There aren’t that many components in the creation of a dry stone wall. There are the stones and the land, of course. And the basic building principals that, when applied, add up to a strong and enduring structure. Once those elements are thoroughly understood and consistently brought together, what refinements can an experienced waller bring to his or her workplace?
One aspect to be explored is that of personal care and safety. You are your own best construction tool. Your body deserves the best working conditions you can provide.
Ask anyone who’s experienced back injury to trace the mishap back to its origins and you are likely to hear a story of lost footing.
Without a clear, level place to stand alongside the wall, the risks in lifting and shifting stone are compounded. It takes a consistent and concerted effort to keep a worksite in trim. Pathways through the stockpiles of stone need to be established and maintained.
Picture the entire workspace as a production facility and the waller’s immediate groundscape as the factory floor. The development of an attitude that places worksite safety high on the must-do list is an important step toward mastery of dry stone walling skills.