How to use a plasterer's hawk
Other equipment you will need:
A mixing board, on which to mix the plaster.
A plasterer's trowel.
Preparing your hawk for use
Just smear a small amount of plaster or mortar onto your hawk with your trowel or pointing tool before you load it up with the full amount to start work.
Step 1 - Scrape plaster onto hawk
Position the hawk just below your plaster mixing board and scrape a manageable amount of plaster down onto it.
Step 2 - Begin to load trowel
Generally, the load on a hawk is used half at a time. To move the first half onto your trowel, begin by putting the trowel edge under the load of plaster while at the same time bringing the board upright.
Step 3 - Transfer load onto trowel
When the plaster load is resting vertically on your trowel (supported by the board behind)...
Step 4 - Start to divide mix
...keep the trowel itself flat and lean the board back, taking away roughly half of the plaster.
Step 5 - Mix is divided
This should leave you with two halves: one on the trowel; one on the board.
Plastering awkward corners
For awkward corners or edges where you have to twist yourself or bend down - and risk tipping the hawk - it is best to load it with just a small amount (medium trowel-load) of plaster, shaken sideways to flatten it out.
A well-mixed plaster flattened out like this on a properly-keyed hawk will stick impressively to the board!