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What kind of trowel?....:whistling:laughing:

Usually by the cylindrical end known as the handle or grip...:jester:

But, if you are REALLY sharp, hold it by the pointed or squared end, depending on the type, and HOPEFULLY someone will quickly relieve you of all trowel handling responsibility....:laughing::laughing:

Trowels belong in the hands of pros....

Sort of like a carpenter asking how to hold a hammer....:clap::no:

Oh, hell, it's getting close to bed time....:thumbsup:
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Dom-mas raised the subject in another thread, saying there's one right way. Rather than hijack that thread, I thought I'd follow up here.
 

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Dom-mas raised the subject in another thread, saying there's one right way. Rather than hijack that thread, I thought I'd follow up here.
Judging by the smart-arse answers so far, they is a whole bunch that don't know either, or they'd a' been all to happy to tell you EXACTLY how to do it.

So, since they ain't no brickie willing to 'splain the technique here on CT, I present to you the World's Best Mason giving a short course on laying a row.

It's just too bad when a feller has to go outside his own people to get information, but sometimes, that's just how it is....:whistling

PS: Notice how he gets more mortar on the brick than he does his jeans. Now, I'm just the opposite - I slop it all over my britches, hoping a little of it eventually lands on the brick...

 

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A bunch of carpenters, talking about masonry tools, in the masonry forum - now I need a punch line. :laughing:

As far as the ops question, I'm not sure there is a Right way hold a trowel. More important is not wasting movements while using a trowel.
But Master, we came here only seeking enlightenment...:confused::cheesygri

 

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Judging by the smart-arse answers so far, they is a whole bunch that don't know either, or they'd a' been all to happy to tell you EXACTLY how to do it.

So, since they ain't no brickie willing to 'splain the technique here on CT, I present to you the World's Best Mason giving a short course on laying a row.

It's just too bad when a feller has to go outside his own people to get information, but sometimes, that's just how it is....:whistling

PS: Notice how he gets more mortar on the brick than he does his jeans. Now, I'm just the opposite - I slop it all over my britches, hoping a little of it eventually lands on the brick...

No offense, but this guy is not a very good teacher or example of how to hold a trowel or to lay brick for that matter. :wallbash: Of course I only made it to the 2:48 mark.
 

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How to hold a trowel ? The analogies I like best come from two different books. In Thomas Jefferson and Monticello: The Biography of a Builder ,the author says,"a mason handles his trowel as deftly as a fiddler his bow" . Secondly,author Frank Gilbreth in his book says,"a mason should hold his trowel loosely with his thumb and first two fingers,as one would hold a razor ". My explanation follows those descriptions; palm up,thumb on ferrule,principle grip exerted by thumb and first two fingers,weight of mortar pressing end of trowel against palm nearest wrist.

The two descriptions in the books certainly leave the impression one should not put a "death grip " on the trowel.
Reasons being,a "death grip" causes muscle fatigue and prevents the rotation of the trowel which becomes inverted during spreading of bed joints.

In the video,I feel the trowel is not rotated as fully as in practice,probably because of the need to slow the motion slightly for illustrative purposes.
 

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As others have said, there is not exacty a "right way" but there is a way to start and get a feel for it. Once you've mastered that you can hold it whichever way you choose. FJN's description is pretty good.

To try and put it in words... cup your hand and lightly hold the handle, thumb forward NOT curled around the handle. the trowel should be able to balance without you hardly gripping at all. A light grip with the thumb forward. Most people grip it with the thumb wrapping around and it doesn't allow the trowel to move as freely. Also your wrist is sort of cocked downwards and toward the body while holding it

oh yeah, that's the description i remember. make your one hand into a cup like your scooping water out of a trough or sink, place the trowel in your hand and grip it thumb forward just tight enough so it doesn't drop
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
How to hold a trowel ? The analogies I like best come from two different books. In Thomas Jefferson and Monticello: The Biography of a Builder ,the author says,"a mason handles his trowel as deftly as a fiddler his bow" . Secondly,author Frank Gilbreth in his book says,"a mason should hold his trowel loosely with his thumb and first two fingers,as one would hold a razor ". My explanation follows those descriptions; palm up,thumb on ferrule,principle grip exerted by thumb and first two fingers,weight of mortar pressing end of trowel against palm nearest wrist.

The two descriptions in the books certainly leave the impression one should not put a "death grip " on the trowel.
Reasons being,a "death grip" causes muscle fatigue and prevents the rotation of the trowel which becomes inverted during spreading of bed joints.

In the video,I feel the trowel is not rotated as fully as in practice,probably because of the need to slow the motion slightly for illustrative purposes.
As others have said, there is not exacty a "right way" but there is a way to start and get a feel for it. Once you've mastered that you can hold it whichever way you choose. FJN's description is pretty good.

To try and put it in words... cup your hand and lightly hold the handle, thumb forward NOT curled around the handle. the trowel should be able to balance without you hardly gripping at all. A light grip with the thumb forward. Most people grip it with the thumb wrapping around and it doesn't allow the trowel to move as freely. Also your wrist is sort of cocked downwards and toward the body while holding it

oh yeah, that's the description i remember. make your one hand into a cup like your scooping water out of a trough or sink, place the trowel in your hand and grip it thumb forward just tight enough so it doesn't drop
Asked and answered. Thanks.

This reminds me of some discussions about playing musical instruments. A death grip on a guitar or violin or any other instrument is not only fatiguing, it prevents you from playing (or mortaring) with any finesse.
 

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A bunch of carpenters, talking about masonry tools, in the masonry forum - now I need a punch line. :laughing:
Hey now, I've built a block foundation or 2. I just can't really explain how I hold my trowel, that's all. :whistling :whistling
 

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That is in essence not the mortar most are familiar with. I'M sure it is gypsum based mortar,not lime or cement based.
Description says lime:

"Four to five buckets of sand (1 buckets = 20 liters) per sack of lime (one sack of lime = 25 kilos).
Four sacks of lime per sack of cement (one sack of cement = 50 kilos).
and multiplied by the portion of sand.

Depending on the thickness of the sand, Sand very thin there is put four to five buckets to a sack of lime. When the sand is very thick you lay three buckets
depending on the consistency that you want to give the mixture."
 
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