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Tool Guide: Focus on Flatwork

Building a stable foundation is always the best entry point for a project’s success. For flagging and patio work, just as for a building a wall, the preparation of the base layer and laying flagging is intertwined with using the right flagging tools.

For patios, walkways and paths you may be envisioning, here are a few useful tools included in our curated store collection:

Trow & Holden Rock Pick – 24 oz  is ideal for trimming and splitting thinner or softer stones. When working with Goshen stone or other stone that averages less than 3” thick, this hammer is amazingly versatile. Trim, split and shape small stones with ease. The carbide keeps its edge amazingly well. Great for shaping irregular flagging. Replacing the handle with a 16” one will give you more swinging power. (Not for digging or prying).

Rebit 1.5″ Pitching Tool  is ideal for rock facing and trimming flagging. Manufactured by Rebit in Sweden, this is a specialized tool for trimming granite and similar stones. Ideal for removing saw cuts or trimming already squared stones. Also great for precisely shaping irregular flagging. Square carbide drives cracks deep and limits spalling. A surprisingly useful tool, comparable to the Masons Chipper.

Another option to consider for beginning flagging is the Kraft 24oz Bricklayer’s Hammer .

Ideal for trimming and splitting thinner or softer stones and working with Goshen stone or other stone that averages less than 3” thick, this hammer is also amazingly versatile. Trim, split and shape small stones with ease. Great for shaping irregular flagging. Replacing the handle with a 16” one will give you more swinging power.  Makes a great digging tool for setting foundation stones.  Use the square front end for most trimming and the blade for splitting stone along its grain.

This is a great beginner’s stone hammer. Equivalent to the 24oz Rock Pick but without the carbide. If you use the blade end for general trimming or on hard stones it will wear down quickly, and need frequent sharpening.

Do not strike chisels or other tools with this hammer.  Not to be struck with other tools hammers.

3.20 Fundamentals of Flagging Workshop Overview

A good way to get familiarized in learning  the fundamentals of patio construction in a fun, energetic, hands-on environment is  the 3.20 Fundamentals of Flagging workshop.

While not strictly dry stone walling, flat-work is a common part of many projects. Doing a good job starts with a good foundation, and finishes with an attractive pattern of stone. This workshop will teach you how to do flat-work that stays flat and attractive for decades. Several different flagging stone types will be introduced, along with methods of patterning and shaping to achieve an attractive layout. For much of the afternoon participants will work with natural random flagging, such as Goshen stone. Participants will learn how to shape the pieces for a tight fit and how to level and pack them for a smooth even finish.

You can learn how to design and install flatwork this spring at the Stone Trust Center in Dummerston, Vermont and this fall at the Stone Trust New Hampshire in Mont Vernon. Start with the basics of site layout and foundation preparation. Experience a variety of materials. Finish preparing the foundation and move on to installation. You’ll go home having completed a patio section designed by you and fellow classmates. You’ll be exposed to specialized tools, such as laser levels and grade rakes will also be introduced, and also learn how to do a great job with common place tools.

TO READ MORE ABOUT FLAGGING AND TO REGISTER FOR UPCOMING WORKSHOPS :

3.20 Fundamentals of Flagging Workshop Overview