A Conversation for Drystone Walls

How do I learn to do this???

Post 1

bludragon, aka the Dragon Queen of Damogran

Hullo, hullo!
I KNEW it was you, technoyokel
smiley - smiley
Congratulations! well done! Have a fish!
smiley - fish

An' now I get to ask you something that I have been meaning to ever since I found out that you had this knowledge and skill.

How do you learn how to make a drystone wall? Up in 'da yoop' in Michigan there are all kinda stone lying around, left by a glacier that didn't tidy up after itself. Lake Superior stone. They are quite beautiful and varied and lie about everywhere. Some are lovely beach pebbles of all colors [and striped, speckled, even glittery] and some are humungous ROCKS and BOULDERS.

Both my husband and I want to make stone walls. Can we go to school to learn how to do this??? Can we take a correspondence course? Huh? Huh? Wadda we do? Where do we start?

Any information or insight you can provide would be read with great interest. Thank you thank you.

yer friend,

PS am looking for a good website that shows alla kind of rocks around Lake Superior. Will post when I find it.

How do I learn to do this???

Post 2

Technoyokel (muse of poetry)

Hello, thanks for the smiley - fishsmiley - smiley

How to build walls, errk, this could be a loong post! To start with you could look at the dry stone walling association web-site at www.dswa.org.uk (sorry I don't know how to do the linking business smiley - smiley). This is a British organisation mostly but a wall is a wall.

The basics of walling are generally similar but as someone else has mentioned here there are a lot of different styles. The style for you depends on what is locally done (if anything), what the stone is like, how much of it you have and what you want it to look like.

OK - the nitty gritty! Most walls have two outside skins and small filling in the middle. the biggest stones go on the bottom and the wall leans in at the top like this /\ . The top stones (coping) can be flat slabs or set on edge like this - IIIIIII or leaning a bit like this /////// or upright alternate big and little stones . The wall can be random shapes put together or in even courses in layers. The stones should fit together as tightly as possible and the joins should be crossed as you go - 2 stones on top of 1 and 1 stone on top of 2.

After that it varies a lot! It's a bit tricky to explain without pictures!! If you want more detail I can recommend the BTCV Dry Stone Walling Handbook which a friend of mine re-wrote recently, he's a master craftsman waller and he's a lot better than mesmiley - smiley Still he's been doing it longer...Oh yes it's by Sean Adcock, Liz Agate and someone else I can't remember. The walling association site has it for sale.

Hope this helps! I'd better shut up and go away now...

How do I learn to do this???

Post 3

bludragon, aka the Dragon Queen of Damogran

ohhhh...thank you, thank you!

I went immediately to the website, and have been wandering there. Now I gotta come over to visit, just to take the classes! There are two people in Vermont listed on the site, but that's about as close to me as they get.

I found the books, but not the one you mentioned, only
DRY STONE WALLING Published by BTCV. By Alan Brooks, revised by Elizabeth Agate. Nothing by Sean Adcock if I was in the right place.
I want 'em all, though.
smiley - smiley
I gotta learn how to do this. The walls are beautiful!!!


making html links

Post 4

bludragon, aka the Dragon Queen of Damogran

PS. to make a html link in a forum conversation like this one, just add http:// to the web address www.cswa.org.uk/


See how easy it is???
smiley - smiley

PS it's a little more complicated to do it in a guide entry.

making html links

Post 5

Technoyokel (muse of poetry)

Hello again. I'll try and remember- my memory for technical (!) detail is like a sieve. The BTCV book you mentioned is the same one - Sean only (it took him ages and lots of work actually!) re-wrote it so they can be mean and miss his name off. It's good - despite my bias- we read it and idiot proofed it while he wrote it - it's got all the basics and some technical and historical stuff in.

It's good if you can do a course but if it's your wall it doesn't really matter if you do it by the book as long as you like it! There's no real mystery about it - like anything else it just takes practice. Good luck if you decide to go ahead and try it. Love me xxoo

How do I learn to do this???

Post 6


hi there dry- stone walling is very hard at fist to do. takes time to ajust your hand to what you pick up but after time you will get better at it. have a go all the best at it bye jonneybbobsmiley - smileysmiley - smiley

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