Dabney S. Lancaster Community College is offering a “Do-It-Yourself Masonry” three-session course this summer through the non-credit program, with the first session beginning August 5.

No experience is necessary for this hands-on fundamental course, taught by David Shofstahl, a seasoned masonry project manager and field supervisor specializing in high-end residential and commercial markets in Virginia and West Virginia.

“If you have ever wanted to tackle a masonry project yourself, but lack the confidence, this course is a game-changer,” says Shofstahl. Students will learn how to mix mortar, lay brick, block and stone, and perform masonry repairs.

Each session is a stand-alone with no prerequisites; however, each builds on the previous session. Students are required to bring their own safety glasses, work gloves, and hand tools (trowel, brick hammer, and 2- or 4-foot level). The instructor will cover tool specifications in the first session.

The schedule:

  • “Understanding Masonry,” August 5, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Covers the history of masonry, masonry materials and components, and an overview of tools and equipment. The 2½-hour lab component includes an introduction to real masonry tools, hand-mixing mortar, and using a trowel to spread mortar.
  • “Masonry Construction,” August 12, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Covers common hazards in masonry construction, safety practices, and planning projects. The 3-hour lab provides hands-on skills training in laying out, cutting, and placing masonry units by building and finishing the joints on brick and block walls and corners.
  • “Masonry Repair,” August 19, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Covers common structural and aesthetic failures in masonry and addressing masonry repairs. Lab provides 1½ hours hands-on exposure to natural stone masonry and masonry repair followed by 3 hours of guided practice on individual masonry projects of the learner’s choice and interest.

An overall course materials fee of $50 will be collected at the beginning of the first session.

Shofstahl, with over 20 years of field experience as a mason, understands the challenges of masonry design and construction. A problem-solver who is often consulted for professional insight concerning masonry aesthetics and function, Shofstahl’s approach combines an appreciation for the time-tested durability of historic masonry with current, cutting-edge advancements in construction.

For more information or to register, contact Doug Jones, DSLCC Workforce Solutions and Community Education, at 863-2870 or email djones@dslcc.edu.