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So far I haven't used a full mud board with the rose trowel. I started a job with it but the brick were a bit awkward to lay so the new trowel just wasn't putting the mud where i wanted it and I kept bumping the brick with the trowel, mud was slopping around. Went back to my old trowel even though i cracked the blade and things were much better.

I think the rose WILL be much better when laying brick in the usual position, between knee and belly height
 

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I didn't know Rose made levels. $200 is a bit pricey though....and it doesn't look like I-beam construction. The only type I'll buy now becase of the abuse masonry can dish out.



I would bet a dollar to a donut those levels are made by Smith,Rose just puts their name on them,marks them up and "passes" the savings on to the unsuspecting consumer.
 

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You guys keep trowels for more then a year? I bought a MT in July or Aug. and the black plastic where your index finger is is cracked and splintered already. Im about to go buy another one. I hardly ever get more then a year out of a trowel.

I never got more then a year or 18 months out of the exact 2 foot levels either. Since switching to Stabilla im on 25-30 months, so far and its going great. Truly impressive.
 

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You guys keep trowels for more then a year? I bought a MT in July or Aug. and the black plastic where your index finger is is cracked and splintered already. Im about to go buy another one. I hardly ever get more then a year out of a trowel.
I wondered about that too, one of the dura-soft MT's will last me about nine months...probably less if I'm not laying rock. Of course I do the massively taboo task of cutting brick with my trowel but that isn't what wears them out. If I used a the same trowel for over a year a, 10" trowel would be 7" long.

I used to use the plastic handle Rose's just because that was what I grew up using. The end of the handle would wear out quickly and they also gave me callouses real bad, to the point they were painful. I am sold on the Dura-soft's, doubt I'll ever use anything else. The ends last forever and no more callouses.

Amazing how many different worlds there are to this craft.
 

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I would bet a dollar to a donut those levels are made by Smith,Rose just puts their name on them,marks them up and "passes" the savings on to the unsuspecting consumer.
I don't think so Fred, I'm pretty sure Sands makes them. I have a Smith, and they are the only ones that tongue and groove the layers together. Sands and Crick face glue them...like the ones Kraft sells. All of them offer premium hardwood and stainless rails. Whether I'm right or wrong , they are awesome levels no matter who makes them.

They are almost too nice to use. Mine is walnut and maple, yellow vials.
 

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I am using empire levels now. I was blowing through wooden levels like crazy. tried one of the Empire blue box levels I had it 2 years no issues. I got to try out their "mason pack" tools. they sent me out a black composite level that I like so far only complaint is its heavy. My wooden levels were always splitten and separating. they were never very accurate after about a year.
 

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I usually get about 3-4 years out of a Rose trowel. The majority of the ones I have replaced were due to shattering the blade where it meets the shank. Most times from smacking it against something because I didn't clean it enough the day before. Also replaced a couple because I cracked the tip tightening a conduit coupling because the electricians were nowhere to be found :whistling

I use crick levels. I am averaging about 3 years with them also. If I took better care of them I'm sure I could get another year or two on top of that. If you are having issues with wooden levels delaminating it is most likely because you got them wet frequently with out drying them. Or not keeping them oiled.
 

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I have a question....how many of you have replaced the handle? I would like to switch the Proform for the leather handle. Whats the process?

Then again, for $30 more I get another trowel.
I've only replaced one handle, put a new plastic one on an old Rose....you boil it up to soften it.....set it and forget it. Beautiful. I've never used wood or leather as replacement though.......

Rose is the gold standard, but I bought a Bon stainless online, and I absolutely love it....

For me, the handle material is secondary, as I have always chosen my trowels by the steel.......even in a box of 12 new Roses, the flex will vary quite a bit.......I love the ones with a lot of 'give'........
 

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I am using empire levels now. I was blowing through wooden levels like crazy. tried one of the Empire blue box levels I had it 2 years no issues. I got to try out their "mason pack" tools. they sent me out a black composite level that I like so far only complaint is its heavy. My wooden levels were always splitten and separating. they were never very accurate after about a year.
I have been using a 72" true blue for the last 7 years. It went out of level after 3, and since they have a lifetime warranty I was able to simply exchange it for a brandy new one. The only thing I'm not crazy about is the beveled edge...better to prevent chipping, but worse for scoring lines.
 

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If you are having issues with wooden levels delaminating it is most likely because you got them wet frequently with out drying them. Or not keeping them oiled.


:thumbsup: Linseed oil is the best to put on them,it comes in two types that I know of,boiled and raw. The raw is the way to go,soaks in better and does not end up sticky.
 

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I have a question....how many of you have replaced the handle? I would like to switch the Proform for the leather handle. Whats the process?

Then again, for $30 more I get another trowel.



99% of my handles are wood. Those are simple to switch,cut the thin metal of the ferrule with a 4" angle grinder with metal blade,split wood with chisel,push on new handle.

As cold as it has been around here the last 3 weeks (single digits for highs)I bet one would only have to drop a plastic handle and it would shatter ! :laughing:
 

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For me, the handle material is secondary, as I have always chosen my trowels by the steel.......even in a box of 12 new Roses, the flex will vary quite a bit.......I love the ones with a lot of 'give'........


I share your sentiment about handles 100%. Same goes for the flex.One way the flex improves (takes a while) is laying a lot of block,it wears the blade steel evenly and thins it out.
 

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I don't think so Fred, I'm pretty sure Sands makes them. I have a Smith, and they are the only ones that tongue and groove the layers together. Sands and Crick face glue them...like the ones Kraft sells.



Ah ! you are more than likely correct,did not see the T&G .You are correct Smith still groves them,crick used to but stopped.
 

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:thumbsup: Linseed oil is the best to put on them,it comes in two types that I know of,boiled and raw. The raw is the way to go,soaks in better and does not end up sticky.
Yup, raw linseed is the way to go :thumbsup:

In a pinch for a quick clean up I have used spray furniture polish.
 

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I have been using a 72" true blue for the last 7 years. It went out of level after 3, and since they have a lifetime warranty I was able to simply exchange it for a brandy new one. The only thing I'm not crazy about is the beveled edge...better to prevent chipping, but worse for scoring lines.
that is my only dislike about them. the poly level I have from them now is square edge. the bevel sucks because I use my level to mark straight edge all the time. the bevel can really screw with you. I like having the top bubble. the true blue does need a bigger handle.
 

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You get the Mason version with the cushioned binding? You like them better than wood levels?
No I cant stand that cushion thing. I use my level for a straight edge quite a bit, I bend the 2" lip on my lead with it, for example.

But yeah, its a million times better then the wood level, and a bajillion times better with the top mount bubble for chimney work.
 

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I replaced a leather handled Marshalltown, my first trowel. I just blobbed some PL in the hole and jammed the new one on. By morning it was good to go. It was 10 years old when the handle fell off, that was 5 years ago, it's my mixer trowel now. I'm like NJ, I crack the blade at the shank from smacking it on something (usually concrete) when I didn't clean it well the day before. Almost always in the late fall on a cold morning.

My last trowel was a Goldblatt? I actually liked it well enough, took a couple days though.

My best level was my first 4' Got it when I was just starting out and piss poor. $20 for a Johnson 2'&4' at Walmart of all places. The 2' lasted 3 or 4 months and it was out of level, but that 4' got dropped 20', smashed by my hammer, kicked over and stepped on probably 100 times and I would check it every week or so and it was ALWAYS bang on. Then I helped out a friend in a subdivision and misplaced it. Serves me right I guess. Now I have a crappy Stanley...I hate it, but it works
 
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