The first time I touched a Trow & Holden tool was in 2008 when I attended a dry stone workshop in Washington. Randy was there showcasing their tools. Our group was building a dry stone bridge and he showed me how to use a Mason's Chipper to dress the face of the Wisconsin limestone pieces. I was just a few years into the dry stone world at that time and had little knowledge of the tools. So, when he showed me what a carbide-tipped chisel could do my eyes were suddenly opened to what was possible in this trade. Up until this point I understood the craft only in my head from reading books and had very little hands-on experience other than building walkways and patios.
Now, 9 years later, I own about half of their masonry tools. I've "dressed" beautiful arrises on Wisconsin limestone; roughed out huge blocks of Western Colorado sandstone; shaped Southwestern Colorado quartzitic sandstone for curved walls; and currently we're detailing hundreds of planks of Chinese basalt so that our walls "sing to the eye".
While we generally use their tools in the way and for the purpose for which they were designed, I've also innovated new purposes for them with great results. For our two projects built in 2016 we split, shaped, tooled and finished approximately 75 tons of stone (sandstone and granite) from raw rock harvested directly from quarries. We used Shims and Wedges to make curved capstones. We used the Quarry Buster to split 400-pound pieces into 200-pound cornerstones. We used the Hand Set to shape out these pieces and and a Mason's Chipper to make crisp arrises. To make the "pineapple" textures on our Moongate transition stone we used their Hand Point. Lastly, we used the Bush Hammer to texture the stone faces on our end/corner pieces.
We work our tools very hard and push them to their max especially with the tons of basalt we are working with right now on our project in California. So, I regularly send all of my tools back to Trow & Holden to get sharpened or repaired. For me, there's absolutely nothing more satisfying than taking a piece of raw rock and turning it into a fine piece of stone that will last for eternity. To do this, you must have the right tools and we trust Trow & Holden.