Monday, April 22, 2019

501c3 Status

Rockin Walls Training Center is proud to announce their 501c3 status. (Thank you to my lovely wife Teresa for the encouragement)

The mission of The Rockin Walls Training Center is to preserve, teach, and share the craft of dry laid stone.
Much appreciation to the Carroll County Community Foundation for making this possible.
More details to follow.

Please support Rockin Walls Training Center by making a tax deductible donation. DONATE NOW!

Monday, March 4, 2019

2019 Mailchimp Newsletter

Spring / April 2019 Workshops 

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)
(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

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!

Read More about Cheekends links below.

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

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 

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 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:

Tuesday, December 18, 2018

2019 Spring Workshops

2019 Spring workshops listed.

More details to follow. 
Along with paypal buttons to sign up. 

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

• April 26th 2019 - 1 Day Shaping workshop (Friday) $375

• April 27-28 2019 2 day (Saturday/Sunday) Freestanding or Cheekend Workshop $450

Wednesday, May 2, 2018

April 13 2018 DSWA Certification Level 1 and 2 Pics

April 13, 2018, Rockin Walls Training Center offered the first  •  Level 1 & 2 DSWA Certification. We were so excited to have 10 folks sign up for this sold out event.  Master Examiners - Chris Tanguay DSWA/DSC, ME & Brian Post DSWA Executive Director The Stone Trust VT. 

Level 1 Strip out and rebuild 6' L x 4'.6"H freestanding wall (27 sq ff) in 7 hours

Lisa Tuzo - DSC US Certified, Maryland, (Big thank you for all here help with getting the site up and ready)
Tony Dovidio - Pennsylvania
Suzannah Pace Pennsylvania
Jeremy Bishop - Pennsylvania
Danial Peight - Pennsylvania
Steve Byler - Pennsylvania
Eamon Espey - Maryland ( Big thank you for all the help with palletizing stone for this vent) 

Level 2  - Strip out and rebuild 6' L x 4'.6"H freestanding wall (27 sq ff) including Cheekend - Wallhead in 7 hours.

Ben Peachey - Pennsylvania

Level 3A DSWA & DSC Level 2 Features
Mark Jurus - 54' sqff curved wall and 25 degree sloped wall

The start of any test day is strip out. Pulling the copes in the order you found them. Placing them furthest out standing up. Then the remainder of strip out which should take less than 45 minutes. Then it's onto building the wall. 

Level 2 candidates are required to build and set up their own frames.

Tasty treats to help those through the day.

Level 1 setting frames with examiner Brian Post

First in and one of the highest grades foundations.

The Rockin Walls training center staff and volunteers spent many days and hours to help formulate success for our fellow wallers.  Extra pallets of regional native stone, PA Fieldstone,  Lauren Mountain, Colonial Blue stone and also containers of packing stone. Rockin Walls Training Center received high marks from the examiners. 

Rebuilding. By lunch time you should always be at tie height which is about 18"-20"

Mark Jurus passed level 3A curve feature.

Examiners Chris and Brain looking over things.

Long day came to a quick end after 7 hours. Thank you gift buckets were handed out to all those who tested. Thank you for giving it your all!

At the end of the day the examiners gave feedback with each section personally or with the group. Well done to everyone!