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Leaping the Level 2 Hurdle: Reprise #2–Managing Materials and Space

In theory there is no difference between theory and practice.

But in practice there is.

—  Jan van de Snepscheut



The Level 2 timed test requires dismantling an existing wallhead and then building a new one with the same material. There is usually a surplus of additional stone staged nearby. One should observe that the laborious process of grading and sorting material has already in effect been done by the previous builder. Now the aspirant will maintain and refine the previous sorting & grading effort as the wallhead is taken apart.

The  cope stones are the first to go off the wall in the deconstruction  process. They should be placed the furthest distance away from the wall. This distance describes the outer limit of material warehousing. Some wallers choose to lay out the cope stones around 15′ away. My bias is towards further away, say 20′ ish—or more. Why? That way they are quite separate and easily distinguished.  It also will allow a path between copes and wall stones from which to pick other material from the back. Strongly resist the temptation to use copes as builders.

Some folks will place the removed hearting material—a.k.a. core fill, packing material, rubble— in buckets and yard the buckets nearby until needed. Other builders will toss the hearting into individual, concentrated heaps every 3-4 feet. Others may simply “windrow” the hearting all along the length. The hearting selection needs to be relatively visible and at hand throughout the process.

While deconstructing, one proven aid is to have a large “stop,” such as 2, 3, or 4 stones laid flat of top of each other. The stop can also be one large stone. Then the builders can be laid on edge resting against the stop. This technique is both organizational and space-saving. Each builder’s possible best face can be oriented towards the wall. The requisite tie stones may also be employed as a “stop.”

When the wall has been completely dismantled, both the material ordering and spatial management dies are cast. Take a look in your mind’s eye. What should your building zone look like before starting? Then work backwards.