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Goldblatt makes nice jointers. they fit the hand well. they are a milder steel then most but a good comfortable jointer. I don't use runners or anything so comfort is key for me.
 

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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.
I wondered about that fat binder... It looked awkward. I'm not much of a brick layer, but I would think if you need to bash the bricks down constantly with your level, you might need to work on technique a bit more.

A bajillons times huh? That might get me to but a Stabilla someday.
 

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I grabbed a goldblatt 11.5" for $5 at a surplus place. I chopped off the top third and made a nice bucket trowel. No way I would do that to a Rose.




I do the same with cheap big box trowels,I found I can make a bucket trowel more to my liking then the ones sold as such. The store bought ones are usually a straight cut. Being right handed, I cut the end on a angle,right to left,keeps hand from scraping side of bucket. I imagine a left hander would benefit from the opposite angle.
 

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One thing I hate is when a level has that stupid 45* bubble. Has anyone ever used that ever? I mostly hate it because if I go to use it for checking plumb I always seem to flip that end up, then have to reverse it. Stupid.

I will only buy a level that has the level bubble visible from the top. When I'm laying manufactured stone I level each stone, and most of the work is below eye level
 

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Yeah, I agree with JBM also. I' ve had stabillas ,too. I still have a two foot stabilla that I use when tooling corners.

(edit) I like them, too!
 

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One thing I hate is when a level has that stupid 45* bubble. Has anyone ever used that ever? I mostly hate it because if I go to use it for checking plumb I always seem to flip that end up, then have to reverse it. Stupid.

I will only buy a level that has the level bubble visible from the top. When I'm laying manufactured stone I level each stone, and most of the work is below eye level
I use em for starting herringbone fireboxes.
 

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I miss the bad old days when there were all CMU foundations and tile walls, every hardware store and lumberyard yard bought trowels 12 at time in a size, and you pick the bend the was the closest to your old one. Don't be afraid to heat the tang and bend the trowel to your needs. Weeks of break in can be eliminated by some carefull power sanding of the cutting edges to "sharpen" them, use a broke in trowel as a pattern, Many new trowels are too pointy for example, and won't furrow a brick bed joint sufficiently with out months of wear or a few minutes of careful cutting and grinding...

I tell all my apprentices to always carry extra "show" stopping tools, I.e. two trowels, usually a wide heel block trowel,and a narrow heel brick/veneer trowel. 2 jointers, 2 levels, 2 string lines, pencils...etc.
Working on sesmic or prison walls(rebar forrests) a low lift handle with very little angle is handy for spreading the block faces with out as much knuckle busting.
Old M-towns would only last a year on the line... now with their improved steel( still shy of Rose's quality) they'll go almost 2 years before being demoted to bucket/mixer trowels(chop saw 2-3" of the point off @ about 80 degrees angle, cleans mixers & buckets out faster, very handy on a ladder patching/tucking.
Rose are well worth the tiny cost extra, I'll love whipping out my 13" Narrow heel covering three big hole brick at a go, or smoking some kid to the center of a block wall with wide heel 12" Rose(the "corn shovel")

Unfortunately Spec Mix that isn't properly mixed or PCL with out air entrainment isn't very friendly to large trowels/carpel tunnel, the money makers stay in the bag on most commerical jobs. Instead the 11.5"long old brick and 10.5"long old block trowels come off the bench for another season. The crappier the mortar/labor, the shorter the trowel, I've gotten down to 8.5" patch trowels on some rat jobs.

When hiring just looking at the wear patterns of the mechanics tools can help separate the boots from the journeymen.

Nothing is as silly as a level with dirty lenses, or someone not spending the 10$ for green tinted vials that works inside.... Any one using a level with a "bad" bubble needs a b slap, Kite string, or a corn cobb hairless brush, if you can't afford a decent set of tools, its time to move on to a new trade or quit the crack pipe.

I was taught that striking one's level INSTEAD OF THE UNIT with the blade of your trowel as a foolish destruction of equity, only use the crutch tip covered trowel handle on the plumb rule.... if necessary. If your arms are getting tired/sore building leads, you're spreading to much mud, or the mortars to stiff, or the brick need to be pre-wetted. Any shoe makers tapping on brick laid to a line need to return to cobbling... Using wore out trowels and cloudly--spookey levels are time and money wasters, One more Square ft. laid a day will provide you with the best/newest tools to work with, and allow one to finish the days work with out being exhausted. Why work with ca-ca, when quality pays?

On OP, the wood W Rose handles are about an inch longer when new, and last as long as the blade with the use of crutch tips,
the leather trowel handle are pretty, but all the ones I've owned wear down to an unconfortablely small diameter after a year or two or three....and are only ~5" long, the extra inch of the wood allows me to tap closer to my level when lead building. For the glove free crowd the plastic handle extension over the "Riser" part of the tang is nice in the cold wet days of spring and fall
 

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I like working with the hurray for me types, they are usually gasping for air by 3 oclock. thats when I turn up the heat for the last 2 hours and they just turn into the biggest pussies around.
 

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Any shoe makers tapping on brick laid to a line need to return to cobbling... /QUOTE]



While tapping brick to the line may be viewed by some to be a waste of time,reducing production by a couple of square feet a day,that loss of a few brick a day is well worth the trade off of the huge increase in tensile bond strength between brick and mortar.

As this excerpt shows,tapping increases bond strength 50-100% over hand pressure alone. Instead of frowning on it on my job sites,I encourage it,it is music to my ears,the more tapping within reason the better the finished wall.

http://www.maconline.org/tech/materials/mortar/bond/bond.html
 

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Tapping is only necessary if: You spread too far for temp or suction of laid units, or the laborers/foremen refuse to supply mortar with adequate moisture/slump, or pre wet very porous units.

Bond strength is achieve by the cement slurry/paste being drawn into the pores of various types of units, shove joints are superior in that they bond the head joint as well the bed joint, they leak a lot less and have superior torsional strength, Your source doesn't pretend to measure any head properties joints at all, stacked bond test prisms.

Even if cobbler style brick laying resulted in a tiny increase in wall's compressive strength in just the one direction, the damage done to the head joints by the one dimensional application of force produces a weaker product in all other dimensions.

Furthermore, no one can hammer a unit to as tight a tolerance as just pushing one into place with the proper mortar plasticity.

Shoemaker style masons lay far fewer units than ones that just lay to the line without unnecessary monkey motions, The tappers are the last to be hired, and the first to get laid off around here. Instead having the trowel handy to recycle the extruded mortar for the next head joint it falls on the hop in shoe maker land. Furthermore where does that mortar fly that had been on your trowel ? some where were it costs money to wash off?
When I have tapped down tens of thousands of Units to the line, I wasn't proud that I had too.... Again, tapping is signal to the laborers to temper the mortar piles, to the mason to spread less of the wall, or the foremen needs to pre wet the brick.

Keep tapping away, your competition and your carpal tunnel docs will thank you.
 

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Interesting article fjn. Got to admit I've never heard that before.
Was always taught to push them into place, although when building up corners there is no option if a brick or 2 is not spot on.
I have worked with bricklayers that have to tap every brick out of habit, even on the line.
 

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Fouthgen is still here?
 
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