Todays blog tip is about a hardscape hack we use in the field when making custom curves or any design out of stone that would be difficult to figure out with out trying it on first. When building a curved wall like shown here or a set of stairs with a unique shape the top of these projects are typically capped with a solid piece of stone. This stone on a step or seat wall is usually uniform in thickness and width. (2″ thick by 12-20″ wide in most cases). But the problem lies when we have to figure out how to add this 2″ stone to our projects with the old saying “measure twice cut once”. Because the last thing you want to do is ruin a very expensive piece of stone by guessing. So what we do is use PLYWOOD. Plywood is an inexpensive way to make a stencil,then transfer that stencil to the stone for cutting. On this project we were able to cut the plywood in 18″ lengths and then figure out the angles as we went around this seat wall until we made it exactly the way we wanted it to. And good thing, because even when working with plywood there were times i changed a piece or modified the angle to make it just the way i wanted to. But when working with wood that is very easy to do, not so much with stone. Plywood is used to help me in other ways to. When building an arch over a fire place or creating a bridge i can use it to see exactly how it is going to look and creates a platform for the stones to go onto during construction. This picture shows the finished project with custom granite now installed onto the bench and fire pit. Maybe this tip can help you with a project around your home. Or maybe now you have a little better of an understanding on the thought process and techniques used to create these one of a kind stone projects.