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How to use a plasterer’s hawk
when plastering walls

Shop for Plaster Hawks

Other equipment you will need:

A mixing board A mixing board, on which to mix the plaster.
Plasterer's trowel A plasterer’s trowel.

Preparing your hawk for use

Donkee tip on preparing a plasterer's hawk
Applying a thin layer of mortar to a plasterer's hawk 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.
Loading a hawk from the plaster mixing board

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.

Tilting a hawk to load a trowel

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.

Vertical load on plasterer's trowel

Step 3 – Transfer load onto trowel

When the plaster load is resting vertically on your trowel (supported by the board behind)…

Dividing the hawk's load

Step 4 – Start to divide mix

…keep the trowel itself flat and lean the board back, taking away roughly half of the plaster.

Divided load of plaster from hawk

Step 5 – Mix is divided

This should leave you with two halves: one on the trowel; one on the board.

Plastering awkward corners

Small, flattened load on hawk 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.
Flattened load sticking to upright hawk A well-mixed plaster flattened out like this on a properly-keyed hawk will stick impressively to the board!
Wonkee Donkee - how plaster sticks to a hawk

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