Step 5: Cut The Stone

cutting stones for building a fieldstone wall
Photo: Russell Kaye
«»
Place the marked stone on the ground, waste-side down. Set the chisel's carbide tip on the wax-pencil line, and aim it slightly downward. Strike the chisel once, then reposition it so that the blade is half on the score you just made and half on fresh stone. Strike it again and repeat until the waste pops off.
Ask TOH users about Fences & Stone Walls

Contribute to This Story Below

    Tools List

      Q: "I'd like to build a fieldstone wall. What's the best way to do it?"
      —Norma Laren, Blackstone, Mass.

      Roger Cook replies: Stone walls are a handsome way to define and improve your property. Building them is backbreaking work, but if done correctly, the wall will last a lifetime, if not a lot longer.

      I like to set stones in mortar because you can't beat a mortared wall for strength, which is important if a wall serves as seating or holds back earth. To preserve a dry-laid look, I set the stones in a mortar that's pigmented a dark gray and then rake the joints clean.

      Freestanding mortared walls, like the fieldstone one I'm building here, need a stable, frost-proof footing to prevent shifting, and that requires a lot of digging in cold climates.

      Ask a stone yard to help determine how much material you'll need, and have it delivered as close to the site as possible. Once built, you'll have a rock-solid wall without all the heavy mortar lines.

    Shopping List

    SHOPPING LIST: Wall stone
    ¾-inch crushed stone
    Landscape fabric,
    Mortar mix
    Black mortar pigment
    Concrete mix