We took delivery of 48 semi-trailer loads of beautiful rock in four separate deliveries over four months. Stones varied from four to fourteen inches thick and weighed from 200 to 3500 pounds each. As the trucks arrived we measured the rocks and divided them into separate stacks by thickness.
We prepared stable footings by tilling Portland cement into the native sandy soil, then wetting and compacting it. We used square cut stone as base course rocks and have at least 1-1/2 courses buried below finished grade.
We fit the stones using a chipping hammer to take off high spots so each course sat firmly on the stones below, and used rock shards as shims to insure long term stability. For each course we would decide the rock thickness and use rocks from that stack.