Stone by Numbers

Imagine the ability to design natural stone walls, stone by stone, in a virtual world and end up with a real-world duplication of that drawing, stone for stone, color for color and shape for shape.

It’s an architect’s dream come true, says Ken Jackman, president, New World Stoneworks, Uxbridge, Mass. As an artisan product, stone work is difficult to manage without being on-site looking over the mason’s shoulder.

“Ask any architect to tell you a horror story about a stone wall, and they will. Depending on who’s cutting the stone on-site, you have almost no control over the process. What architects love about our system is they can control the design and view it in CAD. And you can proof it on paper before it’s literally set in stone.”

Builders love it too, Jackman says. New World Stoneworks’ jobs can be completed up to 10 times faster than other natural stone projects, and without dust or debris from on-site cutting. “Because our stones are precut, it’s basically just pick and place. A pallet is dropped where the stones are to be installed; they don’t have to be moved very far,” Jackman says.

New World Stoneworks’ products are full-thickness stones up to 6-in. thick. Applications include fireplaces, exteriors, property walls and any place natural stone has ever been applied, Jackman says. The cutting technology New World Stoneworks uses is patented in 14 countries. “It’s a modified water jet with a stream that moves three times the speed of sound, and is mixed with sand. It’s accelerated erosion.”

Stones arrive on-site with numbers etched in their back sides, so all a mason must do is match the stone’s number to its corresponding position on a diagram.

One client specified three stone types in proportions of 50/30/20. Stones were randomized and a rendering was sent to the client. “He looked at it, made some changes, said ‘I’m going to move this stone over here, switch this one here,’ and so on. They received a photographic rendering so they could approve the color scheme,” Jackman says.

Cost comparisons should be made to real stone, not manufactured products, Jackman says. “When compared with quality, full-thickness stone in any area of the country, in some markets we’ll come in at half the price, and in others we’ll be at the same price, but without the dust; plus, you get all the time savings.”

New World Stoneworks has relationships with many quarries, but the company is open to working with a client’s preferred quarry, Jackman says. For more information visit or circle 21 on the inquiry card.