Understanding Proper Dry Laid Stone Techniques (Video)


Mark Jurus, a mason certified by the Dry Stone Conservancy, provided instruction to the HPTC staff and West Virginia Conservation Corp workers for a  project at Hopewell Furnace National Historic Site. Mark provides brief overview of techniques that will ensure a long-lived and stable wall. Techniques can be used for both repairs of existing walls and new construction, for free-standing walls and retaining walls.

The Video

Dry-laid stone walls are common features in many parts of the country. When constructed well, they can remain stable for many decades.  They are less prone to damage from freeze-thaw cycles than mortared walls. Ground water can drain through retaining walls. But if not constructed properly, they won’t be as durable. Mark explains features and techniques such as:

  • How to organize your work space
  • Incorporating a “batter”
  • Protruding Foundation Stones
  • Face stones, ties stones, packing stones and cap stones
  • Maintaining level courses

For More Information

The Dry Stone Conservancy is a non-profit organization that  focuses on preserving existing dry-laid stone structures, and to reviving and promoting the ancient craft of dry stone masonry.  They offer weekend workshops and clinics as well as certification at three levels: Drystone Mason (Level 1), Journeyman Mason (Level 2), and Master Mason (Level 3). They also can be hired to work on your walls.

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