Set the Second Course of Stone
The first stone to be set on second course is the one at the lowest point. Work from the middle out. The stones fit like pieces of a puzzle (Image 1). Follow the CAD plan and set the all the stones in the second course. Only a bit of mortar is needed between stones. Once you set a stone, you can use shims to keep the stone securely in place as you work. For added strength, parge the stones from the back with mortar (Image 2). Once the mortar begins to set up, rake out the excess with your jointer so that it is not visible between the stones (Image 3). These stones are cut and designed for the dry stacked look. While you're setting the second course, continue to build up the internal structure (Image 4). Set the cement blocks up to the level of the stones. This part of the cement block structure does not have to be level. However, you don't want to be too sloppy, as the topmost layer has to be exactly level to support the countertops.