walling Association - GB with ongoing workshops and testing. Thank you all for your interest in support since 2014 when we first started our journey to help others learn and enjoy the craft of dry laid stone construction.
Please make a Donation by PayPalor Check "Rockin Walls Training Center" 3000 Rohrbaugh Road, Hampstead MD 21074
Practice • Play • Prepare - June 22nd 2019 (Saturday) PREVIOUS WORKSHOP/Test ATTENDEES ONLY!
4 Hours $50.00 8 Hours $100.00
Payment onsite - check / cash to "Rockin Walls Training Center"
Come join Mark Jurus along with UK Waller Martin Beevers in a day to Practice - Play - Prepare at Rockin Walls Training Center. The main objective is to work on putting the unfinished walls back together. Martin Beevers has spent the last 6 years building farmers walls in England. He knows what it takes to use every stone at hand and give it a job. Leaving no stone behind! Please come join us in a day of fun to help kick start our New Non Profit status. All funds will go directly to the 501c3. We will be supplying the stone and the walls. This is not a workshop with instruction but instead a day to enjoy handling stone with guidance from time to time.
Note Things to bring: Everything except for stone and the walls. Your own beverage for the day, lunch, snacks, tools if you choose, safety gear, glasses, gloves, sun tan lotion.
Fall Workshops to come! if you've been waiting please be sure to stay tuned.
We are excited to welcome the Paw Wheelbarrow. Our newest sponsor for 2019.
It's amazing how something so simple can make your day to day tasks easier. Saving you from working harder or having to have a machine on site to handle the small tasks at hand. This battery assisted wheelbarrow uses the click of a button and off it goes. Forward or reverse you will find many uses you've never imagined before. Rockin Walls has found more than a few to help on every jobsite. (The PAW will be onsite at all upcoming workshops as a try before you buy.)
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.
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
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. https://thestonetrust.org/certification/level-i-initial/ Helpful Links: www.dswa.org.uk/certification