A good-looking, stable wall depends on stone selection. Choose square, chunky stones with flat surfaces and straight lines, as round or oval stones can be tricky to work with. To make the blocks easier to use, apply basic masonry skills (see Shaping Blocks, right) and create stones of sizes and shapes that will suit the design of your wall. Start by shaping a couple of large blocks to give the wall a solid foundation, then as you build, shape the blocks to fit.
Gather your supplies
Loose sandstone blocks
Safety glasses and gloves
- Step 1: Wearing safety glasses and gloves, put 1 block on a flat surface. Position bolster along line where you wish block to split and strike with a lump hammer to leave a clean line. Continue to do this, working your way around block to create a line on all sides until you come back to your starting point, then repeat. This creates a weak plane that will crack and evenly split block.
- Step 2: Once block has split cleanly, tidy up face using a scutch hammer. Work in towards centre to avoid chipping edges from block.
- Step 3: Use a bolster and lump hammer to re-shape larger areas of block, particularly around corners.
- Step 4: Use scutch hammer to shape smaller infill blocks and to remove any bumps that may stop a block from sitting flat, causing it to wobble.